20-23 July 2023 Jodrell Bank Observatory

Robert Walsh

Robert Walsh is a Professor of Solar Physics at the University of Central Lancashire and is a world-leading expert on the Sun and its interaction with Earth. As well as collaborating with NASA colleagues on their sounding rocket programme, Robert held a Leadership Fellow in Public Engagement with the Science and Technology Facilities Council, specifically working with young people in Blackpool, Lancashire.

Robert has helped set a public engagement Guinness World Record and collaborated with several artists to approach engagement with science research in new and creative ways. He is married to Heather, has two teenage children (Matthew and Emma), attends a local church in Preston as well as being a season ticket holder for Preston North End football club.

Robert has two talks at Blue Dot 2022. In the Star Pavilion, he takes us on a journey from the energy generating nuclear heart beating at the core or our Sun, right down to the effect this star has on our terrestrial environment.

Also in the Big Bang Tent, Robert invites us to ask ourselves – what are the chances that alien life could evolve elsewhere in our galaxy and would that life be intelligent? Also, if extraterrestrial life does exist, how could they travel the vast distances across different star systems and end up in our own terrestrial neighbourhood?

Star Pavilion Talk

Living near our star: A new encounter with the Sun

Our Sun may appear tranquil and constant but is it in fact a seething ball of million degree-electrified gases. Recently the view of our closest star has been transformed due to dedicated, space-based observatories. Using the latest images and movies, we will track the flow of energy from the nuclear reactions at the heart of the star right down to our own home planet. Along the way we’ll psychoanalyse the Sun’s magnetic personality, surf along shock waves in the solar wind and run for cover from solar storms as we try to predict the effect of space weather upon the Earth.

Big Bang Talk

Unmasked: The Science of Superheroes – Life and Aliens Edition

With Robert Walsh and Cat Tennick

Based on their new popular science book “Unmasked: The Science of Superheroes”, UCLan academics and authors Robert Walsh and Cat Tennick will use ideas behind amazing superpowers to explore the rich, cutting-edge science that’s happening right here and now. In this edition, we will focus on what makes up life on Earth and the chances that alien life could evolve elsewhere in our galaxy. Would that life be intelligent? And how could they travel the vast distances across different star systems and end up in our own terrestrial neighbourhood?

Days

Saturday 2022