Astronomy for Beginners UK
The last two years have been great for planetary science: three new and very different worlds have been explored by three very different spacecraft. This talk presents updates and science highlights from the Dawn Spacecraft orbiting around Ceres, the Rosetta/Philae mission to comet Cheryumov- Gerasimenko, and the flyby of the Pluto-Charon System by NASA’s New Horizons mission.
The third Astronomer Royal for Scotland, Ralph Copeland lived a full and varied life before establishing the new Royal Observatory on Blackford Hill in 1896. This talk spans several continents as it follows the hugely interesting career of a 19th century astronomer whose work deserves to be better known.
We live in a constantly changing, evolving universe and observing this change on timescales from hundreds of years down to fractions of a second is key to unlocking the nature of the cosmos. Robotic telescopes are the kings of the time domain, particularly when every second counts. Hear how the world’s largest robotic telescopes are used to pursue some of the universe’s most spectacular phenomena.
Alastair Bruce, Martin Black & William Taylor
A monthly guide to the night sky, including a round-up of recent astronomical news and the science the celestial sights. Feel free to bring questions along with you!
The search for evidence of microbial life on Mars is an active research topic with a surprisingly long history. This talk will review the development of ideas about life on Mars, from the Copernican Revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries, through the first Mars probes of the 1960s, to the present day.
The global space industry is in a time of a radical transformation. This talk will highlight the exciting developments in Scotland’s space sector, and how it joins together entrepreneurs, engineers and scientists. However, building a sustainable space industry ecosystem is not trivial – after all, who said it wasn’t rocket science?
How do galaxies form and evolve? This is a fundamental question that astronomers are trying to answer. Understanding the formation history of our own galaxy, the Milky Way, is a critical piece of this puzzle. This talk will introduce you to the exciting world of Galactic Archaeology, what clues the astronomers look for, and how they are used to reconstruct the past of the Milky Way.
Galaxy clusters are big. In fact, they are the most massive single entities in the entire Universe. But life isn’t easy in there! Learn what physical processes affect the evolution of galaxies in these hostile environments, from the disruptive forces that can shred the smaller counterparts, to the energetic output from the supermassive black holes residing at the core.
This year the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) went into the full system test phase, ready for launch in 2018. What will be the next big telescopes in space? Will we be able to afford to go even bigger than the JWST, or do we need new breakthrough technologies to take the next steps? And what might we discover if we could have giant telescopes in space?