This is a superb website containing precise information about the various lectures and the different exhibitions. All the descriptions are well illustrated by high quality images and should appeal to a wide audience. I look forward to attending the event and meeting the devoted people who will make it a great success.
I saw the Lecture on Evolution of Galaxies, very interesting. I recommend coming to see this festival.
Shame it was not better marketed earlier in the year, I only heard about it via Guardian’s science weekly podcast, which I listened to on Thursday
Like many, I only heard about the UCL’s International Year of Astronomy’s efforts 10pm the night before. Visiting on Fri 21st Aug I was extremely pleased at the cheerful & very welcoming knowledgeable students manning their stalls & willingly illustrating the galaxies evolution since the split seconds of the Big Bang.
One stall in particular is Lewis Dartnell’s ‘Mars’ who I felt honoured to meet as he has a wonderful future ahead of him regarding his quest for life in the Universe presently collaborating with ESA & their Mars rover. Like all the students he was selfless & in conversing he both listened & spoke with interest to layman & strangers off the street.
There were 4 lectures of which I attended ‘The mystery of Dark matter & dark energy in the Universe’ by Prof Ofer Lahav. This gentleman presented a great lecture on a difficult to proffese subject with the patience of a saint. It was well illustrated & he answered the barrage of questions esquisetly despite many pressings by the general public who had their own ideas (including me).
I regret that I cannot attend Saturday & Sunday’s events but anyone who does will enjoy a brilliant time. Thanks go to the Stars stuff stall & to the solar scope people outside sharing the use of their expensive equiptment with the general public.
I thoroughly enjoyed the lecture on Solar Eclipses by Dr Diego on Sunday 23rd. Rivetting stuff! Unfortunately I only heard of this exhibition on Friday and was not able to spend as much time as I would have liked to do at such short notice. However what I did see was very exciting.
It would have been helpful if a map had been posted on the website showing exactly where the exhibition was being held - I assumed it would be in the Physics block but eventually found a helpful young lady who gave concise directions. Also more publicity about this event would surely have resulted in greater numbers of people attending.
My thanks to the dedicated lecturers and students who made this event so memorable. I look forward to the next one!
Many thanks for your comments. The website clearly said that the event was held in the north cloisters and old refectory. We had signs from the front gate indicating these locations. In addition, our telescopes were very visible out in the front quad surrounded by a crowd all the time. However, UCL is a labyrinth of many buidings and some visitors had the same problem as you. Next time publicity will be much wider and a clear map will be included on the website as you suggest.
I really enjoyed the exhibition and the lectures which I attended. In particular Dr Francisco Diego’s lecture on A ghost Universe on the Saturday. I took my family to this lecture who have no knowledge of astronomy. They all found the lecture fascinating. My 11 year old son and his friend who is 13 debated the Big Bang and Dark Matter all the way home on the train. It can be very difficult to engage and inspire children of that age group and I was very impressed.
With my son and two daughters we spent a great day at UCL on Friday 21st August. We went to three of the family lectures and found them all really interesting and inspiring. We heard Dr Ian Crawford speak about space exploration by astronauts, a hot topic in our family. Ian brought the subject to life brilliantly and we thoroughly enjoyed the presentation. . At this session several young children took our breath away with their thoughtful questions.
The next session we attended was ‘The Life Stories of Stars’. This was very interesting indeed and lots of fun. We felt that we learnt a lot in this session - some of which will be very useful in my son’s GCSE course this year.
Finally we attended the ‘Formation of Massive Galaxies’ lecture and it was very interesting and mind boggling. Dr Ignacio Ferreras demonstrated a love for his subject which was very infectious.
I hadn’t known what to expect when I took my family to this event. The quality of the presentations were excellent and this was a relief as I wasn’t sure whether academics at this level would be able to simplify their subject matter without being condescending. Overall we learnt a lot without realising that we had, and it gave us something entirely different to think about.
