Friday 4th September 2020 at 7.30 pm on Zoom, Dr Dirk Froebrich, The HOYS-CAPS Project – Hunting Outbursting Young Stars

The talk will introduce the Hunting Outbursting Young Stars (HOYS) citizen science project. They work with amateur astronomers to study the formation of stars and planets. We will give a brief overview on how stars and planets are forming and discuss how the project relies almost exclusively on data taken by Amateur Astronomers. The second half of the talk will be used to show some of the interesting results they have obtained. The lecturer will also briefly explain how people can participate in the data collection and data analysis.

Dr Dirk Froebrich is a Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Astrophysics and Planetary Science, School of Physical Sciences, University of Kent

Tickets are available from Eventbrite at the usual prices. Please go the following link to book.

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 does this happen and what physical processes are responsible for these beautiful colours, gradations and patterns? The talk explains some of this and is illustrated with spectacular images of the sky from space and from above the European observatories in the Chilean Atacama desert.

Robert (Bob) Fosbury is currently an emeritus astronomer at the European Southern Observatory and an honorary professor at the Institute of Ophthalmology at UCL.

Tickets are not yet available for this lecture, but there will be a link to book tickets here as soon as arrangements are confirmed.

Friday 2nd October 2020 at 7.30 pm on Zoom, John I. Davies, Joint BIS/HS lecture – First Steps to Interstellar Probes- i4is Project Glowworm

The lecture will explain i4is Project Glowworm – a near term low earth orbit demonstration of laser push technology. This is a first step to interstellar probes using that technology. The lecture will explain the motivation for this project, set out the history of, and physical basis for, laser propulsion, summarise the alternative means of interstellar propulsion, outline the planning for the probe and mention some other i4is work including Project Lyra, planning probes to reach interstellar objects such as 1I/’Oumuamua.

The lecture will be given by John I. Davies of the Initiative & Institute for Interstellar Studies (i4is).

Tickets are available from Eventbrite at the usual prices. Please go the following link to book.

Our lecture programme has been suspended from April 2020 onwards

Our lecture programme was suspended from the beginning of April 2020 onwards because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore the planned lecture by Michael Perryman on Friday 3rd April 2020 did not take place. The title was “Hipparcos and Gaia – Space Astrometry: unravelling the formation and evolution of our galaxy”. Also cancelled for now is our May lecture which was to have been “How the Sun Paints the Sky” by Dr Robert Fosbury.

The programme will be resumed in September 2020 with lectures streamed live over Zoom complete with Q & A sessions. Tickets will be available from Eventbrite at the same price as for physical lectures (£2 for members/students, £5 for others). Please check this Events page for further details and links to purchase tickets.