New IAA Council elected

IAA

We had an excellent AGM+ night at the IAA with a brilliant talk on The European Solar Telescope Project by Dr Ada Ortiz followed by the AGM.

The new Council was elected with Brian Beesley taking over from Paul Evans as President. Paul had served as President for 5 of the previous 6 years during a period of continued growth for the Association.

Lecture Weds 4th April - Daniel Williams (Univ of Glasgow) - "The Universe is full of noises: A new perspective from gravitational waves"

In September 2015 the Advanced LIGO detectors in the USA made the first detection of gravitational waves from two black holes colliding at close to the speed of light. This discovery was the first astrophysical result to come from a century of theoretical and experimental efforts to take the predictions of Einstein's General Relativity to build a new field of observational astronomy.

Lecture Weds 21st March - First Contact: Uncovering An Interstellar Visitor.” - Prof Alan Fitzsimmons, QUB

Prof Alan Fitzsimmons

On 19 October 2017 an Interstellar Object was spotted passing through our Solar system, the first of its kind to be discovered. With little warning, astronomers had only a few days to study it before it became too faint for detailed investigation, even when using the world’s largest telescopes. Studies revealed a body that matched some of our expectations, but that differed significantly in other aspects. This talk will cover how it was discovered, and what we have learned so far.

Lecture Weds 7th March - “Mars Sample Return technology: development and testing in Antarctica” - Dr Patrick Harkness, Univ of Glasgow

Dr Patrick Harkness

Planetary drilling is more difficult than drilling on Earth. Low gravity reduces the possible weight-on-bit, and freezing conditions can seize the bit downhole. Furthermore, to reach any depth, it will be necessary to assemble the drillstring in-situ, which is a challenging task for robotic systems.

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