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Talks taking place on this evening promise to demonstrate that the dawn of the new space age is no dark matter. And the prospect of finding life outside the Solar System is experiencing a boom year. Please note that this event takes places on the first floor and is not accessible for those with impaired mobility.
Exploring the Solar System
We are entering the dawn of a new space age. Robotic spacecraft are exploring the solar system and carrying out scientific experiments that are increasingly sophisticated. It now seems possible that the first person may set foot on Mars in the not-so-distant future. What are the realistic prospects for space exploration? And how can we ever venture outside our solar system to explore the wider galaxy beyond?
The Dark Matter Mystery and the Large Hadron Collider
The speed at which stars orbit galaxies and other astronomical observations infer the existence of Dark Matter. These phenomena leave us asking, ‘What is this stuff and how does it behave?’ There is a chance Dark Matter could be produced in the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, providing us with a chance to measure its properties and help us to deduce the history of the early universe. I will also explain why the answers to these questions are important to you.
An ultracool dwarf and the seven planets
Seven earth-like worlds orbit the ultra-cool dwarf star, known as TRAPPIST-1. About the size of Jupiter, this cool dwarf burns with much less heat than the Sun. Even so, three of the seven exoplanets orbiting TRAPPIST-1 show high potential for the possibility that water can exist without freezing or boiling. I will describe the discovery of the seven planets that orbit the star and explain why they form a crucial step in the quest to find life outside the Solar System.