With asteroids skimming the surface of our atmosphere and fiery meteors burning up over the Ural Mountains, there was a pertinent backdrop to a public lecture given at St Peter’s School in York yesterday.
Dr Tim O’Brien, Associate Director at Jodrell Bank Observatory, delivered a lecture entitled Exploring the Universe with Large Telescopes. His talk described how astronomers are using giant telescopes around the world and in space to see further into the Universe than ever before.
With these telescopes we are able to see the Universe as it was not long after the Big Bang and to study exotic phenomena such as black holes and dark matter. Soon, it is predicted we may even be able to see evidence of life on other planets.
The talk included the science and technology of telescopes such as the Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank and the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile, as well as looking forward to the James Webb Space Telescope and the Square Kilometre Array.
The St Peter’s Public Lecture series has made a strong start in 2013; other events this year have included an evening of Stargazing with The Sky at Night’s Chris Lintott, an audience with England rugby star and charity campaigner Ben Cohen, and a news quiz chaired by BBC Look North’s Harry Gration. Each has been free to attend and enjoyed by hundreds of York residents.