Please find below the official AstroFest press release:
Website Editor, Astronomy Now
Tel: 01732 446112
Ticket hotline: 01732 446106
THE UNIVERSE COMES TO LONDON FOR ASTROFEST 2011
Asteroid impacts, home-grown black holes and the truth about those end-of-the-world predictions for 2012 are just some of the themes that will be covered by Europe's biggest astronomy show this year. Organised by Astronomy Now magazine, European AstroFest 2011 hits London's Kensington Conference and Events Centre on 4-5 February. The two day conference and trade exhibition attracts thousands of participants and features speakers from across the astronomical world.
Topping the bill at this year's event is Professor Brian Cox, fresh from the hit BBC TV show Stargazing Live. He will reveal how the Large Hadron Collider recently created a microscopic big bang in an experiment that produced temperatures a million times hotter than the centre of the Sun, and how this will teach us about the birth of the Universe.
Also in attendance is Dr Ed Krupp, Director of Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, who will reveal the truth behind the claims that the end of the Maya calendar system in 2012 will cause catastrophic pole shifts and calamitous sunspots that will supposedly wipe out life on Earth, and tell us what the Universe is really doing in 2012.
Alan Fitzsimmons of Queen's University Belfast turns to a very real danger and asks "what's out there?" when it comes to near Earth asteroids, and how we're doing at accounting for potential Earth-impacting objects.
Writer and film-maker Christopher Riley will talk about the origins of the NASA film archive and the technical challenges of broadcasting live pictures from the Moon, and will share behind-the-scenes stories of the making of the documentary In the Shadow of the Moon, including some of the rarely seen and newly restored footage of humanity's greatest adventure.
Professor Brian Cox and Sir Patrick Moore will be signing their latest books during a dedicated book signing session on Saturday.
Additional speakers include:
- Dr Paul Roche, who will present a live demonstration of using the two-metre Faulkes Telescope located in Hawaii and Australia
- Stand-up comedienne Helen Keen, who will take the audience on an entertaining journey of stargazing, space-racing, and the boundless possibilities of an infinite Universe.
- Dr Nathalie Thureau from the University of St Andrews on eclipsing stars beyond our own Solar System
- Dr Chris Arridge of the Mullard Space Science Laboratory on the giant planets Uranus and Neptune, including news of upcoming missions to the outer Solar System
- Dr Simon Mitton, on the influential and controversial astrophysicist Fred Hoyle
- Chuck Wood, who publishes the Lunar Photo of the Day will teach the audience how to read the Moon, and discuss the curious lunar flashes, mists and flickering red glows that amateurs have observed
- Professor Steve Eales from the University of Cardiff on the latest galaxy observations from the Herschel Space Observatory
- Professor Gerry Gilmore of the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge on mapping our Galaxy
- Astronomy Now's Dr Emily Baldwin on the moons of Mars, including the latest theories for their formation
- Dr Allan Chapman on Sir Arthur Eddington, the man who demonstrated relativity
The conference programme is chaired and organised by Ian Ridpath, and co-chaired by Iain Nicolson.
The show also features three floors of trade stands featuring telescope dealers, universities, publishers and astronomical societies. Tickets to the lecture conference start at £15 per session, and entry into the trade exhibition is £5 for adults and £2.50 for children. Reporters wishing to attend should register with Emily Baldwin or Wendy Collins (contact details at the top of this release).