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Our final night switches to the very big and far away - we’re looking at space! We will hear from Dr Ben Snow about our explosive sun, exploring exoplanets with Shrishmoy Ray and an out-of-this-world quiz to end the night.
The Explosive Sun
Ben Snow (Research Fellow)
Explosive phenomena on the Sun drive Coronal Mass Ejections (CME) that travel through the solar system. An enormous CME known as the Carrington Event impacted Earth in 1859, causing fires in telegraph stations and creating an aurora that was visible around the world. A similar magnitude CME now could cause widespread electrical disruptions, blackouts, and damage to any electrical system. In this talk, I will discuss: 1) What drives CMEs on the Sun? 2) How often do potentially damaging events occur? 3) How do we mitigate the risk?
Using the James Webb space telescope to find life signatures in distant worlds
Shrishmoy Ray (PhD Student)
The James Webb Space telescope is proving to be revolutionary in exoplanet characterisation since its launch on the Christmas of 2021. With the biggest mirror ever in space, using infrared light it can detect gases in the atmospheres of these exoplanets. In this talk I will introduce how exoplanetary exploration has expanded in the past two decades and what the possibilities are to detect biosignatures: gases only produced in significant amounts by lifeforms, in these far away worlds.
Quiz of the Universe
A pub quiz with a general knowledge round and a space-related round, which may or may not test how much attention you were paying to the talks on the night! The quiz will be hosted on the Kwizzbit platform, so play will be on your phone using the venue wi-fi. Rumour has it there may be a prize!
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