Meeting Reports

Here you’ll find brief reports of the talks we’ve heard at Society meetings. In these we try to include any web links or other pointers to further information that were provided by the speaker at the meeting. If you were at one of our meetings and would like to correct or expand the report relating to it then please use the Society’s contact form.

Aliens!…Where are you? – 28 June 2017

Our June 2017 Society Meeting saw a wonderfully entertaining talk from Dr Francisco Diego, University College London, who is currently a Senior Teaching Fellow at the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Dr Diego hails originally from Mexico and is a keen populariser of natural sciences whilst also a lecturer, author and broadcaster.

His talk was titled “Aliens!…Where are you?” and, for me, was one of the most interesting talks I have ever been to! Dr Diego still has quite a strong accent but this fades away as his dynamic presentation grabs your attention. There is plenty of movement, examples and visual aids used to support his talk and by the end, as Tom Meecham our Treasurer quipped, you certainly can answer the question of “How long is a piece of string?”. If that confuses you, then I can only encourage you to attend this talk at some point in the future to get the answer to the riddle!

The talk ranged over a number of relevant topics that may account for life, primarily on Earth but with the potential for other planets wherever they may be. These included the formation of the stars, solar system and Moon; dynamic Earth, oceans and plate tectonics; cataclysmic extinctions of early Earth life; the fragility of living environments, through to the possibility of alien life in the galaxy or elsewhere. This last topic was rewarding for me as his conclusion was the same as mine ~ but I won’t spoil the ending!

Dr Diego completed the evening by answering a number of well thought out questions.

Thank you Dr Diego! I notice from his website that Dr Diego has a number of other talks in his portfolio and I can only hope that Tony asks him back as soon as possible.

Hugh Alford ~ Vice-Chair

It’s about time – 13th Nov 2014

In November we scheduled an extra meeting “It’s About Time” presented by Professor Donald Kurtz. Don Kurtz is Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Central Lancashire. His research is in asteroseismology and magnetic stars and he teaches the undergraduate … Continue reading

Quiz – 26 June 2014

Roy Easto from Croydon Astronomical Society led a QI type quiz with two teams of two ‘volunteered’ from the membership. This was a change from our usual Christmas Quiz when everyone participates, but the teams played their parts sportingly and … Continue reading