Archive | March 2009

Astrosoc win best event award!

The University of Birmingham Astronomical Society won the best event at the University of Birmingham Guild Awards 2009. Not a bad feat really. We won for our “Space Day” event back in October which saw us turn the Physics department into an astronomy play ground for the day. Since I was one of the principle organisers I’m clearly rather happy that we won biggrin.gif. It was a shame that due to it being a rather important week of deadlines that no one from the astrosoc committee could go along and pick up the trophy – we will have to over Easter and get a picture taken with it.

David Levy’s Visit

The other week David Levy came over to the UK to give a few talks.. including a visit to UoB AS… his write up of his visit can be found here – it portrays Birmingham in a good light, which is always good (we obviously only showed him the nice bits!)

National Science and Engineering Week Events

We have a couple of upcoming events here at the University of Birmingham that you might be interested in. Both events are FREE, suitable for all ages and all are welcome.
Monday 9th March – “Poetry of the Night: A marvellous union between science and literature” by David H. Levy
On October 2, 1605, Londoners were treated to an almost total eclipse of
the Sun at around the same time that Shakespeare’s King Lear was exploring
humanity’s relation to the cosmos. “These Late Eclipses in the Sun and
Moon” (a passage from the play) begins a sophisticated discussion of that
relation, based on real events in the night sky. This is just one example
of the richness of astronomical allusions in English Literature that will
be explored in this presentation.
David H. Levy is a world famous observational astronomer, having
discovered 22 comets. He has written a number of books and you might well
know the name from comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 that crashed into Jupiter in
Saturday March 14th – “Pi Day: the Mathematics of the Universe”
Space, the Final Frontier as many would say, is a spectacular place. The
Universe is teeming with objects so awe inspiring in nature that perhaps
one can not help but feel a little dwarfed by them. Yet this does not
daunt many of those who study the Universe, trying to understand its many
facets: from where it came from, to how it will die and everything in
between. One of the most eminent figures from the twentieth century in
this quest was Albert Einstein, who’s work on gravity laid the foundations
for much of what would follow in the following decades and beyond. This
event will feature many activities hands on activities such as rocket
launching, Mars Rover building and how to build your own sextant. There
will be a number of mathematics sessions, including code breaking and the
shape of the Universe. The will be a chance to explore the night sky in a
mobile planetarium. There are also a number of talks planned for the day.
In the morning we will explore the Universe with Samuel George talking
about the hunt for extraterrestrial life in “Is Anybody Out There?” and
Ria Johnson looking at galaxies, far, far away in “How to build a
Universe”. In the afternoon we will explore the mathematics of the
Universe with Dr Chris Sangwin who will be giving the afternoon talk on
Pi, in “How Round is your Circle?”. There will be a raffle and a number of
exhibitions stands which will includes local societies and retail stalls
giving you the opportunity to follow-up your interest.
More info:

Astrosoc Dry Ice Fun

Last Saturday we ended up with quite a bit of dry ice left over after a session of comet making at the Thinktank… so what does a bunch of astronomers do with it…
Drink it…
Make basic rockets…
Clean the place…
… and generally make a mess…
Oh and here are a couple of movies of the above antics…