Astronomy event for Alumni and Friends

Astronomy Unit and School of Physics, Queen Mary, University of London

Astronomy and Astrophysics

Saturday 26 March 2011

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The Astronomy Unit at Queen Mary, University of London is a leading research centre in areas as diverse as solar system dynamics and cosmology – from the rings of Saturn to the birth of the Universe. Join Professors Jim Emerson and Richard Nelson for a relaxed programme of lectures, conversation and lunch.

The Astronomy Unit is one of the main centres of astrophysics research in the UK. A wide range of research areas is studied including solar system dynamics, space and solar plasmas, planetary atmospheres, stellar structure, planet formation, survey astronomy and cosmology.

The Astronomy Unit is currently based in the School of Mathematical Sciences but will be merging with Physics to form a new School of Physics and Astronomy in 2011/12. The Unit has always worked closely with the Physics, especially in participating in teaching Astrophysics at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. The MSc in Astrophysics is one of the longest running masters programmes in the UK and has provided a pathway into Astrophysics for many students over the years. There are currently 15 faculty members in the Astronomy Unit, alongside post-doctoral fellows and PhD students. There is a lively interactive research environment with general Astronomy seminars and more specialised group meetings. There are interactions with colleagues in both Physics and Mathematics.

More information is available here.

Professor Jim Emerson led the build project for the VISTA telescope which has recently begun operations in the Atacama Desert in Chile as part of the European Southern Observatory (ESO). VISTA (the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy) is the world’s largest telescope dedicated to mapping the sky in infrared light and will reveal a completely new view of the southern sky.

Professor Richard Nelson leads the Planetary Formation and Astrophysical Fluids Group. His research focuses on the formation and evolution of planetary systems, the dynamics of astrophysical disks and numerical astrophysics. His current research is concerned with how nascent planets around distant stars interact with the protoplanetary disk.