Think Space lectures

Gallery Closure

The Astronomy Centre microgallery exhibition Hubble Vision will close on the 13 May. This gallery will be closed until the new exhibition Marvellous Moons, opens on 25 May. Access to the Planetarium will be via an alternative route. Book Your Tickets Today

Essential information

Event type: 
Date and time: 
16th October, 16th November, 15th January, 5th February, 26th February, 26th March | 5.15-6.15pm
Adult £10.30 | Students (under 18) FREE
Royal Observatory, Peter Harrison Planetarium
Talks & courses
10% members discount

Listen to astrophysicists from across the UK talk about cutting edge research in space science

This series of talks provides a rare opportunity for students to hear scientists from around the UK talk about the latest research in the fields of astronomy, physics, planetary geology and space exploration. It includes the opportunity to ask these experts questions about their research and the wider field of astronomy.
These talks are aimed at students between the ages of 13-18 but there are limited spaces for the public too.
Age: 11+

Upcoming Lectures

5th February 2019

Protecting Earth from the ravages of the Sun

Dr Colin Forsyth (University College London)

Dr Colin Forsyth - Solar Activity - Think Space Lecture

The Sun bathes the Earth in light and also in a stream of charged particles that fly through the solar system at over 1.8 million mph. As these particles reach the Earth, they collide with Earth’s protective magnetic field, getting captured and trapped in the space around us. Dr Colin Forsyth helps us discover how this stream of particles changes, modifies the particles trapped on the magnetic field and results in the aurora, the Van Allen belts. Also, find out what we are doing to understand and prevent space weather from impacting on our lives.


26th February 2019

Observing the Cosmic Dawn with Radio Waves

Thomas Binnie (University College London)

Thomas Binnie - Early Galaxies - Think Space Lecture

The next generation of radio telescopes will begin in the coming decade with the Square Kilometre Array. The SKA aims to turn the deserts of Western Australia and South Africa into vast retinas with which we will observe the Cosmic Dawn - our Universe's first stars. With a huge gap between observations of quasars (highly energetic galactic centres) 9 billion years ago and the Cosmic Microwave Background (a snapshot of the Universe shortly after the Big Bang) over 13 billion years ago, the SKA is hoping to fill in the missing 4 billion years of the Universe's history when the earliest galaxies formed. Join PhD researcher Thomas Binnie of Imperial College London as he describes the incredible insights the SKA is expected to give us in the future!


26th March 2019

Jupiter's X-ray Aurorae

Affelia Wibisono (Mullard Space Science Laboratory - University College London)

Affelia Wibisono - Jupiter Aurorae - Think Space Lecture

The Earth is not the only planet to experience the northern and southern lights – in fact almost all of the planets in our Solar System have been observed to display these beautiful light shows. Jupiter’s aurorae crown the polar regions of the Gas Giant as permanent features due to the planet’s fast rotational period and interactions between its powerful magnetic field and the Galilean moons. Our planet’s light displays are small and weak compared to that of Jupiter’s which are large enough to house the entire Earth. What’s more, they have been detected to emit radiation from almost every part of the electromagnetic spectrum, including bursts of high energy X-Rays, but how and why Jupiter produces them is still a mystery. Join PhD researcher Affelia Wibisono as we discuss how learning more about aurorae will help researchers better understand how Jupiter’s magnetic field works, and learn how new discoveries found there can be applied to the Earth and perhaps even to extra-solar planets.