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RAS Meetings

The RAS holds regular monthly meetings from October to May covering all aspects of astronomy and solid-earth geophysics, planetary sciences and solar-terrestrial physics. Usually, a pair of Specialist Discussion meetings for Fellows are followed by a more general Astronomy & Geophysics ('Ordinary') meeting, open to the public, of which a number of the talks are available here Ordinary Meeting Videos.

These regular meetings are held on the second Friday of the month, normally in the RAS and Geological Society lecture theatres (both at Burlington House, London). A map to these locations can be found here, and webcasts/podcasts of a number of meetings are available.

E-bulletins summarising imminent meetings can be subscribed to freely.

 

Specialist Discussion Meetings cover all branches of astrophysics and solid-earth geophysics (including, but not limited to, cosmology, astrobiology, astrochemistry, astroparticle physics, computational astrophysics; geophysical fluid dynamics, planetary sciences, solar-terrestrial physics). If you would like to give a talk at a Specialist Discussion Meeting, please contact the Meeting Organizer.

 

'Astronomy & Geophysics' (A&G) meetings, also called Ordinary Meetings, have more diverse programmes of talks, at a level accessible to a general audience of scientists (and advanced amateurs).  If you would like to give a talk at an A&G Meeting, please contact the Senior Secretary.

A&G Meetings are open to all, with free admission. Registration charges are levied for the February BGA meeting, and for non-Fellows attending any RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting.




Dynamic coupling in the terrestrial atmosphere (joint with RMetSoc)
Date: 8 Dec 2017
Time: 10:30

A RAS Specialist Discussion organised by *Tracy Moffat-Griffin (BAS); Andrew Kavanagh (BAS); Nick Mitchell; Alan Gadian

* tmof@bas.ac.uk

 

It is becoming increasingly apparent that the lower, middle and upper atmosphere are more strongly coupled than was once thought to be the case and that atmospheric waves play a central role in this coupling. Generated by a variety of sources, these waves carry energy and momentum vertically, and are a principle driver of atmospheric circulation, transporting important chemical species through the atmosphere. In the lower atmosphere global scale waves (tides and planetary waves) are generated; smaller scale waves (such as gravity waves) are generated by weather systems, topographic flow and the polar vortex as well as by processes in the upper atmosphere (via space weather effects). There is growing evidence that space weather can have an effect on surface conditions in the Polar Regions yet the coupling mechanism is not fully understood. This meeting aims to bring together the lower, middle and upper atmosphere communities to explore these coupling effects and their impact on global circulation.




The link between AGN and galaxy formation
Date: 8 Dec 2017
Time: 10:30

A RAS Specialist Discussion organised by Prof Peter Thomas (Sussex);
Dr James Mullaney (Sheffield)

 *p.a.thomas@sussex.ac.uk

 

It has long been known that AGN activity is often associated with star-formation in galaxies. However it remains unclear the extent to which feedback from the AGN regulates this star-formation. There is a growing body of circumstantial evidence from models of galaxy formation & evolution that such feedback is required to quench star formation in the largest galaxies, and to inhibit the cooling of gas in clusters of galaxies (the 'cooling flow' problem). Direct observations of feedback in action are, however, hard to come by.


The purpose of this meeting is to bring together theorists, simulators, and observers to discuss the latest advances in each field and to encourage future collaboration.




RAS Ordinary Meeting
Date: 8 Dec 2017
Time: 16:00

Talks:

 

MICHAEL PENSTON THESIS PRIZE IN ASTRONOMY 2016
Dr Justin Alsing, Centre for Computational Astrophysics
Mapping the cosmos with weak gravitational lensing

 

RAS GROUP AWARD 'A' 2017
Dr John Veitch, University of Glasgow, LIGO consortium
Listening to the stars: the dawn of gravitational wave astronomy

 

GEORGE DARWIN LECTURE 2017
Professor Catherine Heymans, University of Edinburgh
Observing the Dark side of our Universe




The Extremely Large Telescope: UK Community Day
Date: 12 Jan 2018
Time: 10:30

A RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by  *Aprajita Verma (Oxford)
Chris Evans; Sandi Wilson; Isobel Hook


* aprajita.verma@physics.ox.ac.uk

 

With a primary mirror of 39 m in diameter, ESO's Extremely Large Telescope will be the world's largest telescope in the visible to infrared wavelength range. The ELT will open a new regime in sensitivity and resolution revealing unparalleled insights into our Universe and has strong synergies with other existing and forthcoming complementary facilities including JWST, ALMA, LSST, SKA, EUCLID, Athena among others. As construction of the ELT is well underway with first light foreseen for 2024, the UK ELT Community Day brings together the community with instrument and project experts to review the status of the ELT and its instrument suite, in which UK scientists have prominent roles. This SD meeting will provide an overview of the capabilities of the ELT and key science cases to encourage preparation of early science programmes and to stimulate precursor studies. There will be opportunity for discussion and Q&A with the ELT Project Scientist and instrument experts.

