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The Solar System may appear to be a peaceful region of space where spinning planets orbit the sun like clockwork. Look a little closer and you will soon see that this is far from true. Asteroids and Comets hurtle through space, some of which collide with planets leading to apocalyptic events. The Sun is a violent nuclear reactor which ejects thousands of tonnes of matter, threatening our delicate electronics in space and even on Earth. And how did the Solar System even come to exist? It certainly was not peaceful! Join us to learn about the violent but beautiful story of our Solar System.
Cloudy with a chance of apocalypse: the sun and space weather
It might seem obvious that the sun has a massive influence on life on earth; it gives the heat and light that make life on earth possible. But how else can solar activity affect us? In this talk, we'll look at how gigantic explosions in the sun's atmosphere take place, and how debris from these explosions can bring us everything from the greatest light show on earth to the chance of global anarchy.
The Birth of Solar Systems: A Turbulent Tale
The centre of our Solar System contains planets orbiting the Sun, but the mirky outskirts contain the Kuiper Belt, the home of the 'demoted' dwarf planet Pluto, and the Oort Cloud, the origin of comets. How did the Solar System come to be this way? In this talk, we will look at the turbulent, violent and energetic star-forming processes which lead to the birth of stars and discuss whether our understanding of the formation of our own Solar System can be applied to new planets discovered around other stars.