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Prof. Annette Ferguson of University of Edinburgh and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh will present a lecture titled "Ghosts and Cannibals: Insight into the Tumultuous Lives of Large Galaxies"
It is commonly thought that large galaxies, like our Milky Way, have interacted with hundreds of smaller dwarf galaxy companions throughout their lifetimes. These interactions not only destroy the smaller galaxies through gravitational shredding but they can profoundly shape the properties and evolution of the larger system. I will present recent examples of these cannibalistic events that have been observed in our own Milky Way and in the nearby Universe, and discuss what we can learn about them from studying the ghostly remnants of the now-devoured dwarfs.
Annette Ferguson is Professor of Observational Astrophysics at the University of Edinburgh and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Originally from Dumbarton, her family emigrated to Canada when she was a teenager. She conducted her undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto and went on to do PhD research at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Following postdoctoral fellowships in Cambridge, Groningen and Munich, she joined the academic staff at the University of Edinburgh in 2005. She specialises in understanding the histories of nearby galaxies through examining the fossil record contained in their ancient stars, and is avid user of some of the world’s most advanced telescopes.
The lecture will start at 1930 and will be viewable on the ASG's YouTube channel
Dr Alec McKinnon is offering a couple of Astronomy courses through Strathclyde University’s Centre for Lifelong learning. It's hoped these would be interesting to ASG members and the public. In the current circumstances they’ll be run online, using Zoom.
There are two courses, both six weeks starting 21 April:
Life in the Cosmos, 10.00 – 11.30
For centuries people have wondered if there might be living creatures in the Universe beyond Earth. In this class we first ask, “what do we mean by ‘life’ anyway?” then look at the progress astronomers have made towards answering this question: the possibilities for life elsewhere in the solar system; the existence and nature of planets around other stars; the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). We conclude by looking at future prospects for finding life elsewhere.
Astronomy as the skies get light, 18.00 – 19.30
As spring wears on, the nights in Scotland shorten very quickly but the sky does not lose its interest. After reviewing the regular changes in the sky we take a look at: the bright constellations of spring and summer; The Milky Way; the Sun and the Moon; Northern lights and noctilucent clouds; meteors. You will hear about the natures of the objects being discussed and learn how to see them for yourself.
Both classes are lecture style with plenty time for discussion and questions. They’re most suitable for people with little to no previous knowledge. There’s a fee: £63 in both cases. Enrol at https://mycll.strath.ac.uk/MyCLL/Classes?cid=148&cname=Astronomy
HAPP will be holding a special online lecture by Zoom on "Scientific Thinking Across the Centuries and the Foundations of Physics" by Professor Carlo Rovelli (Aix-Marseille University) on Friday 4th June from 5.00-6.30 pm BST.
All the details and the weblink to register for the lecture are given on the webpage below:
St Cross Centre for the History & Philosophy of Physics
The Society has setup a YouTube channel to allow members and the public watch again those recent lectures that we have recorded from Zoom. This collection will grow over time and it is hoped that once we can resume lectures in person at University of Strathclyde we will still be able to record and share lectures on YouTube.
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