Monthly Meetings

All monthly meetings begin at 7:30 promptly and are open to NLO members and general public.

Our 2018 Schedule is

Date Topic Speaker
8th January Nuclear Spin – Its Great Impact on Physics, Chemistry and Medicine Dr Keith Orrell
12th February Optics and Metamaterials Euan Hendry (Exeter University)
12th March Cosmology: From the Big Bang through the Dark Ages and to Cosmic Dawn Sarah Bosman (UCL)
9th April Contact with ETI – How will it affect us? Martin Griffiths (Dark Sky Wales)
14th May Artificial Intelligence Leigh Edwards
11th June Ancient Egyptian Astronomy Pauline Norris


Ancient Egyptian Astronomy” by Pauline Norris – 11th June 2018

The ancient Egyptians were adept naked-eye star gazers and calendar compilers. Life in the Nile Valley depended on the annual flooding of the Nile – the Inundation – and it was this occurrence, coupled with the heliacal rising of Sirius, that formed the basis of their religious calendar. This talk looks at how the Egyptians employed astronomy in their belief system, focusing on the measurement of time and calendars, the alignment of their monuments, what they ‘saw’ in the sky and what they made of what fell out of it!

Pauline obtained a Master of Philosophy degree in Agricultural Science at the University of Aberystwyth, Wales. She then studied Egyptology, passed her Masters at the University of Birmingham and subsequently graduated with a Doctorate in Egyptology from the University of Manchester. She is an independent researcher and a member of Newtown Astronomy Society in Powys, Mid-Wales.

Artificial Intelligence” by Leigh Edwards – 14th May 2018.
AI – what’s behind it, what are the risks and benefits?
This is a change from the previously published talk.

Contact with Extra Terrestrial Intelligence – How will it affect us?” by Martin Griffiths – 9th April 2018.

Astronomers have been looking for extraterrestrial life for many years. Although techniques and instrumentation are becoming increasingly sophisticated, what would be our response as a human society should we ever find intelligence in the cosmos? This lecture will examine the various contact scenarios and delve into the potential scientific, religious, social and philosophical effects that contact with ETI may bring.

Nuclear Spin – Its Great Impact on Physics, Chemistry and Medicine” by Dr Keith Orrell – 8th January 2018

Dr Keith Orrell presents a personal tribute to Sir Rex Richards, an outstanding scientist who has strong East Devon connections and whose life has strongly impinged on his own scientific career. He describes the remarkable story of how a discovery in fundamental physics has led to a spectroscopic technique that has transformed how chemists are able to identify molecular structures, and how this technique has been the precursor to an amazingly powerful and safe scanning method that medical clinicians have developed for all types of medical diagnosis.