Think Space lectures

Essential information

Event type: 
Date and time: 
16th January, 6th February, 27th February, 20th March | 5.15-6.15pm
Adult £10.00 | Concessions £8.50 | Child £7.00 | 10% Member discount
Royal Observatory, Peter Harrison Planetarium
Talks & courses

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+


Tuesday 20th March

Our Dynamic Sun

Dr Helen Mason

NASA/Goddard Space Flight CenterThe 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

Image of the Orion Nebula

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

Image of galaxy

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

Image of Crab Nebula (supernova remnant)

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.