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Space, astronomy and geophysics digest: February 2014

Last Updated on Friday, 31 January 2014 10:51
Published on Friday, 31 January 2014 10:51

The February digest of upcoming science events. This month sees the annual European Astrofest conference and scientific meetings on the science of earthquakes and astronomical imaging.

 


 

7-8 February: European Astrofest 2014, Kensington Conference and Events Centre, London

Running over two days, the European Astrofest is one of the largest space and astronomy conferences in Europe, bringing together several thousand amateur and professional astronomers for a major exhibition and programme of public lectures. This year’s speakers include leading scientists from the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, the University of Oxford, University College London and the European Space Agency.

European Astrofest 2014
http://europeanastrofest.com/

 


11 February: RAS lunchtime lecture: The plates versus plumes controversy: Geological Society, Burlington House, London

At 1300 GMT on 11 February, Professor Gillian Foulger of the University of Durham will give the latest RAS public lecture, on the competing ideas for the way that magma (liquid rock) shapes the surface of the Earth.

In her talk, Professor Foulger will describe the two radically different theories for the origin of large volume magmatism (areas of flood basalts such as those found in Iceland, Siberia, India and the western part of North America) and persistent low-volume magmatism found in chains of volcanoes. These two ideas are known as the Plate and Plume hypotheses. The first of these envisages a large mass of more mobile material (a plume) that rises from the boundary between the Earth’s core and mantle, penetrates the crust and causes surface volcanism. In contrast the Plate hypothesis suggests that magmatism is driven by slow processes driven by plate tectonics (the movement of continental plates above the mantle beneath).

Professor Foulger will look at the evidence for each theory and how geophysicists are working to better understand the forces that shape the planet we live on.

RAS Public Lectures
http://www.ras.org.uk/events-and-meetings/public-lectures

Contact

Robert Massey
Royal Astronomical Society
Tel: +44 (0)20 7734 3307 x214
Mob: +44 (0)794 124 8035
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 


13-14 February: British Geophysical Association (BGA) New Advances in Geophysics Meeting: Earthquakes – from Mechanics to Mitigation

Around 100 Earth scientists are expected to gather at the Geological Society on 13 February for a two day meeting on the science of earthquake processes; defining and quantifying the hazard they represent and their impact on people.

Delegates at the conference, the annual scientific meeting of the British Geophysical Association (BGA), will also consider how to mitigate the hazards of seismic events in the most earthquake prone regions of the world, including the social, cultural and political aspects of preparation for affected populations.

Bona fide members of the media who wish to attend this meeting should present their credentials at the registration desk for free admission.

Contact

Robert Massey
(details above)

Earthquakes - from Mechanics to Mitigation
http://ewf.nerc.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/eqs_fmtm_feb2014_nag.pdf

British Geophysical Association
http://www.geophysics.org.uk

 


14 February: RAS specialist discussion meeting: Nucleosynthesis – origins and impacts: Royal Astronomical Society, Burlington House, London

A variety of processes occurring in a huge range of sites in the wider universe have resulted in the abundances of chemicals that we see today. Research in this area is extremely diverse, including for example gamma-ray satellite observations of short-lived isotopes in material ejected from stars, the abundances of different chemical isotopes in grains that formed in other stars and are now found in meteorites and the measurements of nuclear reactions that take place at high energies.

The meeting, which will see these disparate research communities gather at the Royal Astronomical Society on 14 February, aims to foster a more coherent strategy for future research in this highly interdisciplinary area.

Bona fide members of the media who wish to attend this meeting should present their credentials at the registration desk for free admission.

Nucleosynthesis – origins and impacts
http://www.ras.org.uk/component/gem/?id=254

Contact

Robert Massey
(details above)

 


 

17-18 February: Astroimaging 2014: Royal Astronomical Society, Burlington House, London

Astroimaging 2014, a meeting jointly supported by the Royal Photographic Society and the Royal Astronomical Society, will take place from 17-18 February.

The meeting, to take place at the Royal Astronomical Society, will explore developments in imaging, detectors, techniques, and analysis. On the Monday delegates will discuss photography and digital imaging in astronomy. The second day will consider large format Space Imaging, including recent space telescope missions such as the Herschel Space Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope.

Bona fide members of the media who wish to attend this meeting should present their credentials at the registration desk for free admission.

Astroimaging 2014
http://www.rps-isg.org/?page_id=1777

Contact

Robert Massey
(details above)

 


21 February: RAS specialist discussion meeting: The life of solar prominences: Royal Astronomical Society, Burlington House, London

SDO prominenceA Solar Dynamics Observatory image of a prominence that erupted on 16 April 2012. Credit: NASA / SDO / AIASolar prominences are large features extending upwards from the Sun’s visible surface. They are often many times the size of the Earth and can last from hours to days, with changes taking place on relatively fast timescales.

On 21 February scientists will come to the Royal Astronomical Society for a specialist discussion meeting to review our current understanding of the life cycle of these intriguing phenomena. Delegates will consider how prominences form, how they interact with their surroundings, how they contribute to the ‘Space Weather’ that ultimately interacts with the terrestrial environment and how they disappear. The meeting will bring together experts from many areas of physics, all of whose skills are needed to make progress in this area of research.

Bona fide members of the media who wish to attend this meeting should present their credentials at the registration desk for free admission.

The life of solar prominences
http://www.ras.org.uk/component/gem/?id=257

Contact

Robert Massey
(details above)

 


Night sky in February

Information on stars, planets, comets, meteor showers and other celestial phenomena is available from the British Astronomical Association (BAA), the Society for Popular Astronomy (SPA) and the Jodrell Bank night sky guide.

BAA
http://www.britastro.org

SPA
http://www.popastro.com

The Night Sky: Jodrell Bank
http://www.jb.man.ac.uk/astronomy/nightsky/

 


Notes for editors

The Royal Astronomical Society (RAS, www.ras.org.uk), founded in 1820, encourages and promotes the study of astronomy, solar-system science, geophysics and closely related branches of science. The RAS organizes scientific meetings, publishes international research and review journals, recognizes outstanding achievements by the award of medals and prizes, maintains an extensive library, supports education through grants and outreach activities and represents UK astronomy nationally and internationally. Its more than 3500 members (Fellows), a third based overseas, include scientific researchers in universities, observatories and laboratories as well as historians of astronomy and others.

Follow the RAS on Twitter via @royalastrosoc