Space talks
17 Dec 2020




Astronomer Chris Pearson talking about exoplanets at an exhibition.


Credit: STFC RAL Space

​​Join our team to discover the latest in space science and technology. Our space talks will cover a range of topics, from how we test instruments before they go into space, to creating miniature stars and looking at blue moons! If you would like to attend any of the talks listed below or receive a recording to watch later, please register for the event and select 'Space talks' from the ticket options.

Each talk will be followed by a Q&A session. There will be a short break in between each of the talks.

Suitable for ages 10+​.​​​

​​Start time

​Testing for space
Sam Tustain, RAL Space

​​Sam is a thermal engineer and his job is to test spacecraft on the ground before they are launched into space. He will explain why testing is so important and describe all the different types of tests we can do to prepare for a rocket launch.​

​How to create a miniature supernova ​using one of the world’s most powerful lasers
Helen Towrie, Central Laser Facility
​What would happen if you took all the light from the sun that’s currently hitting the Earth and focussed it down onto the head of a pin? The answer is unimaginable heat and pressure comparable to that of interstellar explosions – but on a teeny tiny scale. This is what Vulcan, our most powerful laser lab, can do. Join this journey of how to create a miniature star or interstellar explosion using the marvellous technology that is lasers.
An introduction to stargazing using binoculars
Cat Terrett, RAL Space
​Want to try stargazing or take your stargazing to the next level but think you need to buy a telescope? Think again! Binoculars are a great way to appreciate the night sky so join Cat for an introduction to stargazing using binoculars. Her talk will include an introduction to binoculars, what to look for when buying binoculars for stargazing, and a selection of astronomical objects that look great through binoculars.​
Using space technology to reduce food waste in India
Katherine Ostojic, RAL Space
​Katherine is a thermal engineer and she's working on a project to look at how the technology used to keep spacecraft at the right temperate can also be used in India to help reduce food waste. She will explain how different materials are better at absorbing or reflecting heat, and how we can apply this property to help solve problems such as hunger and poverty.
Once in a Blue Moon
​Barry Kellett, RAL Space
​Why does the date of Easter change every year? Who set up the calendar that we use today? How often and what is a blue Moon? Join Barry Kellet to find out!
​Secure communication in space
Coraline Dalibot, RAL Space
​How do we communicate with satellites? How can we control them, monitor them or even gather key information from their observations? Join Coraline for an introduction on how this is done and how satellite communication can be secure with an innovative method using the quantum behaviour of matter. For an ultra-secure network, this method ensures that the distributed messages are not intercepted between satellites and/or ground stations. 

Please note the schedule​ may be subject to change.

Contact: Visit RAL