Dr Alec MacKinnon will give a lecture entitled "The High Energy Sun".

The Sun is just an “ordinary star” but it nonetheless displays high-energy radiation (cosmic rays and gamma rays) more often associated with black holes and supernovae. These pose challenging scientific questions in their own right and need to be understood as part of the full picture of solar magnetism, flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs). We will look at some highlights of high-energy solar physics: the global neutron monitor network, solar cosmic rays studied on Earth, gamma-rays from the Quiet Sun, solar flares and the puzzling gamma-radiation that persists for hours after them. These phenomena have their origin in dynamic magnetic fields and tenuous gases and make the connection between our tranquil, hospitable solar system and the more exotic, explosive events we find much further afield in the cosmos.


Dr Alec MacKinnon is an Honorary Member of the Astronomical Society of Glasgow and was a Senior Lecturer until 2021 at University of Glasgow where he combined research on astrophysics of the Sun with a role in adult education, organizing and teaching courses for the public and enabling mature student access to University; latterly also teaching in School of Physics and Astronomy. He has also held visiting positions at Space Sciences Lab, University of California, Berkeley, (2007), Mackenzie University, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2013) and been a board member of CESRA (Community of European Solar Radio Astronomers)  from 2001-2013. He is now retired but still active in research and hoping to tell interesting stories.

The lecture will start at 1930 and will be held in Room 6.41 in the Royal College building, University of Strathclyde