Mon, 11 Dec|
Are we alone?
by Dr Robin Catchpole of the Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge We live in a universe perfectly suited to our existence, containing galaxies, stars, planets and the building blocks of life.
Time & Location
11 Dec 2023, 19:15 – 21:00
Lecture Theatre, Romney Rd, London SE10 9NF, UK
About the Event
We live in a universe perfectly suited to our existence, containing galaxies, stars, planets and the building blocks of life. On Earth, life is found in rocks, ice and boiling water, suggesting it would be impossible to destroy, before the Sun becomes a red giant and evaporates our planet. Yet space is silent, suggesting, that though simple life may be common, technologically advanced life might be very rare.
Dr Robin Catchpole will present the evidence, then take a closer look at the development of life on Earth, before considering why we might be the only self-aware observers of our universe.
Currently, Robin is at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge University, after retiring as Senior Astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, in 2003. After graduating from University College London in 1966, he was posted to South Africa, where he spent the next 24 years, working as an astronomer, at the South African Astronomical Observatory.
In 1991 he returned to The Royal Greenwich Observatory at Cambridge and in 1998, moved to Greenwich as Senior Astronomer.
Robin has authored and co-authored over 120 research papers, using a number of telescopes, including the Hubble Space Telescope. His research interests include, the composition of stars, exploding stars, the structure of our Galaxy and galaxies with black holes at their centres.
He has given numerous popular lectures and radio and TV interviews, as well as summer school courses, talks on cruise ships and safaris.
Robin originated the design of the 33 ton bronze truncated cone at the new Astronomy Centre in Greenwich, completed and opened by the Queen in 2007.