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Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd September


Professor Chris Lintott

(University of Oxford and BBC Sky at Night presenter)

Jane Green FRAS

(Author, Presenter and Broadcaster)

Professor Richard Nelson

(Queen Mary University of London)

Craig Leff

(Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London)

Ninian Boyle FRAS

(Astronomer, Writer, Broadcaster)

Pete Lawrence

(Astrophotographer, Writer and BBC Sky at Night presenter)

Dr Chris Byrnes

(University of Sussex)

Hosted in the beautiful former home of the Royal Observatory, this Astronomy Festival returned with an exciting weekend for the entire family.

I joined a fabulous list of speakers, headed by Professor Chris Lintott, presenter of the BBC Sky at Night television programme, with whom I worked on the national pioneering theatre show, TOUR OF THE UNIVERSE.

Chris with Observatory Director, Sandra Voss, joining in the fun!

Talks covered such topics as: the Apollo missions; an anatomy of a solar eclipse; a potted history of the telescope; quantum mechanics; ten years of Chris's Galaxy Zoo; the hunt for Proxima-b, and a one-hour whizz through the Universe, courtesy of yours truly.

Jane Green FRAS (earlier image)

"Brilliant, inspiring talk by Jane about the scale of the Universe."

Dan Powell

How surreal to complete my talk on Sunday morning and be followed by Craig Leff, Project Manager for the ExoMars PanCam - the colour stereo camera to be used for the 2020 ESA ExoMars rover mission.

Craig delivered a hugely informative and entertaining talk.

Craig Leff, Project Manager (UCL, MSSL)

Pete Lawrence, BBC Sky at Night presenter, with Ninian Boyle FRAS and a visitor!

Professor Richard Nelson (Queen Mary University of London)

Dr Chris Byrnes (University of Sussex)

Visitors were able to look through historic telescopes, among them the Observatory's Thompson 30-inch reflector, 13-inch astrograph and the Thompson 26-inch refractor.

Planetarium shows and solar observing sessions also complemented the activities, alongside trade stalls, raffles and other compelling indoor and outdoor science exhibits.

With a packed venue, there was a wonderful atmosphere and

much fun was had by all.

I, for one, was thrilled to have been involved in this annual, much-loved event.

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