Terraforming Mars

Thursday, September 20th, 2018

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On Friday 28th September we were treated to a fascinating talk about terraforming Mars by Simon Goodwin, a theoretical astrophysicist from Sheffield University. He explained why we need to consider inhabiting Mars primarily as a form of risk management. It would take only one hit from a large asteroid to devastate civilisation on Earth and […]

Gravitational Waves

Friday, August 10th, 2018

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One of our younger members, Natasha Carr, has recently completed a four month project to learn about gravitational waves. She delivered an excellent talk on this subject at the observatory on the 10th August 2018. So what are gravity waves and why do we care about them? When two massive objects – typically black holes […]

Picturing the Planets

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

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This was a specially commissioned talk by Susan Cartwright from Sheffield University.  A member had asked me for a talk on the history of astronomy.  Obviously a vast area and we had to narrow it down so we agreed on the solar system. The talk answered some questions for both beginners and seasoned members.  It […]

How does our Sun work and how does our Sun affect the Earth?

Friday, June 15th, 2018

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This was a talk given by Dr Ian Whittaker on Friday 15th June. He explained all about how our sun works from its centre through to the surface and beyond and its many magnetic fields. He talked about flares, sun spots and coronal mass ejections and in turn how these outbursts of charged particles travel […]

The Real Origins of Life

Friday, May 11th, 2018

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There was plenty of humour in the talk with props to illustrate his points. He showed us a diagram of the periodic table 17 minutes after the big bang!! It consisted of three elements – hydrogen, helium and lithium. 10 million years later the list had evolved and increased. The present day periodic table has […]

The Monster in the Crab

Friday, April 20th, 2018

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Gary Poyner gave a fascinating talk on a binary black hole system called OJ+287 which is visible in the constellation Cancer and is one of the largest black holes discovered so far. The larger black hole is accompanied by a smaller one which orbits so close to the primary that it goes through the main […]

What’s Nu in Neutrino Astronomy

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

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Once again Matthew Malek did not disappoint.  His talk was funny and lively as well as informative. He told us that the value of neutrinos as messengers from the cosmos was recognised by the Royal Swedish Academy of Science with the award of the 2002 Nobel Prize for Physics to Ray Davis and Masatoshi Koshiba […]

Galaxies In Many Dimensions

Saturday, January 27th, 2018

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On Friday 26th January we were treated to a fascinating talk by Professor Michael Merrifield from Nottingham University all about extending our understanding of galaxies. Whilst the title might sound like Mike would be delving into the realms of science fiction, the reality was far from it. Indeed, the lecture was all about looking at […]

The Physics of Santa Claus

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

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On the 8th December we welcomed Susan Cartwright from Sheffield University to give us a talk on THE PHYSICS OF SANTA CLAUS. Firstly she gave us a job description of Santa. He has to: Deliver toys to every Christian household on the planet by entering the property via roof, wall or chimney, put presents under […]

The Square Kilometre Array

Friday, July 21st, 2017

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On Friday 21st July we had a real treat. It was one of those talks that just kept making me think ’Wow, this is amazing’. Dr Hayden Rampadarath came to the observatory to tell us all about the Square Kilometre Array project. SKA refers to a whole bunch of radio telescopes that will be built in […]