Sun|Trek Adventures Solar Surface Hot Solar Atmosphere Magnetic Sun Flowing from the Sun
Sun Earth Connection Solar Spacecraft Earth and Beyond The Sun as a Star
  Suntrek homepage
Green Loops & Sun
Down Arrow
  Solar guides
Down Arrow
  Alex Gaffikin
  Alexi Glover
  Alison Wallace
  Andrew Conway
  Andy Breen
  Bob Forsyth
  Caroline Alexander
  Clare Parnell
  Claire Raftery
  Daniel Brown
  Danielle Bewsher
  David Alexander
  David Williams
  Duncan Mackay
  Durgesh Tripathi
  Eoghan Oshea
  Gemma Attrill
  Giulio Del Zanna
  Ineke de Moortel
  Jack Ireland
  Jude Insley
  Keith Macpherson
  Klaus Galsgaard
  Laura Watson
  Louise Harra
  Lucie Green
  Lyndsay Fletcher
  Mark Lyons
  Miruna Popescu
  Nick Watkins
  Peter Gallagher
  Peter Young
  Rekha Jain
  Robert Walsh
  Ros Mist
  Ryan Milligan
  Sarah Matthews
  Steve Bradshaw
  Susi Parenti
  Tim Horbury

Lyndsay Fletcher - solar guides

 

Hi, my name's Lyndsay Fletcher:

 

Image of Lyndsay FletcherWhat sparked your interest in solar physics?
I was born in Glasgow and grew up in Scotland. I think it was a project we did on the solar system at primary school that got me interested. After that, I always liked science at school, and my teacher gave me a book about astronomy, which just got me hooked.

 

Image of a poster for Adam and the AntsAt school I had no idea what I wanted to be, I was too busy trying to avoid hockey and netball, and being in love with Adam and the Ants, to think about the future. I chose maths, physics, chemistry, English and German. I thought then, and still think, that you should keep your options open as long as you can, and do what you enjoy most. At the University in Glasgow I studied physics and astronomy, and a bit of maths.

 

Image of the solar satellite RHESSIWhat type of solar research do you do?
I work a lot with my computer, analysing solar data, which is coming down from instruments on board satellites. I also make and test mathematical models to try and understand what I am seeing. But solar physics is a group effort, so a lot of my day is taken up discussing questions and problems with colleagues, who are also friends.

 

I would love to understand how solar flares happen. These are the most energetic of explosions on the Sun. The energy released in 10 minutes during one small solar flare is enough to power the whole of the UK for 50,000 years. We have known about flares for decades, but the way they work is still a bit of a mystery. I am now working with a new solar satellite called RHESSI (shown in the image above) which was launched in 2002. We are using the new observations from RHESSI to try to understand solar flares.

 

Have you travelled a lot?
Yes, I have. I've worked overseas a lot, even though I never really wanted to leave Glasgow! I worked for several years in solar physics in the Netherlands, and then I moved to the Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory, California, USA to work on observations from the TRACE satellite. That was tough at first, but I learnt to enjoy it - the chance to live and work abroad is one of the great things about a career in science. I even spent several months in Japan, commanding an instrument on YOHKOH. Now I’m back again working in Scotland, in the place I love best, my home - Glasgow.

 
Image of a loop on the Sun as seen my TRACE
Image of a loop on the Sun as seen my TRACE

Loops on the Sun seen with TRACE

 

Image of LyndsayWhat do you do in your spare time?
I like the outdoors - I go hill walking when I get the chance, and run to keep fit. I also like to go with friends to concerts and museums, or just shopping. I have my two black and white cats, Rolph and Mabel, to look after. But my favourite hobby is singing - both in the shower and in choirs.

 

back to top

 
 
 

Sun|trek homepage | Sun|trek Adventures | Solar Surface & Below | Hot Solar Atmosphere | Magnetic Sun | Flowing From The Sun

Sun/Earth Connection | Solar Spacecraft | Earth & Beyond | The Sun our Star | Factary | Gallery | Hot News | Contact Us