23 Feb Meet The Expert – Astronomy Evenings – Mar.-Apr.
From March to April, speakers specialised in astronomy will take you on a journey around the stars.
This series of talks is free, no booking required, but donations to Aberdeen Science Centre will be gratefully accepted on the night.
10 March – 10 ways to do something in astronomy – what suits you? (19h-20h30)
Astronomy doesn’t just mean buying an expensive telescope and standing out in the cold! Let’s talk about just stargazing, binoculars, photography, the Internet… ideas for what you might like to do, starting with things you already have at home. This talk is for people who would like to get into astronomy, but are not sure where to start.
Christine Macmillan has experience with giving shows in planetariums, is a member of the Aberdeen Astronomical Society and an active volunteer in Galaxy Zoo citizen science where she investigates images of distant galaxies.
31 March – Could life be spread between planets by meteorites? (18h15-19h45)
Prof John Parnell
Since ancient times, there has been conjecture that life could travel between planets by hitching a ride on meteorites. The journey is full of hazards, but not impossible. We will explore the difficulties involved in the spread of life in this way, and also how evidence for life elsewhere could be sought in the meteorite record.
John Parnell is a Professor of Geology at the University of Aberdeen, with over 30 years of research experience on geological organic matter, covering topics from oil generation to the search for life on Mars.
14 April – The Secret Lives of Galaxies (19h-20h30)
Dr Anne-Marie Weijmans
Galaxies come in all different sizes, shapes and colours. Some have large discs and beautiful spiral arm patterns, like our own Milky Way. Others look more boring, like the large elliptical galaxies, which seem to be without any structure. But what causes this large variety in galaxies? And how do galaxies change their appearances over time? These are the questions that we are going to address tonight. We will discuss what galaxies are and what they consist of, look into how galaxies form and evolve, and even study their invisible dark matter haloes. I will also talk about a new galaxy survey called MaNGA (Mapping Nearby Galaxies at Apache Point Observatory), which uses integral-field spectroscopy and a small telescope in New Mexico to learn more about the secret lives of galaxies.
Dr Anne-Marie Weijmans is a lecturer and Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of St Andrews. For her research, she studies the structure and evolution of galaxies, and she is the lead observer for the MaNGA galaxies survey.