Dr Huw Morgan leads the Solar System Physics group at Aberystwyth University, and has worked in Solar Physics and Space Weather for 20 years. His Leverhulme and STFC-funded research in analysing observations of space weather events has led to projects to develop operational space weather forecasting software, including for the UK Met Office. Huw lives with his family in mid-Wales, and outside of work enjoys writing/recording music, mountain biking, trail running, gardening, and supporting Llanelli Scarlets rugby club.
In his talk, Huw will discuss how space weather is caused by rapid changes in the space environment near Earth, often caused by large disturbances that explode from the Sun. These storms pose a threat to technology, and damage to the infrastructure on which modern society is dependent. Just as with storms on Earth, a reliable forecast greatly reduces the damage caused by space-weather. However, compared to Earth weather forecasting, space weather is in its infancy, and an international effort is working towards developing a robust forecast system. As a scientist working in this field, Huw feels that he is in a race against time, since we cannot know when the ‘perfect storm’ may occur – and it seems as if we are overdue a large event.