The night sky offers an ever-changing parade of planets, stars and galaxies to observe. With the aid of telescopes, we can see fantastic views of astronomical objects that would be unseen by the naked eye. The Blackett Society will be taking an end of term trip to the Institute of Astronomy (IoA), joining the Institute’s public open evening.
After a half-hour talk by Prof Eric Ford (details below), IoA in collaboration with the Cambridge Astronomical Association will provide the chance to look through multiple telescopes, complete with expert commentary (details below)! As an added bonus, it’s a new moon that night, which is ideal for telescope viewing.
Eric Ford will be speaking on “NASA’s Kepler Mission & the Search for Earth-like Planets”. Prof Ford is visiting from the the Pennsylvania State University and is a collaborator with the Kepler Mission. The mission has found over 1,000 confirmed exoplanets so far, including several intriguing candidates that lie within the so-called ‘habitable zone’, and are near-earth sized.
According to information provided by IoA, the talk will be followed by an opportunity to observe if (and only if…) the weather is clear. The Cambridge Astronomical Association (CAA) will provide an outdoors floorshow relaying live images from three modern telescopes, with commentary. The IoA’s historical Northumberland and Thorrowgood telescopes will also be open for observing, along with the new 16-inch telescope in its own dome. If we’re unlucky and it’s cloudy, IoA will be serving tea after the talk as compensation, and the CAA will provide further astro-information in the lecture theatre for those who want to stay on.
The trip is free, and open to all.
To contact us, please e-mail science AT magd.cam.ac.uk