Session 1: 10am Friday, 10 february
The Intimate Universe
Most people would probably agree that astronomy is an inspiring subject, blowing our minds with astonishing facts about exploding stars, extrasolar planets and supermassive black holes while beguiling our eyes with awesome vistas of alien worlds and distant galaxies. But what have all these distant objects and esoteric theories got to do with our everyday lives here on Planet Earth? A surprising amount as it turns out: our familiar surroundings are full of profound astronomical connections and everything from the water in your taps to the iron in your blood, your holiday suntan to the vagaries of the British weather all have their origins far out in space. Astronomy has also left its mark on our minds, from high art to popular culture, and even the smartphone in your pocket owes a debt to astrophysical research. To properly understand our own world we need to explore the wider Universe of which it is an integral part.
About Marek kukula
Dr Marek Kukula, Public Astronomer, Royal Observatory GreenwichMarek initially wanted to be a Time Lord when he grew up but settled on becoming an astronomer as the next most exciting thing. He obtained his PhD in Radio Astronomy at the University of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank Observatory then carried out research into galaxies and black holes at a number of institutions including the University of Edinburgh and the Space Telescope Science Institute, home of the Hubble Space Telescope. As the Public Astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich he gives talks, curates exhibitions and liaises with scientists and the media. Marek is a judge on the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition and was the curator of Visions of the Universe, a major exhibition on the history of astrophotography, held at Royal Museums Greenwich in 2013. He works with scientists, historians and artists to explore the cultural as well as the scientific impact of astronomical research, and is the author of The Intimate Universe and the co-author of The Scientific Secrets of Doctor Who, both published in 2015