I very much hope that this type of event will be repeated. Congratulations to the organisers.
My three children (ages 15, 13 & attended workshops for most of the day (Thursday 26th Nov.) along with many other home-educated children and all really enjoyed it. The morning session for the younger children was fabulous. Our guide - Steven - took us through the exhibits, carefully explaining everything, answering the constant stream of questions without either being patronising or going over the children’s heads. It was very exciting seeing the working labs as well as the astronomy exhibits. The older children were also treated to a tour by Steven and they all said how interesting and good he was. They particularly enjoyed the talk by the researcher on his own research (dark matter…) and looking at Jupiter + its moons through the telescope in the early evening. The time-line exhibit lost their interest a bit and was more suitable for the younger kids. A group of us also attended a lecture on the birth, life and death of stars which was fascinating, clear (although a bit quiet). Altogether it was an excellent insight into astronomy and research in this field. Thankyou so much for organising this festival.
Im a homeeducating mother, my 8yo daughter enjoyed the day hugely,
the talks have been captivating, the displays are just amazing, all people who catered for the activities were just fun to be with, very approachable, friendly. We absolutely would love to come again and again, THANK YOU!
Thank you for a most interesting and stimulating day. I will send the teaching material to the Harrow Teachers’ Centre again.
It is a shame that it rained and it was not possible to view the night sky. However I still managed to observe two coins. One was orange with a thin yellow surround.
Thank you once again.
Attended on 26 November, very interesting. Thanks to all the
friendly staff and students. Prof. Prinja’s talk on stars was a
highlight for sure - it was very informative and brilliantly delivered.
My wife brought a class from her school in Enfield on Wednesday and wanted to revisit so we brought our children to see on Saturday 28th.
We all found it most interesting and enjoyable and, as we were unable to attend on Sunday hope the event will be repeated.
Would it be possible to make the lectures available on the UCL website?
I have always been totally entralled by astronomy and all my family and I were fascinated by Dr Francisco Diego’s amazing lecture on Sunday 29th November at UCL, a day to remember for my daughter’s birthday that weekend! Thank you to everyone involved! As it has been a life-long dream to observe space through a telescope, I hope we are able to when these UCL Your Universe events return next year! I would really appreciate it if you could please let me know when there are any other events about this!
Really, really enjoyed the lecture we attended on Sunday afternoon- and wish I could have attended more.
I’m a UCL graduate, but only found out about it via my mum, who works at UCL, so I definitely recommend more widespread advertising, both beforehand and on the day please.
The lecturer Dr Diego was fantastic - clear, well-organised, pitched appropriately and most importantly passionate about his subject. It was fascinating and very thought-provoking. I’m looking forward to attending more events next year. Thank you to all involved in organising the event!
David Elliot very kindly forwarded the details as I am a member of the RAS. I did manage two very good lectures on Friday evening, which were well presented, the right length, good visuals and as promised pitched at an audience with a non-scientifc background. I am not a student, and have a general interest in astronomy. I am sorry I was unable to attend on Saturday
I attended the lecture on Sun Spots on the Sunday with my family and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. I found it very interesting, easy to follow, and learned a few new things, which is everything I would want!
I will definitely be attending next year, although I agree with the above commenter(Melissa Gardner) that there was not enough advertising outside UCL.
Thank you very much for all the hard work, and I’ll see you in 2010!
I am a first year undergraduate student in UCL who attended quite a few lectures at the recent “Your Universe” exhibition, which I believe you were the main organiser. I would like to thank you and your team for having organised such a successful event that was truly inspirational and stimulating. At the same time, I would like to enquire if there have been any recordings or podcasts taken of the lectures that could be made available online please? I would like to share this great experience and knowledge with my friends, and it would be most beneficial if the excellent lectures could be available for streaming or download on the internet please.
