International comet hunter comes to Aston

4th March 2009


To celebrate International Year of Astronomy 2009 and National Science and Engineering Week (March 6th-15th), Aston University is pleased to welcome David Levy, co-discoverer of the famous Shoemaker-Levy comet that crashed into Jupiter in 1994, to give a special lecture hosted by Birmingham Astronomical Society.

The free public lecture will take place on Tuesday,10th March 2009 at 6pm.

International Year of Astronomy 2009 is a global effort initiated by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and UNESCO to help the citizens of the world redefine their place in the Universe through the day and night-time sky thereby rekindling a personal sense of wonder and discovery.

National Science and Engineering Week is a ten day celebration of science and engineering with events happening all around the UK.

Gill Pilfold from Birmingham Astronomical Society said: ‘Having David Levy visit us at the start of National Science and Engineering Week in International Year of Astronomy is a great thrill and a real privilege for the Society.

'We are delighted to help David communicate his passion for astronomy to a wider audience and share a fascinating glimpse into the world of the ‘dirty snowballs’ that we call comets. Birmingham Astronomical Society was established in 1950 and is based at Aston University. With around 60 members, the aim is to promote astronomy and learn more about the Universe. With a workshop for constructing our own mirrors/telescopes, a well-stocked library and well-used clubroom, we meet every week. We also enjoy monthly lectures from distinguished guest speakers including Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell, discoverer of the pulsar, and hold regular star parties to observe the night sky.
To celebrate International Year of Astronomy, we are holding a variety of events every month throughout the year in and around Birmingham under the umbrella theme: ‘A City Dweller’s Guide to the Galaxy’.

For further  details log onto  www.birmingham-astronomy.co.uk’

David’s Aston University talk, Making science make sense, will take place in the Byng Kendrick Lecture theatre at Aston University. It will be followed by an Open Evening and light buffet in Birmingham Astronomical Society’s Club room at 7.30 pm. 
To book a seat for the talk, please email: events@aston.ac.uk
For more information about the Society or David Levy’s visit, please contact Gill Pilfold on 0121 204 3880 or email: gill.pilfold@btinternet.com.

David will also speak at the Thinktank Theatre, Millennium Point on Sunday, 8th March at 3.30pm where he will give a talk called A Nightwatchman's Journey:  My Adventures as a Skywatcher and Comet Discoverer over Half a Century. Seating is limited and must be booked in advance. Tickets cost £4 for adults and children and concessions £2. Please email Gill Pilfold as above to book seats.

Aston University hosts regular public lectures with eminent Aston University researchers and outside academic and industry visitors. Information on events is regularly updated at www1.aston.ac.uk/about/news/events.


Notes for editors

• There will be an opportunity for the press to meet David Levy on Tuesday, 10 March at Aston University before his lecture, from 3.30pm onwards. Interviews/photography must be arranged with the Press Office in advance, please call 0121 204 4552 for further information.
• National Science and Engineering Week runs from 6-15 March 2009. It is an annual, ten day, UK-wide celebration of science and engineering, coordinated by the British Science Association in partnership with the Engineering and Technology Board (ETB) and funded by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS). For further information, activities and an online programme of events, visit www.nsew.org.yk

For further press information please contact Sally Finn on 0121 204 4552


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