 




Wave-based heating in the solar atmosphere
Date: 12 Jan 2018
Time: 10:30

A RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by Paolo Pagano (St. Andrews);
Patrick Antolin (St. Andrews); Ineke de Moortel (St. Andrews); Sergiy Shelyag (Northumbria)

 *pp25@st-andrews.ac.uk

 

Magnetohydrodynamic waves permeate the solar atmosphere but despite being regularly observed and analysed in great detail, their role in the energy transport through the solar atmosphere and in heating the solar corona remains unclear. This is largely due to the complexity and dynamism of the solar atmosphere where the combination of gravitational stratification, magnetic field expansion and local density inhomogeneities leads to complicated coupling and interactions between different layers of the solar atmosphere.


Various modelling techniques, including numerical simulations and forward modelling, allow us to tackle this complexity and investigate the various wave processes. Constraints on the energy budget, identification of the dissipation mechanisms and determination of the spatial and temporal scales of the energy deposition and the observational signatures can thus be obtained.


In this RAS Specialist Discussion meeting, we aim to bring together experts in numerical modelling, observational detection and theoretical analysis of wave-based heating mechanism to shed light on the role of MHD waves in coronal heating. We will focus in particular on recent advancements in this field due to the use of increasingly complex numerical experiments.




From the Outer to the Inner Solar system: The Origin and Evolution of Comets
Date: 9 Feb 2018
Time: 10:30

A RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by *Alan Fitzsimons (QUB); Stephen Lowry (Kent);Colin Snodgrass (Open University)


* a.fitzsimmons@qub.ac.uk




The Epoch of Reionisation: UK community update
Date: 9 Feb 2018
Time: 10:30

A RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by Emma Chapman (Imperial);
Suman Majumdar (UCL); Catherine Watkinson (Imperial)

* e.chapman@imperial.ac.uk

 

For several years now, various radio telescopes have been attempting to observe the 21-cm signal from high-redshift atomic hydrogen, to learn about early generations of stars and galaxies - the Cosmic Dawn and Epoch of Reionisation. However a first detection remains elusive. This meeting will bring together researchers to update the community of developments in the theory, as well as to discuss the challenges faced by current and future telescopes, including the SKA.




RAS Ordinary Meeting
Date: 9 Feb 2018
Time: 16:00

Talks tba




Ground effects of severe space weather events
Date: 9 Mar 2018
Time: 10:30

A RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by *Ciaran Beggan (BGS); Jim Wild (Lancaster); Mark Gibbs (Met Office)

* ciar@bgs.ac.uk

 

As a society, the UK is reliant on continuously available electricity supplies and technology such as instantaneous satellite data and communications in order to function safely and efficiently. For example, systems such as transportation networks are increasingly automated and the computer networks which run them require accurate real-time information from embedded electronic sensors and other peripheral data such as timing derived from GPS. However, this dependence increases the exposure to impacts on technology from so-called severe space weather events. Space weather is usually defined as the response of Earth's magnetosphere and ionosphere to sudden rapid changes in the properties of the solar wind such as increases in speed, density and magnetic field strength.
These changes in the magnetosphere and ionosphere cause the magnetic field at the Earth's surface to vary rapidly giving rise to geomagnetically induced currents (GICs) which can flow through conductive grounded equipment, such as high-voltage transformers, affecting the reliability of electricity supplies. The additional energy input from the solar wind also changes the conductivity structure of the ionosphere and pushes the auroral oval equatorward. This affects the propagation of radio waves through the atmosphere delaying GPS signals and leading to spatial and temporal errors on the ground; HF communications to circumpolar aircraft may also be disrupted. As well as the impact on electricity grids, GICs also cause additional unwanted corrosion in pipelines and the potential for signalling or other faults to develop in rail networks.


We seek presentations on a broad topic of ground effect of space weather in the UK (but specifically excluding satellite or spacecraft effects), in particular to GIC in power networks, railways and pipelines and topics such as impacts on surveyors and others end users (e.g. airlines/port authorities) of precise GPS location and timing data.


This specialist discussion meeting, aimed at academic and industry researchers and relevant end users, will discuss the latest research in the UK on understanding and ameliorating these impacts in light of recent developments in the field.




