Lovell Lecture Series

Professor Monica Grady: Astronomy by Microscope

£8 / £10

7.30pm – 9pm

A series of public lectures named in honour of Sir Bernard Lovell, the Founder and first Director of Jodrell Bank Observatory.

Jodrell Bank is proud to be hosting the Lovell Lecture series in our Wolfson Auditorium. We will be hosting regular evening lectures and are delighted to welcome leading astrophysicists to Jodrell Bank.

LECTURE 5: Astronomy by Microscope

Traditionally, astronomers study stars and planets by telescope. But we can also learn about them by using a microscope – through studying meteorites.

Meteorites are fragments of ancient material, natural objects that survive their fall to Earth from space. Some are metallic, but most are made of stone. They are the oldest objects that we have for study. Almost all meteorites are fragments from asteroids, and were formed at the birth of the Solar System, approximately 4567 million years ago. They show a compositional variation that spans a whole range of planetary materials, from completely unmelted and unfractionated stony chondrites to highly fractionated and differentiated iron meteorites. Meteorites, and components within them, carry records of all stages of Solar System history. From meteorites, we can learn about the processes and materials that shaped the Solar System and our planet. Tiny grains within meteorites have come from other stars, giving information about the stellar neighbourhood in which the Sun was born. Some meteorites contain organic compounds – materials which might have helped life on Earth to get started. There are also meteorites from the Moon and from Mars that give us insights to how these bodies have formed and evolved.

In her lecture, Monica will describe how the microscope is another tool that can be employed to trace stellar and planetary processes.

Speaker Bio

Monica Grady is Professor of Planetary and Space Sciences at the Open University. She has been studying meteorites – chunks from asteroids (and the Moon and Mars) that land on Earth – for more than forty years. She specialises in investigating carbon and nitrogen in the samples and is particularly interested in what meteorites from Mars can reveal about the chances of life on Mars.


Pre-book your meal at our First Light Café in our stunning new building. Open from 18:00 – 19:15 with the last sitting at 18:50. 


Sausage & Mash with peas and gravy, £7.95

Sausage options:

  • Manchester Sausage (Pork, Mixed Herbs & Pepper)
  • Welsh Dragon (Pork, Leek & Chilli)
  • Pork & Cracked Black Pepper
  • Vegan Sausage

Served with Mash, Peas & Gravy

Gluten free option available on request. Contact us for further information. Please note all our products are prepared in a kitchen that handle all allergens. Hot & cold drinks and delicious sweet treats also available on the evening.

You will be sent information on how to pre-book your meal once you have booked your Lovell Lecture ticket.