19 May 2009 13:50:00.000
Members of the public who want to participate in the International Year of Astronomy 2009 are being offered a unique opportunity to hear professional astronomers discuss what we know about the Universe — from the search for other earths, to the evolution of distant galaxies and the origins of our Universe.
Organised by the Department of Physics and Astronomy at The University of Nottingham the public are invited to attend a series of public lectures taking place once a month for the rest of the year. In the autumn when the sun sets earlier, the public will also be able to view the moon and Jupiter and other objects in the night sky with the small telescopes and binoculars located on campus.
The first lecture, between 6pm and 7pm on Wednesday May 20 2009, will invite the audience to take a journey through space — speeding through the Universe at the “power of ten”. The journey will encompasses our sun and furthermost galaxies to show how minuscule we are in terms of our size, but also how broad our knowledge is in terms of its expanse.
Click here for full story
Discussing the “Scales of the Universe” will be Dr Sebastien Foucaud. Dr Foucaud will take this opportunity to explain how throughout time, since the ancient Greeks to the era of space conquests, astronomers have been measuring distances. He will also explain how we think the Universe was formed 13 billion years ago as we travel through time from its earliest stages to present times.
The talks, presented by members of the Astronomy Department, will feature a lecture by a different scientist from The University of Nottingham each month. The aim is to encourage teenage students, interested adults, university students, and the public at large to learn more about space and understand how much we know about the universe.
Dr Amanda Bauer, who has organised the lectures, said: “These lectures provide an excellent and unique opportunity for the public to hear professional astronomers describe exciting new discoveries, reveal some lingering mysteries, and open our eyes to the vast universe that surrounds us all.”
A special website — http://nottsiya2009.pbworks.com/ — has been developed for the public to keep track of University of Nottingham events linked to the International Year of Astronomy 2009 — http://www.astronomy2009.co.uk/
The first lecture on May 20 2009 takes place between 6pm and 7pm in Lecture Theatre B1 of the Maths and Physics Building. All are welcome to attend.
— Ends —
Notes to editors
: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.
More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the UK by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the UK Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.
The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's “only truly global university”, it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy), and was named ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.
Nottingham was designated as a Science City in 2005 in recognition of its rich scientific heritage, industrial base and role as a leading research centre. Nottingham has since embarked on a wide range of business, property, knowledge transfer and educational initiatives (www.science-city.co.uk) in order to build on its growing reputation as an international centre of scientific excellence. The University of Nottingham is a partner in Nottingham: the Science City.