‘Volatile Universe’ explained in guest talk

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Tim O'Brien Volatile Universe

Tim O’Brien Volatile Universe Pic © JMU Journalism

The mysteries of outer space were brought to life as Professor Tim O’Brien and BBC Stargazing Live came to LJMU to talk about the ‘Volatile Universe’ on Tuesday.

The world renowned astronomer began his lecture by explaining the nature of volatility and his audience was full of those interested in the wider universe, hoping for answers to some of life’s bigger questions.

Professor O’Brien spoke in detail about the use of satellites and how those deployed 50 years ago are not much different from those used today. He explained how radiowaves are heard as a heartbeat sound and how they represent the pulsing of the magnetic poles.

The Manchester University lecturer, who has appeared on shows such as ‘The Infinite Monkey Cage’ and BBC Radio 4, explained to the audience with visual aids how supernovae are created, with the collapse of a massive star. The lecture was at once understandable and yet as complex as the universe itself.

Stunning visuals were displayed showing the photographs taken by satellites around the world, of our galaxy and the milky way.

YouTube: JMU Journalism

The 53-year-old explained how the universe is an incredibly volatile place, despite it seeming unchanging to the naked eye.

All around us, space dust and stars are exploding, imploding and colliding to create new stars and black holes which scatter, allowing us to work out the size and scale of the universe and provide explanations as to where the it all began and, perhaps, where it will end.

About Paul Greenough, JMU Journalism