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IYA lecture series

Page history last edited by amanda 12 years, 10 months ago


Keep up to date at the new homepage of our lecture series:  http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/astronomy/publictalks.html


As part of the International Year of Astronomy 2009, we are hosting a series of public lectures occurring monthly for the rest of the year! Come and listen to professional scientists from the University of Nottingham discuss hot topics in modern astronomy!  You can keep up with the lectures on our facebook page!


The next lecture:


The Violent Lives of Galaxies

Dr. Meghan Gray

18th February 2010

6-7 pm

Maths & Physics Building (B1)

University Park Campus



ABSTRACT:  I will discuss the work I do as part of a large international collaboration that uses some of the most powerful telescopes on the ground and in space to understand galaxy evolution.  In particular, we are trying to answer the question:  when it comes to the processes that shape galaxies, what is more important -- nature or nurture?  We are trying to understand just how much a galaxy's life is affected by the environment in which it lives.







21st January Dr. Ed Copeland LHC and the Early Universe
18th February Dr. Meghan Gray The Violent Lives of Galaxies
18th March Dr. Anne Green WIMP Hunting: The Search for Dark Matter
22nd April Dr. Tony Padilla Parallel Worlds
20th May Dr. June McCombie The Chemistry of Space
17th June Dr. Frazer Pearce Global Warming
22nd July Graeme Candlish
Black Holes
19th August Fernando Buitrago
History of Space Exploration: Looking for New Horizons




The 2009 Schedule:





20th May Dr. Sebastien Foucaud Scales of the Universe
18th June Dr. Frazer Pearce Exoplanets: The Search for Other Earths
23rd July Mark Hammonds Astrobiology: Life on Other Worlds
20th August Dr. Amanda Bauer A Long Time Ago in Galaxies Far, Far Away
24th September Dr. Boris Haeussler From Big Bang to... a Short History of the Universe
22nd October Asa Bluck Our Never-Ending Universe: What Caused the Big Bang?
26th November Yara Jaffe The Fate of Our Sun and Other Stars
17th December Keith Smith Nebulae: The Most Beautiful Objects in Astronomy (Chemistry X1)



For more information, please contact: Amanda Bauer (amanda.bauer [at] nottingham.ac.uk)



Previous Lectures:




Nebulae: The Most Beautiful Objects in Astronomy

Keith Smith


Thursday, 17th December

6-7 pm


ABSTRACT:  Some of the most spectacular images ever taken are of the astronomical objects known as nebulae. But what are these mysterious objects? I will take you on a tour of the night sky to find out, starting from the naked eye and the first ever observation of a nebula with a telescope. On the way, we will discover the various different types of nebulae and I will describe some of the processes that drive these vast assemblies of interstellar gas and dust. If nothing else, it should be spectacular!


The Fate of Our Sun and Other Stars

Yara Jaffe


Thursday, 26th November


ABSTRACT:  The sun is just one of the hundreds of billions of stars that live in our Galaxy, the Milky Way. Not only does it represent a typical star but it is arguably the most important one, since it is the closest star to Earth and largely responsible for our existence!  I will start by reviewing our sun: how it works, why it burns, and what the eventual fates of our sun and solar system will be. Then I will open the scope and take you on a tour of the life cycles of the different types of stars that inhabit our Universe. From newborn stars, to dead stars, to the remnants of supernovae explosions and black holes.



Our Never-Ending Universe: What Caused the Big Bang?

Asa Bluck 


Thursday, 22nd October


ABSTRACT:  I will take you on a tour through some of the most exciting and controversial theories of the early 21st Century. We will stop in to re-examine the evidence for the Big Bang theory, noting that it has been tested thoroughly from 1 second after the origin of the Universe to the present. The questions are: what happens next? And what happened within that fateful instant? Contemporary theoretical physics is divide between two very different pictures of the Universe, Inflation and Ekpyrosis. The first leads us to believe in a Multiverse filled with infinite Universes, our own being the way it is largely due to pure chance. The second requires only one Universe, set to be this way by deep physical laws, but the Big Bang was not the beginning! In this model, time is infinite both into the future and past, but to achieve this view we need more dimensions, 7 more to be precise! I will talk about the new generation of astronomical and particle experiments that may distinguish between these ideas of our Universe, and may even be able to offer a tentative answer to that most enduring of questions: What happened before the Big Bang?



From Big Bang to... a Short History of the Universe

Dr. Boris Haeussler 

Thursday, 24th September


ABSTRACT:  Scientists have both observational and theoretical evidence that the Big Bang occurred about 13.7 billion years ago. But what happened afterwards? How did the Universe become the diverse place it is today?  From the formation of the very first particles to the formation of stars, galaxies and planets, I will highlight some important events that followed the Big Bang according to particle physics and astronomy!  I will also speculate about what might happen to our Universe in the near and far future.



A Long Time Ago in Galaxies Far, Far Away

Dr. Amanda Bauer 

Thursday, 20th August


ABSTRACT:  We live in the Milky Way Galaxy which is one of hundreds of billions of galaxies that exist in our Universe. During this lecture, I will describe our Galaxy, how we find other galaxies, properties of the diverse variety of galaxies that exist, and how galaxies change over time. To conclude, I will show some techniques used to understand how galaxies evolve over time.



Astrobiology: Life on Other Worlds

Mark Hammonds 

Thursday, 23rd July


ABSTRACT: Even after 50 years of research, all of our questions about alien life remain unanswered. Despite this, the search continues unabated. Far from looking for ‘little green men,’ astrobiology is the study of how and where we might find life in the universe. In this talk, I will describe the kinds of environments where life could develop and survive, and where those environments might exist on other planets and moons in our Solar System. Finally, I'll explain some of the ways we hope to find life on planets around other stars.



Exoplanets: The Search for Other Earths

Dr. Frazer Pearce 

Thursday, June 18th


ABSTRACT: As of April 2009, astronomers have discovered 228 planets orbiting stars other than our Sun. After a brief recap of our solar System I will review the four methods used to make these discoveries. So far no Earth-like planets have been found and I will explain the reason for this and the progress being made towards making such a discovery. 

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