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Astrobiology, said Professor Lewis Dartnell, is “the science of hunting for aliens”! That may conjure up images of Martian death rays, wielded by tripods come to invade the earth. But if our next door neighbour planet ever did have an environment that was suitable for the origin of microbial life on the surface, the environment […]

For the final lecture of our 2015/16 season, Flamsteed members were given a real treat when Dr Matt Taylor from ESA came to talk about the Rosetta mission. Matt is the Project Scientist for this mission, working as the interface between the scientists responsible for the experiments on the mission and the ESA mission operation […]

A big Flamsteed audience welcomed Dr Francisco Diego back to the society, where he gave a fascinating and thought-provoking lecture about the “Think Universe!” project. “Think Universe!” is an educational project to bring big science to elementary classrooms. Francisco took us on a journey from the creation of the universe to the present day… using […]

Bruno Pontecorvo was the father of neutrino astronomy and a brilliant nuclear physicist who disappeared through the Iron Curtain at the height of the Cold War. He was first with an idea on how to find the ghostly neutrino, he proposed experiments that led to discovery of solar neutrinos, he realised that there is more […]

The impact of a small asteroid in Russia in 2013 reminded everyone of the potential dangers from space. Producing a fireball brighter than the Sun, over a thousand people were injured by the resulting shockwave. Larger asteroids can be much more deadly. In this talk, Professor Alan Fitzsimmons addressed what we know – and what […]

It has been more than a hundred years since Einstein produced his general theory of relativity and it is still our current theory of gravity. One of the most exotic objects predicted by General Relativity is the black hole, once thought to be theoretical quirks we now know they really exist, formed by the collapse […]

The world is uniting in order to build one of the largest and most ambitious scientific facilities that has ever existed. Consisting of two telescopes in Australia and South Africa, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will answer fundamental questions related to the nature of the Universe and our place within it. From spinning neutron stars […]

Thermonuclear supernovae signal the sudden and explosive destruction of a white-dwarf star. They are key to calibrating the expansion and acceleration of the cosmos; yet they occur rarely amongst the galaxies of our immediate cosmic neighbourhood. Serendipitously, in January 2014 one such supernova, the closest in a generation, was discovered in the nearby galaxy Messier […]

Professor Carolin Crawford gave the final lecture of the 2014/15 Flamsteed season on the subject of “The Red Planet”. Here are a few pictures from the event:

The Flamsteed hosted a debate about the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life. Marek Kukula argued in favour of the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life whereas Chris Lintott argued against. Dr Louisa Preston chaired the debate. Here are a few pictures from the event:

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