19:30 – 21:00
The Art of Science: Seeing the Shock of an Exploding Star
Every now and again, a previously unknown star becomes visible in the night sky. These events do not mark the birth of new stars but are often explosions of dying stars. In this talk Tim will discuss his favourite exploding star, RS Ophiuchi, focusing on one image that was made following its 2006 explosion. This revealed, for the first time, the shock wave produced by its titanic explosion. Tim will explore how this image was made, the telescopes that were used, the processing employed and the excitement of seeing something that nobody in the world had ever seen before.
Tim O’Brien features in The Compass, astronomical illuminations, on projected onto the front of the First Light Pavilion this evening.
About the Speaker
Tim O’Brien is a Professor of Astrophysics and an Associate Director of Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics at The University of Manchester.
Tim has published around 150 research papers, mainly on the study of thermonuclear explosions on white dwarf stars in binary systems. He has used a wide range of telescopes around the world and in space, including the e-MERLIN radio telescopes operated from Jodrell Bank, X-ray satellites, the Hubble Space Telescope and the Very Large Telescope in Chile. He is also a co-founder of the bluedot festival and is active in celebrating the heritage of Jodrell Bank.