Archive | March 2010

It’s Solar Season at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich

Right now, it’s Solar Season at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich – so if Solar Stormwatch has fired up your interest in all things Sun-related why not come along? You could make a day of it, with a planetarium show, workshops, talks, our interactive galleries, and of course, that great view!

If you’re new to Solar Stormwatch – or have friends and family you’d like to introduce it to – why not pop in to one of the Become a Solar Scientist sessions on Saturday 17th April. They’re suitable for ages 11+, are free and happening throughout the day at 14.00, 14.40, 15.20, and 16.00.

You could also check out our free exhibition, Solar Story – Understanding the Sun, or sit back and watch Secrets of the Sun in the Peter Harrison Planetarium. It’s showing at 14.30 on term-time weekdays and at 14.00, 14.45, and 15.30 on weekends and holidays. You can book tickets online at

Finally, more experienced storm-spotters might enjoy Becky Higgitt’s talk about the history of solar science at Greenwich. It’s happening at 19.00 on Thursday 6th May. Tickets cost £8 and can be booked by emailing or by calling 020 8312 6608. The Bookings office is open from 10.00-16.00.

The view from the Royal Observatory, Greenwich in spring.The view from the Royal Observatory, Greenwich in spring.

My solar stormwatch

Now that many of you have been tracking solar storms for some time, we are starting to build up enough data to identify some storms from the large numbers of people identifying them. If your estimates have agreed with others, you should now have these events listed in the ‘My Solar Stormwatch’ area of your user account along with the names of all the other zooites that agreed with you. As we identify more storms we will be asking you to investigate each one in more detail in future games but in the meantime, allow yourself the self-indulgence of sitting back with a warm satisfied feeling that you are doing well or maybe even indulge in a virtual group-hug (amongst consenting zooites of course!). Whether you are included in a group or not, don’t stop clicking just yet though. If you are now a seasoned tracker or coming to the site for the very first time, there are still plenty of events out there that need more clicks before they can be positively identified. Thanks to your hard work and enthusiasm, we’re really starting to see some results!


We get a radical perspective when you work as a collective.

Thanks to everyone for their efforts so far. Now that we have had a significant number of storms tracked, we can start looking at the data in order to see how we are progressing but please carry on tracking those storms! I’ll let you know as soon as anything interesting turns up. I’ve been really impressed by the care, commitment and enthusiasm, especially on the solar stormwatch forum where any number of interesting discussions have broken out. So if you’ve a burning question you would like answered, or just wanted to drop by to say ‘hi’ there are threads from comets to force-shields, doughnuts to cat’s eyes as well as some fabulous stormwatch inspired art (my favourite so far being the homage to Andy Warhol). In my experience, there’s no such thing as a stupid question and the Zooniverse seems to be a place where innocent enquiries lead to real scientific discoveries that would otherwise be missed.