Entries by Tony Symes

Friday 1st October 2021 at 7.30 pm on Zoom and at the BRLSI

Life on Mars? A Short History of 19th-Century Exploration of the Red Planet

Dr Joshua NallCurator of Modern Sciences at the University of Cambridge’s Whipple Museum of the History of Science Image: (c) Whipple Museum, University of Cambridge (Wh. 6211) Humans have long been intrigued by the possibility that Mars might harbour life. Planetary scientists nowadays continue to hunt for evidence of it, and space technologists even advocate […]

Friday 5th November 2021 Projected to a live audience in the BRLSI and remotely on Zoom

Mars: Ancient rivers, lakes and oceans. But where is the water now?

Michael CarrLeader of the Imaging Team for NASA on the Viking Orbiter and subsequent missions. Image credit: (c) NASA The history of water on Mars has huge implications for the possibility of life on Mars and the future of life on Earth. This is the first of two lectures on this subject, with the second […]

Friday 7th May 2021 at 7.30 pm on Zoom

The Search for Advanced Extraterrestrial Civilisations via Anomalies in Astronomical Survey Data

Prof. Michael (Mike) GarrettUniversity of ManchesterJodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics Image credit: NASA Energy-intensive civilisations are likely to have a significant impact on both their local and extended environments – we already see evidence for this here on Earth. Advanced technical civilisations may reveal themselves to other civilisations by introducing anomalous signals into astronomical data. […]

Friday 9th April 2021 at 7.30pm on Zoom,

Hipparcos and Gaia: space astrometry — unravelling the formation and evolution of our Galaxy

Dr Michael Perryman Image credit: ESA–D. Ducros, 2013 The Hipparcos satellite project of the European Space Agency was dedicated to measuring the accurate positions of more than 100,000 stars. Doing so from space represented a fundamentally new discipline in space science. With the publication of the scientific results from the Hipparcos mission in 1997, ESA […]

Friday 5th March at 7.30 pm on Zoom

NASA’s Juno Mission to Jupiter

Dr. Fran BagenalLaboratory for Atmospheric and Space PhysicsUniversity of Colorado, Boulder Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech Juno’s principal goal is to understand the origin and evolution of Jupiter. Underneath its dense cloud cover, Jupiter safeguards secrets to the fundamental processes and conditions that governed our solar system during its formation. As our primary example of a giant […]

Friday 5th February 2021 at 7.30 pm on Zoom,

The Looking Glass Universe – From Baryogenesis to Biogenesis

Is there a connection between the excess of matter over antimatter and handedness in biology?

Roger Blandford (KIPAC, Stanford University) Image credit: ESO/APEX & MSX/IPAC/NASA and A.Symes The laws of physics were long thought to be unchanged when viewed in a mirror.We have known for over sixty years that they are not.As Sakharov first explained, this asymmetry, in action during the first moments of the universe, may account for the […]

Wednesday 18th November at 7.00 pm on MS Teams, Caroline Herschel Prize Lecture, Supermassive Black Holes – the Ultimate Galaxy Killers?

Image credit: ESO/WFI (Optical); MPIfR/ESO/APEX/A.Weiss et al. (Submillimetre); NASA/CXC/CfA/R.Kraft et al. (X-ray) The talk is being run by the University of Bath in conjunction with the Herschel Society and the Royal Astronomical Society. There are over one billion galaxies in the Universe, each home to over a billion stars and one central supermassive black hole […]

Friday 6th November 2020 at 7.30 pm on Zoom, Dr Bob Fosbury, How the Sun Paints the Sky

Unless they are astronauts, humans must view the Universe through the window of the Earth’s atmosphere. Although a clear sky is relatively transparent to visible light, bright astronomical objects — most noticeably the Sun — can paint the entire sky with luminosity, colour and shadow to be captured by both landscape painters and photographers. How […]