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September 2020

Who Owns the Moon, by Professor Christopher Newman – ONLINE

September 14, 2020 @ 7:15 pm
Prof Christopher Newman

Prof Christopher Newman Do you fancy prospecting for rare and precious minerals on the moon one day? Assuming you could get there and actually start prospecting, would it be legal. In this discussion entitled “Who owns the Moon”, Prof Christopher Newman from Northumbria University in Newcastle will look at the legal position in outer space as private companies are seeking investment to mine asteroids and develop a permanent human presence on the Moon.  Despite the formidable technical and engineering challenges…

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October 2020

Solar flares – the most powerful explosions in the Solar System, by Professor Philippa Browning – ONLINE

October 19, 2020 @ 7:15 pm
Professor Philippa Browning

Professor Philippa Browning Solar flares are powerful “explosions” in the Sun’s atmosphere, the corona. They are caused by a rapid release of the energy stored in the strong magnetic field of the corona – the magnetic field lines break in a process known as magnetic reconnection. This heats the gas to temperatures of tens of millions of degrees and creates beams of very high-energy charged particles. The particles and electromagnetic radiation from flares can have significant effects on the Earth…

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Flamsteed Social Meeting – ONLINE

October 26, 2020 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Edmond Halley

Join us in our Zoom social evening in the Flamsteed virtual pub, ‘The Edmond Halley’! (Halley always was a more convivial sort of chap than John Flamsteed, to be honest.) To add to the atmosphere of the pub theme, please have a drink in hand during the event. This does not have to be an alcoholic drink! PLEASE CHECK YOUR EMAIL FOR A LINK TO JOIN THIS ONLINE EVENT. THERE IS NO NEED TO PRE-REGISTER BEFOREHAND.

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November 2020

A habitable zone in the atmosphere of Venus?, by Dr Emily Drabek-Maunder – ONLINE

November 9, 2020 @ 7:15 pm
Venus clouds

Venus clouds The discovery of chemical compounds known as phosphines in the atmosphere of Venus might just possibly be an indicator that there is some form of life in the clouds of the hottest planet in our Solar System. In this talk, ROG astronomer Emily Drabek-Maunder – who is also a co-author of the key paper about this discovery – explains the research, what it means, and what happens next. Emily Drabek-Maunder Dr Emily Drabek-Maunder is an astrophysicist and Senior…

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Exploring Mars and Climbing Mt. Sharp, by Prof John Bridges – ONLINE

November 16, 2020 @ 7:15 pm
Professor John Bridges

Professor John Bridges The Curiosity Rover is about to embark on a new phase in its 8 year mission so far. It has reached the lower slopes of Mt. Sharp in Gale Crater where the Sulphate Unit appears.  This is taken to mark the transition from an ancient ‘warm and wet’ climate associated with clay deposits that we have studied, to a more desiccated, cold environment. We hope that studying this transition will help answer one of the great mysteries…

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Astrophotography showcase, with Andrew McCarthy – ONLINE

November 18, 2020 @ 7:30 pm
Andrew McCarthy image

We have all seen extraordinary photographs whether take by Hubble or by highly-skilled amateur astronomers. But the work of Andrew McCarthy combines great technical skill with a creativity that truly takes his photography to a level rarely seen elsewhere.   From his home in Sacramento, California, he produces unique and scientifically-truthful imagery that reveal so much about celestial objects. His photographs of the Moon’s terminator are astounding and what he has done with photographs of Saturn is eye-popping. Andrew’s high-resolution images…

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History of Astronomy – Jantar Mantar Jaipur – the biggest observatory ever built without a telescope, by Thomas Obitz – ONLINE

November 26, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Jantar Mantar Jaipur

Jantar Mantar Jaipur The Jantar Mantar was built between 1728 and 1734 by Maharajah Sawii Jai Singh II, at the centre of his new capital Jaipur, just next to the palace. It employed 20 permanent astronomers mapping the skies with the naked eye, supported by a collection of huge instruments. The large sundial, the Samrat Yantra, is more than 20m high and has a resolution of 2 seconds. Jai Singh was a ruler passionate about science, in particular mathematics and…

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December 2020

The Hubble Space Telescope: from dream to reality, by Prof Christopher Riley – ONLINE

December 7, 2020 @ 7:15 pm
Hubble Space Telescope

Hubble Space Telescope The Hubble Space Telescope is the most famous scientific instrument in history; a triumph of human ingenuity and ambition. Conceived in the 1950s, the dream of an orbiting space observatory was a vision far beyond our capabilities at the dawn of the space age. Only through a collision of emerging technology, the stubborn tenacity of a generation of astronomers and the political will to commit to it, would the telescope be accomplished. Science writer and historian Professor…

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Flamsteed Social Meeting – ONLINE

December 14, 2020 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Edmond Halley

Join us in our Zoom social evening in the Flamsteed virtual pub, ‘The Edmond Halley’! (Halley always was a more convivial sort of chap than John Flamsteed, to be honest.) To add to the atmosphere of the pub theme, please have a drink in hand during the event. This does not have to be an alcoholic drink! PLEASE CHECK YOUR EMAIL FOR A LINK TO JOIN THIS ONLINE EVENT. THERE IS NO NEED TO PRE-REGISTER BEFOREHAND.

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January 2021

The Dark Side of the Universe, by Prof Catherine Heymans – ONLINE

January 11 @ 7:15 pm
Prof Catherine Heymans

Prof Catherine Heymans, Image Credit @BBVA Foundation Just over 95% of our Universe comes in the shrouded form of dark energy and matter that we can neither explain nor directly detect. Together, these two dark entities play out an epic cosmic battle with the gravity of dark matter slowly pulling structures in the Universe together, and dark energy fuelling the Universe’s accelerated expansion, making it ever harder for those structures to grow.  Catherine Heymans has used the world’s best telescopes…

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