Director’s Blog

18th April 2022

Two large sunspot groups have just rotated onto the solar disc around the north-eastern limb, AR2993 and AR2994. Visually both groups are impressive and observations are requested throughout their passage. The groups are also active and strong flares have already been detected. M and X class flares are likely.

22nd December 2021

The BAA is now a major sponsor of the SolarChat! forum – see the ‘BAA Sponsord SolarChat!’ article for further details.

11th June 2021

An interesting article from on the prospects for Cycle 25 based on termination events – see

27th March 2021

An intriguing Hydrogen-Alpha observation was made by member Andy Davey on 16th March 2021 – a rising dark plume in front of a prominence.  This is best shown via a time-lapse animation created by Andy from 13:57 to 14:46 UT at Further details will appear in the next Solar Section Newsletter.

21st February 2021

Professor Lucie Green, Mullard Space Science Laboratory, gave a RAS public lecture on ‘The Sun’s Twisted Mysteries’ – this informative talk can been seen on YouTube at

BAA Solar Section Webinar – Section Meeting

The 2021 Solar Section meeting will be held as a webinar on Saturday 20th February.  It will consist of 4 x 30 min sessions each with a 15 min presentation followed by Q&A.

For anyone who does not wish to join via Zoom or is unable to install the software, then we will also be streaming the webinar live on our BAA YouTube channel.  Please note we have a capacity for 100 attendees in the Zoom webinar, so if you join once we have reached this capacity, you will be directed to our live YouTube stream.

2.00 to 2.30 pm – BAA Solar Section Director Lyn Smith – Update on Solar Activity

2.30 to 3.00 pm – BAA Solar Section Assistant Director Peter Meadows – The Carrington Event Sunspot Group

3.00 to 3.30 pm – BAA Solar Section member Kevin Killburn – Bi-polar Magnetic Regions

3.30 to 4.00 pm – General Q&A session with all 3 panellists and any other members wishing to participate

Please note all times are approximate and for the UK time zone.  Zoom meeting connection:     Password=SXBhTnFLdjJyQzITNzRDMUxqYTdrdz09

6th February 2021

An interesting general talk on the Imaging of Coronal Mass Ejections by Prof. Richard Harrison (RAL) is available on the Royal Astronomical Society’s YouTube Channel at The half-hour talk begins at around a time of 32:30.

30th November 2020

Another sunspot is rounding the south-east limb today which was responsible for a strong solar flare yesterday.  Keep an eye on it as it might well develop into another substantial sunspot group for December.

29th November 2020

This time of year can be difficult for solar observing – not only because of the cloudier weather but also because of the low altitude of the Sun even at midday.  Most observers will also have to contend with nearby obstructions such as trees and buildings.  One solution is to observe from a high vantage point.  This is what the solar observers at Mt Wilson Observatory near Los Angeles do: they use the aptly named 150-Foot Solar Tower.

This video shows one of the observers, Steve Padilla, on his last official day at the observatory in 2013 although he is still observing in his retirement. The video shows Steve making a drawing and determining the polarity of individual sunspots.  The latest Mt Wilson drawing can be found at  The video captions can be switched off by pressing the ‘CC’ button and selecting ‘Captions off’.

23rd November 2020

We have three substantial sunspots on the solar disc today. The newest is just rounding the SE limb and looks like a large single penumbral sunspot at this stage. Observations and images are requested as these sunspot groups progress.

23rd January 2020

1st January 2020

The latest NOAA Space Weather Prediction Centre prediction for Solar Cycle 25 is for ‘a peak in July, 2025 (+/- 8 months), with a smoothed sunspot number (SSN) of 115. Cycle 25 will be average in intensity and similar to Cycle 24. Additionally, solar minimum between Cycles 24 and 25 will occur in April, 2020 (+/- 6 months)’:

It will only by observing will we now whether this prediction is correct!

25th November 2019

Creation of Director’s Blog

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