Saturday 5th March 2022 18:00 GMT – Free Zoom Webinar: New Views of William Herschel (1738 – 1822)

In Memory of Michael Hoskin (1930-2021)

Professor Woodruff T Sullivan (University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.)
Sarah Waltz (University of the Pacific, Stockton, Cal.)
John Mulligan (Rice University, Houston, Tex.)
David Koerner (Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Ariz.)
Clifford Cunningham (University of Southern Queensland, Austin, Tex.)
Stephen Case (Olivet Nazarene University, Kankakee, Ill.)

On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of William Herschel’s death, “New Views of William Herschel (1738-1822)” will be presented as a Zoom session (“Webinar”) on Saturday 5 March 2022 at 1300 ET (US & Canada). The session is dedicated to the memory of the preeminent Herschel scholar Michael Hoskin(1930-2021), and sponsored by the Historical Astronomy Division of the American Astronomical Society. There are six talks over a period of three hours, including a 15-minute break.

“New Views” refers largely to Herschel’s non-astronomical life, in particular musical and other aspects of his life in Hanover, Yorkshire, and Bath before he became an astronomer following his discovery of Uranus in 1781 at age 42. Two of the presentations include many selections from his musical compositions, and a third looks at how Herschel’s fame and discoveries led to his inclusion in poetry. Two others look at his close research connections with his sister Caroline and son John.

All are invited to attend, participate via “Zoom Chat”, and ask questions of speakers. The full program (including abstracts) is available as a downloadable PDF here.


Start time is Saturday 5 March 2022 at 1300 ET (US & Canada) = 1800 GMT. If you are unable to attend the Webinar, note that the entire Session has been recorded and is available here.

Friday 4th February 2022 BRLSI Zoom lecture projected at the BRLSI and delivered from California

A Tour of the Dynamic Universe

Dr Jeffrey Scargle
NASA Ames Research Center, retired.

Image credit: (c) National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Casual observation of the night sky leads one to view the Universe as well-ordered and stable, changing only in minor ways and regularly, smoothly and predictably at that. Even intensive study with telescopes — starting with Galileo, and including William Herschel, Edwin Hubble and many others — only reinforced this vision of a Clockwork Universe. Space-based missions (including the Herschel and Hubble Observatories, named after the mentioned pioneers) opening up new wavelengths, as well as advances in technology enabling better ways of discovery, have led to a quite opposite view: the Dynamic Universe. This talk is essentially a guided tour of some remarkable events in this ever-changing, highly active universe. We start nearby with the Earth and our Sun, transit the Solar System, pass by exploding stars, active galaxies, gamma-ray bursts, ending with perhaps the most dramatic events of all: merging black holes, accessible through a completely new mode of observation in the form of gravitational radiation, “ripples in space-time.”

Jeff Scargle graduated from Pomona College and gained a PhD from the California Institute of Technology. Subsequently he was at the
University of California at Santa Cruz, Lick Observatory and then became a research astrophysicist in the Astrobiology and Space Science Division, NASA Ames Research Center.

This talk is being given remotely from California and can be attended either remotely on Zoom or at the BRLSI where it will projected. 

The video recording of this lecture is now freely available on the Virtual BRLSI YouTube channel. Please go the following link to view it.

https://youtu.be/_9eJUX48Jlg.