The 2014 World Cup has focused the eyes of the world on Brazil.  Caipirinha* hangovers are fading but this remarkable country still has other claims to fame.  Since the 1960s Brazilian astronomers have pioneered the study of the Sun at the shortest radio wavelengths. More recently, the South America Very Low Frequency Network (SAVNET) has provided a new angle on the study of solar flares and other energetic phenomena such as magnetars and Gamma-Ray Bursts.  For the last three months of 2013, Alec worked at Mackenzie University, São Paulo, on energetic phenomena in solar flares and will describe some of the scientific activity he came across during his visit as well as taking a quick look at solar astronomy with ALMA. (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array).

Alec McKinnon took his first steps in academia with a BSc in Mathematics and Natural Philosophy(1980) and a PhD in Astronomy (1984), both at the University of Glasgow.  In 1991 he joined the Deptartment of Adult and Continuing Education, developing adult Access to Science degrees and Courses to adults for Physics, Astronomy and IT.  This role continues in the Centre for Open Studies.  His research interests are focused on the physics of solar flares, particularly on charged particle acceleration and transport; the nuclear radiation processes, gamma-rays and self-organising systems models for flare energy release.  Alec’s researches have taken him to a wide variety of world locations including NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Observatoire de Meudon, UCal Berkeley as well as São Paulo.

*Editor’s Note: “Caipirinha hangovers” spurred your poor editor to google it!

Location : Room 6.41 Royal College, Strathclyde University.  Access is via the Montrose Street entrance, take the lift to Floor 3, exit the lift and take the 2nd set of steps on your left, go through the double glass doors.  Room 6.41 is on your left approximately half way along the corridor.

The lecture will be preceded by the observing meeting starting at 6.45pm also in room 6.41 where Charles Cavanagh will discuss Perseus, Auriga, Taurus, Orion and Canis Major as well as Venus and Jupiter.

Membership renewals will be also accepted.