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RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting: Flares on the Sun and stars: microflares, megaflares, and the largest flare of Solar Cycle 24

Organisers: Anne-Marie Broomhall (Univ. of Warwick), James McLaughlin (Northumbria Univ.), Valery Nakariakov (Univ. of Warwick), Aaron Reid (Queen’s University, Belfast)
For queries e-mail: a-m dot broomhall at warwick dot ac dot uk

Friday, 12th April 2019
Royal Astronomical Society Lecture Theatre, Burlington House, Piccadilly

Flares that are far more energetic than typical solar flares have been observed on solar-like stars, leading to predictions that the average occurrence rate of these so-called “superflares” on “stars with similar rotation periods to the Sun is about once in 500 to 600 years” (Maehara et al., 2015). However, given that these flares are far more energetic than typical solar flares, and that the data upon which these predictions are made consist of unresolved white light observations of the star in question’s brightness, it is reasonable to ask whether these predictions are justified. This specialist discussion meeting will focus on the synergies and differences between solar and stellar flares, from the impact of observational constraints to the presence of analogous features (e.g. flare shape and quasi-periodic pulsations) and from models that can account for the vastly differing energies observed in solar and stellar flares to explanations for recent observations of flares in massive A stars that do not have outer convection zones. We will also discuss the exciting series of solar flares observed from active region AR12763 in September 2017, which included the largest flare of Solar Cycle 24, and particularly encourage the community to consider the unique Swedish solar telescope observations of this event, obtained on behalf of the UK solar physics community. Talks and posters will be accepted.

Confirmed invited speakers: Petr Heinzel (Academy of Sciences of Czech Republic), Paolo Romano (Osservatorio Astrofisico di Catania)

This Specialist Discussion Meeting is open to all; admission is free for RAS Fellows, £15 for non-fellows (£5 for full-time students). For further details of location and times see www.ras.org.uk or phone the Society on 0207-734-3307.

Abstract submission closes Midnight 12th March 2019

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Swedish Solar Telescope snapshot of the X9.28 solar flare, which was the largest flare of cycle 24. Credit: Aaron Reid