Astronomy and space this April

This video from England is called NASTRO Northumberland Astronomical Society.

From the Royal Astronomical Society in Britain:

Space and astronomy digest: April 2013

27 March 2013

This release summarises some of the astronomy and space events taking place during April, particularly those with UK involvement. It is not intended to be comprehensive and dates and times may be subject to change.

4 April: Rutherford’s Geophysicists: University of Cambridge

In a special conference at the University of Cambridge, Earth scientists will gather to discuss the work and legacy of Lord Patrick Blackett and Professor Sir Edward Bullard, who both worked with pioneering physicist Lord Ernest Rutherford before pursuing their scientific careers. Both scientists went on to make leading contributions to geophysics.

Delegates at the meeting will consider Blackett’s and Bullard’s work and the problems connected with it that remain unsolved today, with topics ranging from cosmic ray particles to the generation of the Earth’s magnetic field.

The conference is supported by the Royal Astronomical Society, the British Geophysical Association and the History of Physics Group of the Institute of Physics.

Rutherford’s Geophysicists: A Celebration of the work of Lord Blackett PRS and Professor Sir Edward Bullard FRS on the Physics of the Earth:

1 p.m. on 9 April: RAS Public Lecture: Planetary Magnetic Fields: Fyvie Hall, London

The latest RAS Public Lecture will see Richard Holme, Professor of Geophysics at the University of Liverpool discuss the present and past magnetic fields of the different planets in the Solar System. In his talk he will outline the results from space probes as well as the rocks on Earth that give an insight into our own geological history.

RAS public lectures

Media contact
Robert Massey
(details above)

12 April: High Time Resolution Optical Astrophysics: Geological Society, Burlington House, London

On 12 April the Geological Society will host a special meeting, where astronomers will consider the latest work on high speed imaging and spectroscopy, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the ULTRACAM system installed on the 3.6-m optical telescope in La Silla, Chile.

Delegates will discuss high time resolution (i.e. on timescales of less than 1 second) observations of compact remnants of stars, such as black holes, neutron stars and white dwarfs as well as brown dwarfs (objects considered to be intermediate between the heaviest planets and the lightest stars), planets in orbit around other stars and minor planets in our own Solar System.

Bona fide members of the media who wish to attend this meeting should present their credentials at the registration desk for free admission.

High Time Resolution Optical Astrophysics:

Media contact
Robert Massey
(details above)

12 April: Physics of Flares in the Lower Solar Atmosphere, RAS, Burlington House, London

Solar flares are dramatic events that release large amounts of energy from the Sun. The solar photosphere (which emits 99% of the Sun’s visible light) and the chromosphere above it contain the bulk of the energy that goes into flares and so studying this region of the Sun is an effective way for scientists to characterise these phenomena.

Space- and ground-based observatories have supplied solar physicists with an enormous dataset, including images that show flares and other activity in unprecedented detail.

In a specialist conference at the Royal Astronomical Society, astronomers, space scientists and solar physicists will come together to focus on how the lower solar atmosphere responds during flares, as well as discussing similar events that take place on other stars. The delegates will consider the latest observations and theoretical models in an effort to better understand this complex component of the Sun.

Bona fide members of the media who wish to attend this meeting should present their credentials at the registration desk for free admission.

Physics of Flares in the Lower Solar Atmosphere:

Media contact
Robert Massey
(details above)

16 April: Maiden flight of Antares rocket

The US-based Orbital Sciences Corporation is scheduled to launch its Antares rocket on or after 16 April from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island, Virginia in the United States. The launch is part of the Orbital Sciences contribution to the NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) programme to engage the private sector in the supply of cargo and transportation of crew to the International Space Station. This launch should see the Antares rocket carry a dummy payload designed to simulate the mass of the Cygnus cargo spacecraft into orbit.

Orbital Sciences Corporation:

Media contact
Griffin Communications
Tel: +1 281 335 0200

18-19 April: David Axon Memorial Meeting: Massive Black Holes in Galaxies: University of Sussex

Researchers will gather at the University of Sussex, Brighton, for a two day meeting on massive black holes in galaxies and a memorial service, both to commemorate the life and work of astronomer Prof. David Axon.

At the meeting the scientists will discuss topics including the supermassive black holes in the centre of galaxies, their impact on the galaxies they reside in and the most recent observations of these systems from the Herschel Space Observatory.

David Axon Memorial Meeting:

Night sky in April

Information on stars, planets, comets, meteor showers and other celestial phenomena is available from the British Astronomical Association (BAA), the Society for Popular Astronomy (SPA) and the Jodrell Bank night sky guide.



The Night Sky: Jodrell Bank

On Monday, April 29, the Herschel Space Observatory exhausted its supply of ultra-cold liquid helium coolant, required to do its most sensitive observations. A ten-year period in which five telescopes gazed at the sky observing the heat of cosmic objects, rather than the light emitted, has come to an end: here.

A team of researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics conducted the most expensive and most elaborate computer simulations so far to study the formation of neutron stars at the center of collapsing stars with unprecedented accuracy. These worldwide first three-dimensional models with a detailed treatment of all important physical effects confirm that extremely violent, hugely asymmetric sloshing and spiral motions occur when the stellar matter falls towards the center. The results of the simulations thus lend support to basic perceptions of the dynamical processes that are involved when a star explodes as supernova: here.

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