The Flamsteed Astronomy Society

Solar viewing with the FAS (Mike Meynell)Solar viewing with the Flamsteed Astronomy Society. Credit: Mike Meynell, FAS Moon over the Planetarium by Mike MeynellMoon over the Peter Harrison Planetarium. Credit: Mike Meynell, FAS If you are interested in exploring new concepts and discoveries in astronomy, then join the Flamsteed Astronomy Society. The Society meets in the Museum's Lecture Theatre on the first Monday of the month during the winter, with world-class astronomers joining members to explore new concepts and discoveries. The group also have observing sessions out and about and special sessions on the Royal Observatory's 28-inch telescope.

In summer, a programme of visits and observing activities are arranged. Flamsteed members will be active during March's National Science Week and the first weekend of every month from 11.30–15.00 in the Astronomers' Garden at the Royal Observatory to offer visitors the chance to view the Sun through a solar telescope donated to the Museum by the Flamsteed Astronomy Society.

Membership of the Flamsteed Astronomy Society costs £80 for an individual membership, £120 for joint membership and £63 for concessionary membership. This includes the price of the standard Museum membership. See How to join.

Find out more on the Flamsteed Astronomy Society's website.

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Planck’s View of the Origin of the Universe, by Dr Hiranya Peiris

Monday 9 March 2015

19.15 | Lecture Theatre, NMM

The observed properties of the primordial fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) can provide constraints on physical theories in regimes otherwise inaccessible to experiment. Given the extreme conditions in the early Universe, the CMB is our best hope of uncovering fingerprints of the physics operating at very high energy scales, inaccessible to Earth-bound particle accelerators. But what created these primordial inhomogeneities? The Planck satellite has recently dramatically sharpened our view of the early Universe and provided a window into the origin of cosmic structure. Dr Peiris will describe how the Planck data promote our understanding of the extreme physics of the very early Universe, and what we have yet to learn.

Dr Hiranya Peiris is a Reader in Cosmology at University College London (UCL). Her main research interests are in cosmology, the study of the basic characteristics of the Universe (its contents, history, evolution, and eventual fate), and she spends much of her time studying the properties of the oldest light we can see in the Universe to understand how and why the Big Bang occurred. She is also interested in how galaxies form and evolve, and in determining the structure and properties of our Galaxy, the Milky Way.