Merging giant-star asteroseismology with the fate of extrasolar planetary systems
Date: 9 Mar 2018
Time: 10:30

A RAS Specialist Discusion organised by *Dr Tiago Campante (Birmingham); Dr Dimitri Veras (Warwick)

* campante@bison.ph.bham.ac.uk

 

Although stars spend a significant fraction of their lives on the main sequence, they undergo their most dramatic physical changes during post-main-sequence evolution. The fates of their daughter planetary systems may be similarly violent. Hence, the simultaneous study of both planets and stars along the latter's subgiant and giant-branch phases is capable of providing constraints on tidal, mass-loss and radiative processes, as well as invaluable insight into the processes of planet formation and evolution. An international meeting in Haifa, Israel (2017) — the second in a series of conferences focussing on planetary systems beyond the main sequence — recently highlighted the growing interest in this new field of research among observers and theoreticians alike.


Over 100 planets and several debris discs are now known to orbit subgiant and giant stars, thereby providing constraints on their past and future evolution. Further, the absence of planets close to other giant stars signifies destructive processes at work. A critical restriction on the nature and timescale of these destructive processes is stellar age, a previously poorly- constrained property.
Fortunately, new insights on the theory of stellar evolution and stellar interiors physics have been made possible by asteroseismology, the study of stars by the observation of their natural, resonant oscillations. Asteroseismology is proving to be particularly significant for the study of evolved stars, namely, subgiant and red-giant stars. These stars exhibit solar-like oscillations. The information contained in solar-like oscillations allows fundamental stellar properties (e.g., mass, radius and age) to be precisely determined, while also allowing the internal stellar structure to be constrained to unprecedented levels. As a result, asteroseismology is quickly maturing into a powerful tool whose impact is being felt more widely across different domains of astrophysics. A noticeable example is the synergy between asteroseismology and exoplanetary science.


During this RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting we will review our current understanding of the evolution and fate of extrasolar planetary systems during the subgiant- and red-giant-branch stellar evolutionary phases. Furthermore, by bringing together members of the leading UK exoplanets and asteroseismology communities, we expect to establish a roadmap for the effective and synergetic exploitation of the wealth of space-based data that will soon become available to both communities. In this regard, we highlight the upcoming NASA TESS and ESA CHEOPS satellites, both with launches scheduled for 2018, thus stressing the timeliness of this meeting.

https://sites.google.com/view/ras-evolsystems

 




RAS Ordinary Meeting
Date: 9 Mar 2018
Time: 16:00

Talks tba




European Week of Astronomy & Space Science (EWASS)/National Astronomy Meeting (NAM) 2018
Date: 3 Apr 2018
Time: 09:00

Joint annual meeting of the European Astronomical Society (EAS) and the National Astronomy Meeting (NAM) of the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS)

 

Call for Session Organisers : deadline on 14 July 2017 

http://eas.unige.ch/EWASS2018/index.jsp

 



Dynamics and evolution of Earth’s coupled core-mantle system
Date: 11 May 2018
Time: 10:30

A RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by Chris Davies (Leeds);
Andy Biggin (Liverpool); Dario Alfe (UCL)


* C.Davies@leeds.ac.uk




The Gravitational Wave Binary Black Hole Opportunity For Astronomy
Date: 11 May 2018
Time: 10:30

A RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by *Carole Mundell (Bath); Samaya Nissanke (Radboud); Hiranya Peiris (UCL)


* samaya@astro.ru.nl




RAS AGM
Date: 11 May 2018
Time: 16:00



RAS Ordinary Meeting
Date: 11 May 2018
Time: 17:00

Talks tba




 

NOTES
  • Fees: Admission to the Society's Monthly A&G (Ordinary) Meetings is open to all, at no charge. Admission to the Specialist Discussion Meetings is normally free to RAS members and £15 to non-members (£5 to students), collected on the door, while  GSL members may normally attend "G" meetings at no charge. Note that special rates apply for the February BGA meeting. RAS and GSL members should bring their membership cards, and students their student cards, as identification.
  • Tea will be served before A&G meetings (15:30, at Geological Society Lecture Theatre, Burlington House). A drinks reception will follow A&G meetings, in the Burlington House apartments of Royal Astronomical Society.
  • Coffee/registration for Specialist Discussion Meetings will commence a half-hour before the formal start time.
  • Copies of the detailed programme will be circulated, to those who have asked for them, approximately two weeks in advance of each meeting. Any member who does not already receive these details but wishes to do so should notify the Executive Director.
  • Those wishing to make a contribution at a Specialist Discussion Meeting should contact the appropriate organizers.
  • The Society welcomes suggestions for venues and topics for half- or one-day regional meetings; contact the Secretary or Executive Director.
  • Detailed notes for organizers (including the Code of Conduct for RAS meetings) are available for reference.