Our regular monthly meeting will be preceded by the Western Region AGM and the election of the Region's Committee for 2017. This should take approx. 30 minutes (10:00 - 10:30 - see the Notice of the AGM and the Agenda in the Information Pack pdf) and will be followed by a talk by Dr Robert Fosbury entitled "From Far to Near: imaging the history of the universe, and the search for life on other planets.
Dr Fosbury points out that light from the Moon travels to us in one and a quarter seconds. The image on the left of the event image is a composite of over 3000 exposures of a small patch of sky with two of the cameras carried on the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and obtained over a period of ten years. The total exposure time of over two million seconds results in an image which shows galaxies in the very young universe that emitted the light we detect now more than thirteen billion years ago.
Hubble is thus a ‘time machine’ that allows us to see back to a time when the universe was only about 450 million years old with most of the chemical elements that constitute our Earth yet to be forged in future generations of stars.
In this talk, Dr Fosbury will describe some of the tools and procedures we use to obtain the images of these extremely faint and distant objects with cameras on both space- and ground-based telescopes. These have revolutionised our view of the evolution of the universe from the time of the Big Bang nearly fourteen billion years ago. He will conclude with a discussion of how we are using the same telescopes to prepare for the search for life on earth-like planets orbiting other stars in our own galaxy, the Milky Way. The relevance of the lunar eclipse seen at the top right of the event image with then become apparent!
£2 members' donation on the day