The lectures were excellent. I particularly enjoyed the lectures by Mark Westmoquette, ‘The amazing images from the Hubble Space Telescope’ and Francisco Diego ‘The sun and the magic of total eclipses’. Their enthusiasm for the wonder of the universe inspired us all. Two exhibits Stars r Us and the Magic Planet were particularly stunning.
the lectures were excellent! first class
i ecpecially liked the lecture by mark westmiquette on galaxy collisions!
i also loved the lecture on solar eclipes by francesco diego
i also loved looking through the telescope and seeing jupiter
it was really fun to see the magic planet
i lear’nt loads! you should have this every year!
it would be nice for next time to have a lecture on how a dead star turns into a black hole
i want to be an astro naut now!
A fantastic day. Took a group of fifteen year olds and they were genuinely inspired by the work carried out at UCL. Our tour guide was really personable and engaged well with the students. Their highlight was the chance to observe Jupiter and its moons through one of the university’s telescopes. They also found the lecture on astrobiology absorbing and rushed to buy books at the end! It is really positive that KS4 students can meet and talk with phD students about the work they carry out. Thank you very much Francisco.
It was a great event, the tour gave information in a very accessible way with hands on elements. The highlight had to be looking through the telescope at Jupiter and the moons that became visible as the light faded. The students also had a great time. Thank you very much.
I came on the Saturday event and was very impressed. As a UCL physics graduate now out of the field, I was hoping to jog my memory of an early cosmology course i did almost 8 years ago, but it gave me much more than that and really updated me on things I had vaguely heard of but did not really know enough about. The material was not too difficult yet without the dilution of detail that TV documentaries seem to give these days, it was very well balanced.
The lectures were of the highest quality, able to engage all skill levels. The lecturers all seemed truly passionate about their subject matter and this enthusiasm was mirrored in the audience who had a plethora of probing question to ask at the end of each one. It felt very reassuring that not only were children attending, but also captivated by the subject matter, which gives me some reassurance that we will continue to be able to find enthusiastic students to continue the mountain of work still to come. This was bolstered by a wonderfully honest humility that lecturers displayed about all the mysteries we still do not understand, which seemed perfect to inspire the next generation.
I heard about this event through a friend still studying at UCL but felt really I would have liked to have heard about it directly too through an alumni email out. For I would definitely attend this again in a years time, to hear all the updates on what was shown this time and any new projects being planned. Like another comment suggested, I would like to see a bit more about general relativity, about efforts on grand unified theories, the predicted fates of our solar system and maybe a space exploration lecture in the weekend session too. No doubt there is some complex subject matter to tackle in these lectures, but judging by the lecture quality this time around, I have no doubt that the lecturers will be able to beautifully illustrate complex principles to all skill levels.
Thank you so much to all involved in this Festival of Astronomy which was clearly a great success! Being a home-educator, I am grateful for this event which highly benefited my 11-year-old daughter Raphaelle to the point that she dreams of becoming an astonaut now! We learnt huge amounts! We attended most of the lectures and we rate them as ‘first class’. We particularly liked the computer simulations, the carefully selected beautiful images, the experiments (the iron powder’s magnetic ‘arrangement’) AND the humour. We also greatly enjoyed joining a ’school tour’, going ‘behind-the -scenes’ of the Department but above all, we got thrilled to look though a ‘proper’ telescope for the first time in our life: seeing the craters on the moon, and Jupiter and four of its moons, was a pretty magical experience!
We hope there will be more of this type of event in the near future, and on a regular basis. Please next time bring us more lectures on astro-biology, astro-chemistry, the history of astronomy especially in Ancient Greece, Mesopotamia, Egypt, China and South America. More Magic Planet presentation, more experiments (interactive stuff) and lots of star gazing at the nightsky!
A big thank you again and very well done!
I would like to send my thanks to all the people involved in organising the Your Universe day at UCL. My partner teacher thought it was the best trip that she has ever been on!
I took a group of 20 students from my Astronomy club to the event and they one and all loved it. Even I was bowled over by how enthusisatic they were to learn about the various topics on show, especially the evening lectures on the Life of Stars and Astrobiology.
