Astronomy in the City is a series of (free) public events, each packed with astrophysics; stargazing, and tea and biscuits. Evenings begin with talks covering astronomical highlights and recent research, and a question-and-answer session (for everything from beginner's questions about the night sky to the latest work done here in Birmingham). Afterwards, if the weather cooperates, we have observing with telescopes on campus with members of the University's AstroSoc and the Birmingham Astronomy Society. A lucky few will be taken out to the University’s Observatory and our powerful telescope.*
We are celebrating the 100th anniversary of Einstein's general relativity, our best theory of gravity. General relativity is central to much of modern astrophysics (including research we do here), explaining everything from black holes to the expansion of the Universe itself. To celebrate, each Astronomy in the City will feature a themed talk, covering an aspect of general relativity, including the most violent explosions in the Universe, the mysterious dark energy and Nature's biggest black holes. We hope you are as excited as we are! This month,Graham Smith will talk about dark energy.
The first talk begins at 6:00 pm, in the Large Lecture Theatre of the Poynting Physics Building (R13 on the campus map) on the University's Edgbaston campus. For more details, including a preliminary program, please see the event website.
Astronomy in the City is aimed at secondary school age and above. Children must be in Year 7 or higher to attend the Observatory tours. All under-18s must be accompanied by a parent/guardian/teacher.
* You are not guaranteed a visit to the observatory. Due to limited space at the observatory we can only accommodate a total of 32 visitors to the observatory on the night. We will be running a lottery system to allocate the spaces on these tours. Anyone arriving before the talks begin is welcome to enter the lottery, however, we ask that if you have already attended an observatory tour you consider not entering your name to allow those who have not yet seen it a greater chance. Tours take ~1.5hrs and leave approximately every 30 minutes from 7:30pm. Entry to the lottery closes at 5:55pm, so please allow time to enter yourself upon arrival.
This is the final Astronomy in the City of the 2015/2016 season, we hope to return in the autumn.
When & Where
University of Birmingham Observatory
This account is run by members of the Astrophysics & Space Research Group of the University of Birmingham. We organise outreach and public engagement events, including our regular Astronomy in the City events during the winter months. We hope to share the wonder of astronomy excitement of the latest astrophysics research with everyone.