LJMU Hosts the First Annual Public Lecture in Astronomy
27 June 2011
The first lecture in the 'Public Lectures in Astronomy' series, organised by the Astrophysics Research Institute, and made possible thanks to the generous support of Paul and Leslie Murdin, was held at the Art and Design Academy, Johnson Foundation Auditorium last Thursday 23 June. The lecture "Hubble in Orbit: Two Decades and Counting" was given by Dr Bob Fosbury, former Director of the Space Telescope - European Coordinating Facility in Garching, Germany, to a large and enthusiastic audience.
Dr Fosbury described how during May 2009, the Hubble Space Telescope was subject to the most intense overhaul of its life with astronauts from the Space Shuttle Atlantis performing engineering feats far beyond what was originally envisaged for orbital servicing. Instruments were repaired and replaced during the most complex human process that had yet been performed in space. This made the telescope some hundred times more powerful than when it was launched in 1990. During the lecture, Dr Fosbury also looked back on the revolution in astrophysics that the Hubble has led and forward to what it is achieving now from its probings of the early history of the universe to the study of the atmospheres of extrasolar planets.
Mike Bode, LJMU Professor of Astrophysics and Director of the ARI said: "This was an inspirational talk on several levels - the science, the engineering, and perhaps above all, in terms of the human endeavour. It was a perfect start to the series, and planning for next year's event is already well in hand."
Top picture (left to right): Dr Andy Newsam (Director, National Schools' Observatory), Prof Mike Bode, Prof Peter Wheeler (Dean, Faculty of Science), Dr Bob Fosbury, Prof Paul Murdin (Lecture series benefactor, LJMU Visiting Professor and staff member, Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge), and Mr Aldham Robarts (University Benefactor)
View a video of the lecture at: http://youtu.be/IT9RTIzNUPM