Astro-stuff at the Wrexham Science Festival

Today saw the start of the Wrexham Science Festival, which includes a long program of talks and activities (plus an associated Schools Program) that will be going until the 10th of July. Yes. That date again… when Rosetta passes by the asteroid Lutetia and I turn 29…

Some of the talks have obvious astrophysics interest and they include:

Monday 5th July

A talk on Sir Edward Appleton, who discovered the Ionosphere, the ionised layer of the atmosphere, and who helped the setting up of Jodrell Bank and Harwell.

Tuesday 6th July

Invent a new way to use light – attendees get a quick lesson on laser photonics and are then pointed towards a series of bits and pieces they can use to invent new applications.

Why does E=MC^2 – Professor Jeff Forshaw, long time collaborator of Professor Brian Cox, discusses the meaning behind the terms in Einstein’s famous equation and why the world works as it does.

Wednesday 7th July

Family Science Show – a demonstration of the scientific method.

How we convert the Sun’s energy into electricity – self explanatory, this one.

What’s going on at CERN – a look at the different experiments latched onto the mainframe of the Large Hadron Collider and what they’re after.

Thursday 8th July

Weathering Solar Storms – Dr Jim Wild (who has spoken at the Eddington Society, here in Kendal, before) discusses the possible effects of space weather on human activities and what we can do to mitigate them.

From enormous telescopes to everyday life – David Walker, of the Optical Sciences Laboratory at UCL details some of the large telescope building facilities he oversees and also mentions the ‘real world’ technologies that have been derived from them, as well as other benefits expected from the world of astronomy.

Friday 9th July

Is the Earth unique – what makes the Earth habitable and with all the exoplanets being seen out there, how likely is it that we’ll find another one.

Saturday 10th July

Naming Pluto – science historian Allen Chapman narrates a showing of the documentary charting the naming of Pluto eighty years ago.


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