Published: 14 March 2018

Surrey welcomes public for Stargazing Live

Over 500 members of the public and astronomy enthusiasts gathered at the University on 12 February to look at the night sky and learn about all things interstellar.

With a clear night sky, visitors got the chance to use telescopes provided by Surrey’s Department of Physics and the Guildford Astronomical Society. They saw a fascinating range of interstellar objects including the Orion Nebula, and Horsehead Nebula, as well as the Messier 82 (or the Cigar galaxy) which is located around 12 million light years away from earth.

Visitors also had the opportunity to learn more about the universe at four talks from academics in Surrey’s Department of Physics. Professor Jim Al-Khalili spoke on ‘Science’s Search for Extraterrestrial Life’; Dr Michelle Collins presented ‘Moon: The past, present and future of exploration’, Professor Justin Read talked about ‘From Newton to Gravitational Waves’ and Dr Denis Erkal tackled the question ‘Why do we need dark matter?’

Meanwhile there were lots of craft activities to entertain younger visitors, along with interactive stands and hands-on demonstrations about different aspects of physics such as the phases of the moon.

Dr Heather Campbell, Outreach Coordinator in the Department of Physics, said: “It is hugely important to run public engagement events such as these to inspire the next generation of scientists, as well as engaging with our local community to share our research and the enthusiasm that we have in abundance at the University.”

Watch our video of the Stargazing Live event.


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