Tag Archives: Astronomy

PubSci Online | Naomi Rowe-Gurney – They Might Be [Ice] Giants!

 (Solar System Science and the James Webb Space Telescope)

On Friday 28th May we’re delighted to welcome astrophysicist Naomi Rowe-Gurney, our fourth speaker of the 2021 programme, for a talk titled They Might be [Ice]Giants! 

Naomi will talk about Solar System Science, the James Webb Space Telescope, and the “ice giant “planets, Neptune and Uranus. [Tickets are available now – booking and joining information follows the description below]

Neptune Uranus_PA_and_NASA

Neptune and Uranus © NASA

The James Webb Space Telescope is the scientific successor to the Hubble Space Telescope and is scheduled to be launched later this year.

Not many people realise that this huge infrared telescope – capable of seeing deeper into space and further back in time than anything before it – will be used to look at objects in our own solar-system with groundbreaking resolution, as well as probing the farthest reaches of the universe.

In her own research, Naomi looks at the ice giants with data from Spitzer Space Telescope, which has now been decommissioned. The JWST replaces Spitzer but has been much delayed. In her talk, Naomi will explain what the Webb is, why we need it, and will give the latest updates on its revised schedule. She will explain how it will help scientists look at our own solar-system.

From planetary atmospheres to Kuiper Belt Objects and Comets, Webb is equipped to observe them all. So, what is the Webb and what big science questions could it help to answer?

[Event booking and joining information follows the description below]

• • •

Naomi Rowe-Gurney

Naomi Rowe-Gurney

Naomi Rowe Gurney is completing a PhD at the University of Leicester, focusing on the atmospheres of the ice giants, Uranus and Neptune. She specialises in Planetary atmospheres, Spectral Inversion and Radiative Transfer. Her research uses data from the Spitzer Space Telescope to characterise the stratospheres of the two planets in preparation for the forthcoming launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

Naomi is an active member of the JWST UK outreach community and, as a former teacher, she is a passionate communicator of astronomy and astrophysics, and an advocate for women in science.

In recent years she has worked with NASA and was featured on the BBC’s flagship astronomy programme, The Sky at Night.


Viewing the talk: Virtual PubSci is hosted live online via Zoom. We also stream events live on our YouTube channel where they remain available for at least 28 days.

Like all our events, this talk is free to attend, but you will need to register with eventbrite to access Zoom. We have included the option to donate a small amount when you register to help cover web hosting fees etc.

Ticket sales go live at 12:05 on Friday 12th March. You’ll receive a confirmation email; the Zoom link is emailed on the day of the talk and available in the eventbrite online event page.

More details on the event registration page.



Important Note: We aim to make our events accessible to all. You don’t have to pay, and you don’t need to install Zoom – Zoom can be run in a browser and events are streamed on the PubSci YouTube channel. Anybody wishing to support PubSci in our science communication can choose to make a donation when registering with eventbrite or contribute to our PayPal money pool, which goes directly to keeping PubSci online.

Please check our Future Events page where you can also subscribe to our iCal feed and don’t forget to check out our downloadable PDF schedule, which includes confirmed speakers with dates TBC.

Space telescopes (Forbes)

PubSci SciPubQuiz

Science (Quiz) in the Pub

For December’s Science In The Pub there will be a science-themed pub quiz hosted by Kash Farooq and James Longstaff. The usual PubSci hosts Paolo and James get a night off – as they will be taking part in the quiz.

And, thanks to our good friends at the British Science Association, there will be some appropriately geeky/sciencey prizes that we will dish out as we see fit!

We suggest that you form teams of 3 or 4 people. Don’t worry if you don’t have have enough people – just turn up. We’re a friendly bunch and we’re sure we can get everyone into a team.

It might also be a good idea to “mix disciplines” when forming a team – each round will have questions from various areas of science. We’ve been busy thinking up questions for a few weeks now and have come up with a fairly wide variety.

To give you a clue of the sort of questions to expect, here are the categories we came up when we were thinking up questions:

  • Chemistry
  • Scientists
  • Geology
  • Astronomy/Space
  • Physics
  • Biology

See you on Tuesday 6th December from 7:30, upstairs at the Brixton Ritzy!


Next CineSci6 screening:

Moon – Sunday 13 November, 14:30

A lone worker on a lunar mining base begins to have very odd experiences just as he’s about to return home to Earth. For almost 3 years Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) has been mining Earth’s primary source of energy, Helium-3, for Lunar Industries. But when a routine extraction goes horribly wrong, it becomes increasingly clear that his contract isn’t the only thing that is about to expire.

Duncan Jones’ stunning debut harks back to classic psychological sci-fi films like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Dark Star, not just in terms of the way it looks, but also in the way it forces us to explore issues of loneliness, isolation and our place in the vast cosmic canvas.

After the screening there will be a Q&A with Lewis Dartnell, from the Centre for Planetary Sciences Earth Sciences at University College London, and author of Life in the Universe: A Beginner’s Guide. Lewis will discuss this modern cult classic film, as well as the wider opportunities and concerns of human space exploration and lunar science. So, come join us on Sunday afternoon for a scientific journey into space.

You won’t be alone.


Post written by Simon Frantz, posted by PaoloV

To Boldly Go… to the Pub

September’s PubSci – Beer and Galaxies

On Tuesday 6th September Upstairs at the Brixton Ritzy starting at 7:30pm (although you can come earlier if you like) our Designated Scientist Alice Sheppard of Galaxy Zoo will give you a glimpse into the world of Astronomy and Citizen Science over a pint of something nice.

This will be followed by a live experiment and probably a debate (if previous months are anything to go by)!

Galaxy Zoo

Astronomy has been the subject of wonder and speculation for as long as historical records exist (and probably for longer than that). As with all science, people got some things right and – even with the best methods available – some things wrong.

Since 2007 Alice Sheppard has run the Galaxy Zoo Forum, the discussion area for an online astronomy project with 300,000 members worldwide. Galaxy Zoo has so far produced 21 papers, whose authors and acknowledged contributors include several ‘ordinary’ citizens. Some of the findings were a direct result of questions or collections of objects created by users, who became “Citizen Scientists”.

Alice takes us through some of the best and worst of astronomical history and what ancient and modern mistakes have been made. We will hear about the questions people have brought to Galaxy Zoo, the ways in which biases have been found and dealt with by the scientists and participants, the beautiful and inspiring projects created by untrained people and the scientific thinking they have learned to apply for themselves.

We also take a look at citizen science in general, how Galaxy Zoo has taught large numbers of people to understand and use science and we will explore what this might mean for engaging the wider public.

By day Alice is an office superviser at a charity for disabled people; by night she writes about science and astronomy

The Experiment

After the talk you will get the chance (or be forcibly coerced) to be involved in a live experiment.

The Debate

A chance to discuss the most recent issues in science, if you have something to get off your chest about science, now is the time to do it.

See you on Tuesday!