Monday, 19 November 2007



Dear Members and Friends,

The Irish North Materials Group invites you to an event of of an extreme magnitude, as our distinguished speaker Dr Robin Catchpole from the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge will bring you where no man has gone before with his talk ...

"Through the Eyes of the Hubble Space Telescope"

Date: 27 November 2007
Time: 18:00 for 18:30
Venue: University of Ulster, Belfast Campus (also known as the "Arts College" - see map)
Room 82 B01

After a brief introduction to light and the Hubble Space Telescope, you will embark on a tour through the universe. Starting in our Solar System and ending with the most distant optical views of the universe ever seen. On the way you will experience the birth and death of stars.

I hope to be able to welcome you at the event.

Kind regards,

Wolfgang Wenger
Chairman to the Irish North Materials Group

Further details on the Event:

Some like our Sun, live nine thousand million years before loosing their outer layers to form beautiful spheres of luminous gas. Other more massive stars, evolve faster and end their lives in huge supernovae explosions, spreading newly made elements throughout the Galaxy.

Beyond our Galaxy lie many clusters of galaxies. The closest help us find the size and age of the observable universe. Further away, you will see collisions between galaxies, galaxies with black holes, the enigmatic distant sources of gamma rays and gravitational lenses, which tell us that 90 percent of the mass of the universe is made of unknown dark matter.

Finally, we look so deep in space and so far back in time, that we see the Universe the way it was when it was one tenth of its present age.

Background on the Speaker:

Robin Catchpole works as an astronomer at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge. having retired as Senior Astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich in July 2004.

Joined the Royal Greenwich Observatory (RGO) from Bryanston School in 1962. After obtaining a BSc at University College London, he was posted to the Royal Observatory at the Cape of Good Hope, S Africa (now known as the South African Astronomical Observatory) and spent the next 24 years, working first at the Radcliffe Observatory in Pretoria and then at the SAAO in Cape Town.

Obtained his doctorate at the University of Cape Town on The properties of the SC Stars and the Chemical Composition of UY Cen. In 1991 he returned to the RGO in Cambridge, until it closed in 1998, when he moved to Greenwich as Senior Astronomer.

He has authored and co-authored over 100 research papers and articles and used a number of telescopes around the world including the Hubble Space Telescope. Research interests include the composition of stars, exploding stars, the structure of our Galaxy and galaxies with black holes at their centres. His current research interst is in the structure of the Bulge of our Milky Way Galaxy, as shown by Mira variables.

In the last 6 years he has given 300 popular lectures in the UK, S Africa, Hong Kong and New Zealand to over 20,000 people. Has also given 280 TV and Radio interviews and participated in a number of programmes relating to astronomy. Regularly lectures at the Cambridge International Science Summer School and for Summer Schools at Downing and Pembroke Colleges as well as on Cruise Ships and at Game Lodges.

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