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07 Oct 2022

Family friendly event about the vastness of space to take place in Kildare

Family friendly event about the vastness of space to take place in Kildare

The audience will have a chance to meet with student physicists and ask questions on everything from dark matter and dark energy to the search for life on other planets. Pic: Luminas_Art, Pixabay.

The TSI Building Maynooth University will host an all-ages event next month to explore the vastness of space, and humanity's place in it.

Hosted by the Departments of Theoretical and Experimental Physics at Maynooth University, audiences will have the chance to hear from world leaders in astrophysical research.

The event, which takes place in Maynooth University’s new 300 seater lecture theatre in the TSI building is suitable for all ages.

Speaking on the event, organiser Dr John Regan said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for visitors to come, visit the University and learn about our work in astrophysics, meet scientists and ask questions about the universe. 

He added: "We really want to inspire the next generation with the work that we do, so we would encourage families to come and join us for what will be a really inspiring event."

The event will feature short – visual presentations from Doctors Emma Whelan and John Regan, who are on the hunt for exoplanets and black holes respectively. 

Dr Creidhe O’Sullivan and Prof Peter Coles will show audiences how scientists are imaging the cosmic background radiation at the edge of our universe and how physicists are pushing the boundaries of our current theories about how our universe evolved.  

The audience will have a chance to meet with student physicists and ask questions on everything from dark matter and dark energy to the search for life on other planets.

First-come-first served and only ticket holders will be admitted. 

Those interested can register here.

Space week at Maynooth University is supported by Science Foundation Ireland and the Royal Society.

PROGRAMME:

18.30 Welcome

18.35: Emma Whelan: “Planet Hunting: How Maynooth University Astronomers are Searching for New Worlds”

As of this month over 5000 exoplanets or new worlds have been discovered orbiting far flung stars millions of light years away from us. Emma will explore the hunt for exoplanets – planets outside our own solar system - and what scientists can learn about them. Emma will take you on a behind the scenes tour of the techniques astronomers use for finding new planets and the new insights astronomers hope the James Webb Space Telescope will bring.

18.55: John Regan: "Black Holes in Our Universe"

Black Holes are among the most exotic objects in our Universe. In this talk John will discuss the basics of black hole formation, how we can detect them today and the future of black hole hunting using gravitational wave observatories that Maynooth University is a part of. John will also discuss some of the strange effects you might encounter near a black hole - like time slowing down!

19.15: Tea & Coffee Break

19.45: Creidhe O'Sullivan: "Observations of the early Universe"

Creidhe will take us back to the origins of our universe. In her talk she will show you how scientists observe The Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) - a specific type of radiation left over from the Big Bang - and what it can tell us about the early Universe and its formation. Creidhe will also take us close to home and talk about the experiments that Maynooth University are involved with to observe the CMB.

20.05: Peter Coles: "The Evolution of our Universe"

Peter will discuss how our Universe evolves over cosmic time from the Big Bang to the Universe we see around us today and the role of dark energy and dark matter in that process. Peter will also talk about the upcoming missions he is involved with which hope to measure dark energy - the unknown force that is pushing our Universe apart.

20.30: Finish

The event will take place on October 6.

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