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The Ames Area Amateur Astronomers is a dynamic organization with activities held year-round. Each month at our meeting we present a guest speaker, with exciting lectures about space and astronomy.

                                        November Meeting

Ed Engle will be the presenter.  In September 1859 Richard Carrington and Richard Hodgson independently made the first observations of a solar flare. But this wasn’t just any solar flare — it was a truly giant flare with a correspondingly giant coronal mass ejection (“What is a coronal mass ejection (CME)?” you ask. You’ll just have to come to the meeting to find out!). About 18 hours later, when the CME reached earth it caused incredible aurora visible to the equator. It caused havoc with anything electrical such as telegraph systems. The event affected people across the entire planet. In the modern age with transcontinental power and communications infrastructure, these relatively rare events take on a great deal of importance. Join us at the November meeting as we talk about the Carrington event itself and what humans need to do to prepare for the next one!

Sunspot AR1897 has a 'beta-gamma' magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class solar flares. Sunspot complex AR1893-1900 is growing rapidly. Credit: SDO/HMI

2017 IASP logo

The Iowa Star Party will be held September 14-18th 2017.  Watch for updated registration information.

There are two comets that will be visible yet this year - Comet ISON and Comet Lovejoy. Have you seen them?
In this diagram of the inner solar system, all of the fireball orbits intersect at a single point--Earth.
When the sunspot number is high, so is the chance of flares. NOAA forecasters estimate a 50% chance of M-class flares and a 15% chance of X-flares during the next 24 hours.
Solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole could reach Earth on Nov. 17-18. Credit: SDO/AIA.
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