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Discovering new planets

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Berrill Lecture Theatre

The Open University

Walton Hall

Milton Keynes

MK7 6AA

United Kingdom

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Your invitation to a joint inaugural lecture event by Professor David Rothery and Professor Carole Haswell

As The Open University celebrates its 50th anniversary, it will host a joint inaugural lecture event on the theme of

Discovering new planets

1. The puzzle of planet Mercury – why go there?
David Rothery, Professor of Planetary Geosciences

Professor Rothery will present the dramatic and perplexing history of Mercury – the planet three times closer to the Sun than the Earth, rich in volatile elements.

Summary:

Mercury is the least-visited of all the rocky planets in our Solar System. The third ever spacecraft to go there is the joint European-Japanese mission BepiColombo, which launched in October 2018. BepiColumbo is on a trajectory that will get it to Mercury’s orbit in December 2025. In this lecture, Professor David Rothery will discuss and illustrate the dramatic and perplexing history of Mercury – a planet three times closer to the Sun than the Earth, with a hot, rocky crust, rich in volatile elements.

Profile:

In November 2013 David Rothery became Professor of Planetary Geosciences at The Open University, having previously carried out roles such as Senior Lecturer, Director of Teaching and Geosciences Programme Director. In May 2006 Professor Rothery was appointed UK Lead Scientist on MIXS (Mercury Imaging X-ray Spectrometer) – the only UK Principal Investigator instrument on BepiColombo, the European Space Agency mission to Mercury. His research interests centre on the study of volcanic activity by means of remote sensing, and general volcanology and geoscience on other planets.

2. Exoplanet discoveries: OUr place in the Star Trek Universe
Carole Haswell, Professor of Astrophysics

Professor Haswell will explore how exoplanets offer special opportunities to place planet Earth in context.

Summary:

At the time of The Open University’s inception, it was possible that the Solar System hosted the only planets in our Galaxy. We now know our Galaxy contains more planets than stars – resembling the Star Trek Universe. In this lecture, Professor Carole Haswell will discuss The Open University’s work on some of the most interesting and important of these exoplanets, including Barnard’s Star b and Proxima b, which orbit the Sun’s nearest neighbours. In The Open University’s 50th year we will be announcing the discovery of some planets intellectually owned by the OU, and Professor Haswell will be introducing and explaining why these planets offer special opportunities to place planet Earth in context.

Profile

Professor of Astrophysics, Carole Haswell, is Head of Astronomy at The Open University. Professor Haswell’s main research interests are short period exoplanets – particularly transiting systems and ultra-short-period planets – as these planets offer a unique opportunity to empirically determine chemical composition and thus place our own Solar System in context. Her accolades include 2010 Royal Astronomical Society Group Achievement Award, as a core and pioneering member of the SuperWASP team and being named one of 21 Women selected by the Royal Astronomical Society to appear in a portrait gallery celebrating a century of female fellows.

Event programme:

17:15 Tea/coffee on arrival

18:00 -19:30 Inaugural lectures: Discovering new planets

19:30 -20:00 Q&A

20:00 - 21.00 Reception

Register on this page to attend the lecture in person.

You can also watch it online (link will be available before the lecture) or watch via Facebook and post your questions during the Talk. Please do take the opportunity to have your questions answered by our speakers LIVE during the event by emailing Comms-Inaugural-Lectures@open.ac.uk;

We very much hope you will be able to attend what promises to be an inspiring event and have your say.

View other OU 50th anniversary inaugural lectures at: http://www.open.ac.uk/research/inaugural-lectures

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FAQs

Are there ID requirements or an age limit to enter the event? No, there are none.

Do I have to be a student at the OU to attend? No, this event is open to the public.

I cannot attend on the day, will the event be recorded? Yes, a recording will be made available post event.

What are my transport/parking options getting to the event? Ample parking is available outside the venue. Please use East Parking. If you have any special requirements please contact the events organiser. Map of the OU campus.

Where can I contact the organiser with questions? Email: Comms-Inaugural-Lectures@open.ac.uk;

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event? No. Please go to the registration desk on arrival, your name will be on the list.

The name on the registration/ticket doesn't match the attendee. Is that okay? Please let the organisers know in advance of any name change.

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Date and Time

Location

Berrill Lecture Theatre

The Open University

Walton Hall

Milton Keynes

MK7 6AA

United Kingdom

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