Old Spalding boy to lecture on The Active Sun

Mike Proctor.
Mike Proctor.
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Michael Proctor, who grew up on a farm in this district, is to give the next lecture on behalf of Spalding Gentlemen’s Society on Friday (8pm).

Michael, who is Professor of Astrophysical Fluid Dynamic and the Provost of King’s College Cambridge, is to give a lecture entitled The Active Sun.

He describes the sun as “the seat of many fascinating magnetic phenomena on a wide range of scales”, the most prominent of which are sunspots, associated with solar flares and magnetic storms on earth.

He says: “Not only is their structure not yet fully understood, but they appear and disappear in a relatively ordered way, with their numbers and place of appearance obeying a fairly regular 22-year cyclic pattern.

“I shall talk about this cyclical behaviour, give some idea of how it may arise (the questions is still controversial) and also talk about past and future periods when there was a ‘grand minimum’ with sunspots not appearing for many decades as at the end of the 17th century.”

The professor’s research is principally concerned with the generation of magnetic fields on the sun, and their interaction with solar convection.

The talk is part of Spalding Gentlemen’s Society lecture season and is held at Spalding Grammar School. Entry is £2.