PPARC media invite: press conference at the BA

Probing the most energetic explosions in the solar system Solar-B readies for launch

When: Friday 8th September 2006

Where: BA Festival of Science, University of East Anglia, Norwich

Time: 12.30pm [Press Conference Starts]

Venue: Elizabeth Fry Building, Room 2.30

Solar flares are violent explosions on the Sun that release energy equivalent to tens of millions of hydrogen bombs. As the Sun's magnetic fields break and rejoin a mix of high energy radiation and particles are unleashed at huge speeds into the solar system. This boiling cauldron of plasma can arrive at earth within tens of minutes, causing major magnetic disturbances with sometimes catastrophic results. But we have no idea when a flare will occur until now.

A new space mission, Solar-B, due for launch on September 22nd 2006, will study the dynamics of the Sun's magnetic disruptions to establish and understand the birth signs the so-called 'trigger phase' of solar flares, eventually enabling scientists to predict them.

Members of the media are invited to a PPARC pre-launch briefing where leading scientists will explain how Solar-B will significantly advance our understanding of the Sun's energetic processes and magnetic structure.

Solar-B is a joint Japanese/UK/US mission. UK scientists have led the design and build of a key instrument that will monitor the smallest changes ever observed on the Sun.


Professor Louise Harra, Mullard Space Science Laboratory, UCL

Dr. Ady James, Mullard Space Science Laboratory, UCL

Professor Tetsuya Watanabe, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan


Since this press conference is taking place within the BA Festival of Science programme then anyone wishing to attend must be registered with the BA Press Team. . If you are not registered for the BA as 'press' and wish to attend this briefing, then please register directly with PPARC and we will pass your details on to the BA.

To register, contact Jill Little, email [email protected] or Tel 01793-442012.


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