Exploring the cosmos: from Exoplanets to Black Holes

Maynooth University will host an all-ages event to explore the vastness of space for Space Week 2023
Thursday, October 5, 2023 - 18:30
TSI Building

On the 5th of October, at 6.30pm, in the TSI Building Maynooth University will host an all-ages event to explore the vastness of space. Using stunning visualisations Maynooth University Astrophysicists will examine star and planet formation, peer back in time with our physicists trying to image the very edges of our visible universe, and take a journey into the unknown as we trace the origin and evolution of black holes.

Please register for your tickets here 


18.30 Welcome

18.35: John Regan: "Black Holes in Our Universe"

Black Holes are among the most exotic objects in our Universe. In this talk John will discuss the basics of black hole formation, how we can detect them today and the future of black hole hunting using gravitational wave observatories that Maynooth University is a part of. John will also discuss some of the strange effects you might encounter near a black hole - like time slowing down!

18.55: Aoibhinn Gallagher: "The Dark Universe"

There is so much in our universe which is unknown to us, most of it in fact. What is dark matter, what is dark energy? We will go on a journey during this talk through the history of our universe and the history of cosmology (the study of the universe) itself to try and arrive at answers to these questions. Also I will talk about the real life science happening at Maynooth university on these very topics.

19.15: Tea & Coffee Break

19.45: Neil Trappe: "Seeing the Invisible Universe – Terahertz Astronomy"

When you look outside at the clear night sky you will see many thousands of stars overheard. The Moon, stars, planets, comets and galaxies can all be observed if you know where to look just using your eyes, binoculars or a telescope. Astronomers spend many hours looking at the night sky with large automated telescopes from many exotic places around the world to add to our knowledge of the Universe and understand difficult questions like how did the Sun and our Solar System form, how are stars born and how do they die, is there life elsewhere in the Universe, and indeed how did the Universe come into existence at all?

In Maynooth University a team of researchers develop telescopes to see the Universe with different kinds of light, specifically far infrared or “terahertz” light. Why do we do this - we see the Universe differently and can learn lots more information ‘seeing’ with terahertz radiation that is invisible to our eyes.

20.05: Patrick Kavanagh: "The First Year of the James Webb Space Telescope"

The James Webb Space Telescope has made unexpected and groundbreaking discoveries almost routine in its first year. It has produced captivating images of our own Solar System, measured the content of atmospheres around other stars, viewed the stellar birth and death in amazing detail, revealed the skeletal structure of galaxies, and peered deep in to the cosmic past in search of the first stars and galaxies. In this talk Dr. Kavanagh give an overview of Webb and present some of the highlights of the first year of this revolutionary telescope.

20.30: Finish