/A glimpse behind the Telescope at LJMU’s Astrophysics Research Institute

When: Tue 13th Nov 2018 @ 12:00

Where: The Studio, iC1, Liverpool Science Park

A glimpse behind the Telescope at LJMU’s Astrophysics Research Institute

We owe our very existence to the Universe. Galaxies as we know them, stars, planets, and people would not exist without its presence. But what do we really know about the galaxies, the planets, stars and the dark energy thought to be driving the recently-discovered accelerating expansion rate of the Universe and how are the technologies being applied to solve our own problems on planet earth?

The answer to these questions and many others are being explored by the incredible team at LJMU’s Astrophysics Research Institute (ARI). The ARI, based at Liverpool Science Park, has recently been awarded 1.7 million euros from the European Research Council (ERC) to work toward solving this mystery and for the first time at LSP, are inviting you along to learn more about how their research and technologies and the incredible discoveries and applications.

The format of the event will include four short talks from leading academics and will be followed by a Q&A session.

Insight 1: Led by Dr Chris Copperwheat, Astronomer in Charge and a Reader in Time Domain at the Liverpool Telescope Team:

One of the main research tools for the Astrophysics Research Institute is the Liverpool Telescope. This is a two-metre diameter, fully robotic telescope based on the Canary island of La Palma: the largest and one of the most successful robotic telescopes in the world devoted to science. The Institute has no staff based in the Canary Islands: the robotic nature of the facility means we can run it entirely remotely from Liverpool. Robotic control also introduces some interesting scientific possibilities as well, mainly in terms of rapid reaction. The telescope is a world leading tool for the study of rapidly changing events in the sky, such as explosive supernovae. In this talk, Chris will discuss the telescope, the operations and development work that goes on from the Science Park in Liverpool, and present some of the science highlights from recent years.

Insight 2: Led by Dr Helen Jermak, Project Scientist for the New Robotic Telescope.

Now in its fourteenth year of operation, the Liverpool Telescope Team are looking towards the next generation of robotic telescope; designed to respond to explosive and transient astronomical events faster than any other ground-based facility. Helen will talk about the new 4-metre optical telescope, its design, engineering challenges and the incredible astronomical research it will enable in the future.

Insight 3: Led by Alex Hill of the Computational Galaxy Formation Group

Contemporary astronomy involves a marriage between conventional observations and supercomputer simulations of astronomical phenomena. These simulations are used to interpret the physical origins of observations, test theories and make predictions of future discoveries. Alex will provide an exciting glimpse into the cutting-edge simulations being developed to investigate the mysteries of the Universe, with research into the formation and evolution of galaxies, aiding searches for dark matter in the Milky Way, and testing theories of dark energy.

Insight 4: Led by Claire Burke from the Astro-Ecology Group

Astrophysics and ecology are two subjects that you wouldn’t normally put together. In a world-first collaboration the astro-ecology group at ARI has been working to apply techniques from astrophysics to help solve big problems in conservation ecology. Using thermal equipped drones, the team can find and monitor endangered animals and poachers by detecting their body heat and are working to develop a fully automated drone system to revolutionize conservation monitoring and anti-poaching efforts around the world. The possibilities for applications across industry are immense, and so Claire welcomes questions about possible collaborations.

The event is open to everyone and places can be booked via Event Brite here. Any questions about the event can be directed to operations@liverpoolsciencepark.co.uk.