© Pint of Science, 2022. All rights reserved.
What lies just out of view in our Galaxy and beyond? Are invisibly tiny particles or distant radio waves the key to unlocking the mysteries of our night sky? And how can we study that which we can't see? Covering powerful rare particles to waving in the new era of radio astronomy; learn about the different types of observations possible from these colossal, but delicate instruments, and the ultimate goals behind their creation.
The Highest Energy Particles in Nature
Professor Alan Watson FRS (Emeritus Professor)
Charged particles called cosmic rays are found in Nature with energies as great as that in a tennis ball hit by Andy Murray. They are rare – about 10 hit the top of the earth’s atmosphere every minute – and to study them an observatory the size of West Yorkshire has been built. Tanks of water are used in their detection. In ‘Pint of Science’ I will describe the observatory, tell how it came to be built, explain how we now think that they come from galaxies far far away and speculate that that black holes might have a role in their creation.
Astronomy with a Square Kilometre of Metal
Professor Melvin Hoare (Professor of Astrophysics)
Radio astronomy uses large metal antenna to bring radio waves to a focus and detect them. The aim of the world’s next generation radio telescope is to build up nearly a square kilometre of collecting area to provide unprecedented sensitivity. This will consist of several thousand individual dishes spread over Africa, that will aid study into how planets form, the search for the origins of life and new ways to find gravitational waves from colliding super-massive black holes. The economic development of African countries related to the continents first big science project will also be discussed