The meeting began with Mark, our President, giving us the usual run down on upcoming Society events ( including another of our ever popular Telescope Help Shop events – NOW FULL) and we also welcomed another new member, Jim Aird taking our membership to 169.

Our main talk was from a friend of the ASE, Lyn Smith, Director of the Solar Section of the BAA, who talked to us about “The Red Sun”.
With the help of some stunning images and video clips and her normal infectious enthusiasm, Lyn explained the many features of the Sun’s atmosphere – known as the Chromosphere.

Before beginning her tour Lyn quickly covered the type of equipment, which we, as amateurs, might employ to study the Sun for ourselves and made reference to humanities latest investigations using vehicles like the Parker solar probe and ESA Solar Orbiter.

We then plunged, figuratively speaking, into the layers of the Chromosphere, discovering such wonders as Coronal holes, H Alpha Plage, which often herald sunspots and sometimes solar flares, and Spicules – jets of hot gas. We also learned about Fibrils, Flux Tubes, Arch Filaments and Ellerman bombs.

Amateur observers and imagers can also do real science by reporting on all the foregoing phenomena and such events as solar flares, – which are associated with Aurora on Earth, plus Prominences and Coronal Mass Ejections, Lyn gave a fascinating explanation of these and how to classify and measure them.

The talk was enjoyed by 187 participants on YouTube and 45 ASE members on Zoom.

Nigel Goodman

Banner image credit: Dave Tyler