From my point of view I think the chance to meet actual scientists doing work behind the scenes was an invaluable experience for those students beginning to think of future careers.
So a final big thank you from the Royal Liberty School Astronomy Club.
I would like to thank you and all your staff and students for providing such a wonderful experience for our Year 5 & Year 6 science group from Cypress Junior Mixed School. The pupils were so enthused and excited by the visit as were the staff who accompanied them. The children not only benefitted from the knowledge and visual experiences regarding astronomy but also from their presence in the University itself.
Your group leaders were so friendly and dealt brilliantly with the multitude of questions our young people asked. I would like to maintain contact with the University and be made aware of any other such events that could enrich our science curriculum as effectively as did this one. Congratulations to all.
I attended the November version of the event with 12 pupils and a colleague. The postgrad who showed us around was very good and we saw some intersting and informative things. It was nice to catch a glimpse of behind the scenes, too. We even had a peep at the Moon and Jupiter before departing in the early evening. A worthwhile visit.
I brought a group of year 12 students to one of the My universe open days at the university. The students were very excited to see around the university and enjoyed learning about the universe from the excellent post graduate students that were currently working in the field. They pitched their talks well.
The highlight for me was the two lectures at the end of the day. The speakers were totally inspiring and maintained the interest of the students with ease.
An excellent day out.
This was our second time attending the festival, and we’ll definitely be back. The two lectures were excellent, very well pitched for all abilities with ample time for questions at the end. The speakers’ enthusiasm and beautifully illustrated presentations were a complete joy, and the other activities taking place during the day in the quad and cloisters were also very enjoyable. Highly recommended to anyone with an interest in the universe!
I took a group of Year 5 and 6 children to the schools event on the Friday. They really enjoyed learning about astronomy from the very enthusiastic phd student, who was able to talk to them on their level about quite a complex subject.
Really enjoyable. I went to Hubble & Herschel talks and the speakers were excellent. Looking through the telescope afterwards was great, and not something I would otherwise get the opportunity to do. Could be better advertised - a friend told me about it otherwise I would never have known about it. However the small group worked really well when looking through the telescope - everyone had a chance to ask questions and have a few looks through the telescope, which wouldn’t have happened with a big group.
A wonderful experience! The children enjoyed themselves greatly. The lectures opened the childrens’ minds to lots of interesting information about the universe. We attended the event on 15th October 2010 and we were very excited that you added the universe competition to your brilliant event. The children expressed their imaginations after learning a bit more about the universe.
Thank you and well done!
My 9 year old daughter and 2 of her friends were taken by family friends to the Herschel lecture on the 17th Ocotber 2010. My daughter thoroughly enjoyed the lecture and was very pleased that she had the opportunity of looking through a telescope. She came back with a copious amount of notes she had taken for her school yearbook- all of which made perfect sense! It seems a fabulous opportunity to interest younger children in the universe.
I was very impressed with the exhibition that I attended with triple science students from my school. There was a wide variety of topics covered which helped give my students an overview of astronomy as a whole. The students especially enjoyed using the telescopes as they were able to operate and focus on different parts of the room. The students appreciated the enthusiasm of the presenter of dark matter and had many questions for me afterwards. They enjoyed using the spectroscopes to look at the different colours of light and the presenter gave them a good insight into A-level topics such as energy levels and spectra. Although the exo-plant presentation was a bit above their heads they enjoyed seeing the relative sizes of stars and have asked to explore this topic in more detail when we return to school. It was a fantastic opportunity to show my students the options open to them in the future and to meet students at the university. I hope we can attend this again next year and hopefully some lectures as well.
Enjoyed Matt Melis talk on the engineering of the Suttle (26th October 2011) - superb lecture: stunning slides, and excellent use of animations and videos. He even passed around materials. Even though it was 90 minutes, it could have been twice that. Learned a lot.