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Astrobiology and Big History

Astrobiology and Big History News

Astrobiology and Big History

Published: 2 October 2018

Big history is the study of human civilisation in the context of the cosmos – and Ian Crawford argues that astrobiology is a logical partner in this endeavour.

A DIY radio telescope

A DIY radio telescope Outreach

A DIY radio telescope

Published: 1 October 2018

If you want to do radio astronomy, then build yourself a radio telescope. That's what a group of students at the University of Exeter thought, and now they are ready to peer into the galactic centre.

RAS200 in Africa

RAS200 in Africa RAS

RAS200 in Africa

Published: 29 September 2018

The October issue of A&G covers one of the RAS200 Bicentenary outreach projects will be taking place in South Africa, using a major exhibition as the focus for astronomy education and outreach.

Fun Palaces come to Burlington House

Fun Palaces come to Burlington House RAS

Fun Palaces come to Burlington House

Published: 27 September 2018

Fun Palaces are creative, cultural, but above all community events taking place worldwide on the weekend of 6 and 7 October. This year the RAS is joining in, along with Creativity and Curiosity.

CAP with an RAS Grant

CAP with an RAS Grant RAS

CAP with an RAS Grant

Published: 7 August 2018

Hannah Dalgleish won an RAS Grant to attend the 8th Communicating Astronomy to the Public (CAP) conference at the The Fukuoka City Science Museum in Japan – and was exceptionally lucky that the cherry blossom (sakura) came a week early!

Patrick Moore Medal for primary science

Patrick Moore Medal for primary science People

Patrick Moore Medal for primary science

Published: 31 July 2018

Jenny Lister, winner of the RAS Patrick Moore Medal for 2018, talks about Tim Peake, telescope and learning alongside the children she teaches.

Citizen seismology

Citizen seismology News

Citizen seismology

Published: 30 July 2018

If you have a smartphone in your pocket, you could be a citizen scientist. Aftab Khan and colleagues discuss how seismology can benefit from new technology.

Wisdom of the football crowd

Wisdom of the football crowd News

Wisdom of the football crowd

Published: 30 July 2018

Enthusiasm is one of the most effective tools for a teacher – and football has a lot of enthusiastic fans among schoolchildren. A new RAS200 project brings geophysics to the fans, as described by RAS Outreach Officer Lucinda Offer.

Joining forces with JunoCam

Joining forces with JunoCam RAS

Joining forces with JunoCam

Published: 27 July 2018

NASA's Juno spacecraft currently orbiting Jupiter offers an opportunity for amateur observers to collaborate with mission scientists – to mutual benefit.

Kielder’s new observatory

Kielder’s new observatory News

Kielder’s new observatory

Published: 14 July 2018

Ten years after it opened, Kielder Observatory has taken a big step forward with a new observatory building, the Gillian Dickinson Astroimaging Academy, and an enhanced range of events and courses.

All round fun

All round fun Outreach

All round fun

Published: 28 May 2018

There's a new planetarium show out there and it really is quite... out there! RAS reviewer Stephen Serjeant is impressed.

Unveiling the Mary Adela Blagg plaque

Unveiling the Mary Adela Blagg plaque News

Unveiling the Mary Adela Blagg plaque

Published: 9 May 2018

The small town of Cheadle, Staffordshire, now has a monument to selenographer (and one of the first women Fellows of the RAS) Mary Blagg.

Sea to stars launches in Cornwall

Sea to stars launches in Cornwall Blog

Sea to stars launches in Cornwall

Published: 3 May 2018

One of the Society’s Bicentenary outreach projects got off to a flying start over Easter, with a launch event that had Truro residents and tourists talking about astronomy.

Sea to stars launches in Cornwall

Sea to stars launches in Cornwall Content

One of the Society’s Bicentenary outreach projects got off to a flying start over Easter, with a launch event that had Truro residents and tourists talking about astronomy.

Stargazing at the Tower

Stargazing at the Tower Outreach

Stargazing at the Tower

Published: 22 March 2018

Don Kurtz will be speaking at an outreach event in the grounds of Houghton Tower in November this year, together with opportunities for stargazing whatever the weather.

Feelgood outreach with the Tactile Universe

Feelgood outreach with the Tactile Universe News

Feelgood outreach with the Tactile Universe

Published: 7 February 2018

Visual impairment need not be a barrier to appreciating astronomical data and ideas.

Juno at Jupiter

Juno at Jupiter Outreach

Juno at Jupiter

Published: 30 January 2018

NASA's Juno mission has released some wonderful videos showing the approach to the giant planet using timelapse images, and the spectacular atmospheric circulation captured by JunoCam

Print your own Fast Radio Bursts

Print your own Fast Radio Bursts General

Print your own Fast Radio Bursts

Published: 15 January 2018

Fast Radio Bursts are mysterious high frequency radio signals that come from outside our galaxy, possibly from neutron stars. it is the structure of the radio signal itself that provides information about its source. As part of a research focus on these enigmatic flashes, an astroonmer at the University of Amsterdam has produced 3D printed models of the signals as an aid to understanding the structure. 

The FRBs show strong dispersion: the high frequency part of the signal arrives before the low frequency part, as a result of the signal travelling through the interstellar medium. The extreme dispersion is what indicates the extragalactic nature of the source. But other features of the signal arise from the source region. Astronomer Anne Archibold of the University of Amsterdam saw the potential of 3D printing to uncover the structure of these bursts. She has produced what are in essence solid plots of the intensity of the signal across frequencies, over time, for several FRBs. "I have a 3D printer and I like tinkering", she said. "I also had access to the Astronomical Institute data and thought that presentign it in this way would help in the anaylsis."

The 3D printed plots are intriguing objects in themselves, but their potential role in uncovering pattern and structure in the FRBs is scientifically significant. It is much easier for a non-expect to see within them the smaller features that researchers have identified as significant in the data as normally presented (as in the Nature paper on the same data, for example).  Archibold sees this as both a means of discovering new aspects of the data, and as a powerful tool for outreach, especially as a way to include those with visual impairments in the discoveries about these mysterious distant sources. 

You can now print your own FRBs and see for yourselves. Archibold has uploaded the designs to Thingiverse and they are freely available to print.  

Wave at Kepler

Wave at Kepler Outreach

Wave at Kepler

Published: 27 November 2017

NASA's hugely successful Kepler missing is getting close to the end of its life – but it's going to turn and look at Earth on 10 December and you could wave goodbye.

Coll and the Cosmos

Coll and the Cosmos Blog

Coll and the Cosmos

Published: 2 October 2017

A beautiful logo from a booklet made to celebrate a Care for Carers trip to the Isle of Coll – a tangible indication of the effectiveness of one of the RAS200 outreach projects discussed at Burlington House last week.

Coll and the Cosmos

Coll and the Cosmos Content

A beautiful logo from a booklet made to celebrate a Care for Carers trip to the Isle of Coll – a tangible indication of the effectiveness of one of the RAS200 outreach projects discussed at Burlington House last week.

Young stars shine at the RAS

Young stars shine at the RAS Outreach

Young stars shine at the RAS

Published: 15 September 2017

GCSE Astronomy at the Royal Astronomical Society - results are in!

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