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Talk by Lyn Smith, BAA Solar Section Director

“The Solar Cycle” covers a brief history of the solar cycle; a look back at the high points of the cycle just ending (Cycle 24); an update on current solar activity and a look forward to what Cycle 25 might be like.

Lyn Smith
Lyn was fascinated by astronomy since the age of 7 year when Sputnik went into Earth orbit and caused a world sensation; yes that long ago! She joined the British Astronomical Association in her early teens and got her first telescope, a rather cheap refractor that came with one of those eyepiece solar filters that Patrick Moore used to warn about. That went straight in the bin as Patrick advised and quite rightly so! Even at that early stage, the Sun was the main astronomical body of interest for her.

After that life rather got in the way of observational astronomy and it wasn’t until she took early retirement at the end of the 90’s that Lyn once again took to the telescope. The Sun’s splendour was waiting for her and didn’t disappoint during the very active solar maximum in the early 2000’s. Lyn acquired her first hydrogen alpha telescope around this time and that opened up a whole new observing experience recording filaments, prominences and solar flares.

Lyn became the Director of the BAA Solar Section in 2006 and is still in post, corresponding with members from around the globe. Her main duties are to co-ordinate monthly observations in white light, H-alpha and Calcium K-line; produce a monthly newsletter reporting on solar activity; give advice and encouragement to new members or observers new to solar observing; to give talks to astronomical societies and BAA meetings and to generally encourage and develop solar observing wherever possible.

She also co-founded Clydesdale Astronomical Society in 2006 and was chairman of the society for the first 8 years.

Image Credit: NASA/SDO