Thursday 15th December - Lecture

Opening a New Window on Einstein’s Universe
Prof Martin Hendry MBE Head of School, Professor of Gravitational Astrophysics and Cosmology, Chair, Institute of Physics, Scotland

On September 14th 2015 two giant laser interferometers known as LIGO, the most sensitive scientific instruments ever built, detected gravitational waves from the merger of a pair of massive black holes more than a billion light years from the Earth.   LIGO estimated that the peak gravitational wave power radiated during the final moments of this merger was more than ten times greater than the combined light power from all the stars and galaxies in the observable Universe.

Join Professor Martin Hendry as he recounts the inside story of this remarkable discovery - hailed by many as the scientific breakthrough of the century.  Learn about the amazing technology behind the LIGO detectors, which can measure the signatures of spacetime ripples less than a million millionth the width of a human hair, and explore the exciting future that lies ahead for gravitational-wave astronomy as we open an entirely new window on the Universe.

Martin Hendry is Professor of Gravitational Astrophysics and Cosmology at the University of Glasgow, where he is currently head of the School of Physics and Astronomy.  He is a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration - an international group of more than 1000 scientists who, with their colleagues in the Virgo Collaboration, in February 2016 reported the historic discovery of gravitational waves.

The lecture will be held in Room 6.41 Royal College, Strathclyde University.  Access is via the Montrose Street entrance, take the lift to Floor 3, exit the lift and take the 2nd set of steps on your left, go through the double glass doors.  Room 6.41 is on your left approximately half way along the corridor.

Public lectures for the 2016-17 session

The ASG's free public lectures for the 2016-17 session are as follows, the dates and titles are shown below.  They are held in Room 6.41 Royal College, Strathclyde University.  Access is via the Montrose Street entrance, take the lift to Level 3, exit the lift and take the 2nd set of steps on your left, go through the double glass doors.  Room 6.41 is on your left approximately half way along the corridor.  The lectures start at 7:30pm and are preceded from 6:45pm by either a presentation on the month's skywatching highlights or by a social event giving you the opportunity to meet other members.

The complete lecture programme for the 2016-17 session is as follows:

Thursday 15th September 2016 New Views of the Sun's Hot Corona
The Eric Tomney Lecture
Dr Iain G Hannah, Astronomy and Astrophysics Group, SUPA School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow
Thursday 20th October 2016 The Gaia Space Telescope: mapping the Milky Way in six dimensions
Dr Nick Rowell, Researcher and developer in the Wide Field Astronomy Unit, Royal Observatory Edinburgh
Thursday 17th November 2016 What has Space Ever Done for Us?
Mr Matjaz Vidmar, Postgraduate research student. Institute for the study of Science, Technology & Innovation. University of Edinburgh
Thursday 15th December 2016 Opening a New Window on Einstein’s Universe
Prof Martin Hendry MBE Head of School, Professor of Gravitational Astrophysics and Cosmology, Chair, Institute of Physics, Scotland
Thursday 19th January 2017 An Introduction to Pulsars - Throwing some light on Gravity and Relativity
The Tannahill Lecture
Prof. Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Visiting Professor, Astrophysics, University of Oxford
This lecture will be held in Lecture Theatre 325 in the John Anderson building here
Thursday 16th February 2017 Members' Night Talks
Thursday 16th March 2017 Asteroids and Space Debris, Threat or Opportunity?  Major Results from the Stardust Network
Prof Max Vasile, Prof of Space Systems Engineering, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Strathclyde University
Thursday 20th April 2017 Space Weather and the Polar Regions: Gateways to Geospace
The Leon Davies Lecture
Dr Andrew Kavanagh, Middle Atmosphere Vertical Coupling Analyst, British Antarctic Survey
Thursday 18th May 2017 Venus: Heavenly Body or a Vision of Hell
Dr Simon Cuthbert, Lecturer in Earth Science, University of the West of Scotland

Unless otherwise advised, lectures are held in Room 6.41 Royal College, Strathclyde University.  Access is via the Montrose Street entrance, take the lift to Floor 3, exit the lift and take the 2nd set of steps on your left, go through the double glass doors.  Room 6.41 is on your left approximately half way along the corridor.

Tuesday 7th February 2017 - Stars over the Botanics

Our 'Stars Over the Botanics' events are a chance for the public to come and talk to members of the society and get the chance to observe some of the wonders in the night sky.  We'll have a number of telescopes available for you to look through, all operated by our astronomers, professional and amateur, so you can be sure there will be something interesting to see.  Whether it's the Moon, the Planets, or some deep sky objects, if it's there, we'll find it for you.

On the off chance that the weather is cloudy (or even raining), we have a programme of lectures and talks available, all in the comfort and surroundings of the Botanic Gardens' Kibble Palace. Using planetarium software, we can take you on a tour of the universe, show you the moon in fantastic detail, or show you some of the many phenomena of the sky and sun, such as noctilucent clouds, sun dogs and parhelion.

So no matter whether it's clear or cloudy, it's always a good night. Arrive early to avoid disappointment as the evenings are always well attended, and are limited to the first 40 people to arrive.  Gate opens 7:15 pm for a 7:30 pm start.  The cost is £4 for adults and £2 for children.  A full wet weather programme will be available when observing is not possible.