Brian Cox and studying Astronomy

Last Friday night I had the absolute pleasure of attending the University of Melbourne’s Public Lecture given by Professor Brian Cox. For those of you not familiar with Prof. Cox, he is a Particle Physicist working on the Large Hadron Collider and the ATLAS experiment which was responsible for detecting the Higgs Boson earlier this year. He is also author of a number of books and is about to launch his third BBC series, Wonders of Life, following on from his other successful series, Wonders of the Solar System and Wonders of the Universe. But he is also quite well known for his 90’s band D:Ream and the hit song, ‘Things can only get better’. (which he did not sing!)

It was a packed theatre at the Melbourne Convention Centre and you could hear a pin drop as Brian explained the most complex of ideas such as Special Relativity, Quantum Theory and the Higgs Boson, in a very easy to understand manner. There were plenty of Ohhh’s and Uh Huh’s as people finally felt they understood these concepts. I am really looking forward to his new series about how Physics played a part in the origin of life.

A quick update on other news;

A goldilocks super-Earth has been found around a star 43 ly away!

Only a day away until the total eclipse in Cairns, Australia. Live podcasts and feeds are available if you have not got access to a filter.

It’s a busy week for me too, as long as the clouds stay away…but more on that later.

Lastly, a call out to anyone who might be interested in studying some Astronomy over the summer with me. I will be doing the online Coursera subject, Introduction to Astronomy. It starts on Nov 27 and goes for 9 weeks. There is no cost, but no official creditation. You do get a certificate on completion though. It is estimated to be about 6-8 hrs of work a week. Let me know if you are interested and we can set up an online study group.

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