Listen to astrophysicists from across the UK talk about cutting edge research in space science
Tuesday 20th March
Our Dynamic Sun
Dr Helen Mason
The Sun, our star, is approaching a quiet phase in its activity cycle. Several solar space observatories have been watching the Sun over the past couple of decades: SoHO, Stereo, Hinode and the Solar Dynamics Observatory. Join Dr Helen Mason as she reviews what we have learnt about our dynamic Sun, in particular what we know about sunspots, solar active regions, flares and Coronal Mass Ejections, and how the Sun affects the Earth's environment (space weather). The talk will also look towards future solar missions, ESA's Solar Orbiter and NASA's Parker's Solar Probe.
Tuesday 27th February
Cloudy with a chance of stars
Nimisha Kumari, Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge
The question of how stars form has intrigued humankind for centuries. While stars are formed inside galaxies, not all galaxies are forming stars, with bluer spiral and compact dwarf galaxies forming the bulk of new stars today. Join Nimisha Kumari from the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge as she discusses what stars are made from, how they form, and why they form where they do! Find out how astronomers across the world are using telescopes on the ground and in space to understand this mysterious but vital process in our Universe!
Tuesday 6th February
Galaxy Evolution: black hole growth and star formation
Joanna Ramasawmy, PhD researcher at the University of Hertfordshire
Galaxies – the collections of stars, gas and dust that are visible out to the very distant Universe – come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. But what makes them form the way they do and how do they change over time? And how can we study them when galaxy evolution lasts for billions of years? Join Joanna Ramasawmy, a PhD researcher at the University of Hertfordshire as she discusses how astronomers have attempted to study the complex processes that drive galaxy formation and evolution. Find out about how stars are formed, or are prevented from forming, and discover just how much of it may be down to one of the most mysterious objects in the Universe – a supermassive black hole.
Tuesday 16th January
Stars: from dusty births to explosive deaths
Prof Raman Prinja, astrophysicist at University College London
Our understanding of the evolution of stars represents one of the great scientific breakthroughs of the past 100 years, bridged by the work of several Nobel laureates. Raman Prinja, Professor of Astrophysics at University College London, will present an overview of our modern understanding of stellar evolution, from the dusty birth of stars, and their nuclear-burning lives, to ultimate demise including supernova detonations, and the bizarre end-states. The journey will also highlight the importance of outflows, the dispersal of life-giving chemical elements, and links to the recent detections of gravitational waves.
The talk will be illustrated with the latest superb imagery from powerful telescopes in space and on the ground.