How can we determine the age of a meteorite, or even the Solar System? How can we unravel the processes that formed Earth and the rest of the Solar System from the primordial dust cloud? The presence, or absence, of particular elements and isotopes in meteorites and their components, and the physics and chemistry of those elements, provides abundant clues to what happened in those first few million years.
Synopsis: "Over the next ten years a number of new giant telescopes will come on line - these include the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and in X-rays, Athena. Each one of these will dramatically change our view of the universe. At a recent workshop in Galway, "Speed and Sensitivity: Expanding Astronomical Horizons with ELTs" the possibilities from the current generation of instruments as well as the next generation of instruments for ELTs were discussed. This talk will look at what science is possible with ELTs and what questions will be addressed and hopefully answered by ELTs."
The IAA will be running a major public astronomy & space outreach event in conjunction with the Ulster Museum on Saturday 11th October.
This will be at the Museum on Stranmillis Road, from 11:00 to 16:30.
This will comprise:
Starshows with a space theme in the ever-popular Stardome (courtesy of Armagh Planetarium) at 45 minute intervals starting at 11.00.
Prof Kurtz is a very highly regarded speaker on a wide variety of topics, and this one for World Space Week will focus on one of the most successful space missions ever: the Kepler Spacecraft. This has now detected well over 1,000 planets going round other stars, some of which are like planets in our own solar system, including a few which are fairly like Earth, and some which are amazingly different from our own familiar ones.
On Sunday 17th August we will be holding another of our very popular Solar Days at WWF Castle Espie in County Down - as usual from 2pm to 5pm. This venue has become a regular on the Summer calendar over the last few years and as well as Solar Observing we will be offering displays of meteorites and other astronomical paraphenalia and of course Star Shows in the Stardome.