Day 2 – 9/2/2019:
Started today by docking the Soyuz onto the International Space Station. Last year I fluked a successful docking in the same simulator (I gave up in disgust when I could not get it to dock, got up and walked away to shouts of “You’ve done it!” – it drifted on to dock successfully when I let go of the controls!!) This year I buried that ghost, by successfully docking the aft hatch in both easy and hard modes and also successfully docking into one of the side hatches – not sure what changed the year to turn me into a mean docking machine….
I then did an interview on this new Rotarion automatic telescope turret – perhaps the most exciting innovation seen at thus year’s Astrofest.
Then Ed and I went into lecture theatre for the start of today’s series of 8 talks.
Stuart Clarke and Lucie Green, who are chairing the sessions today:
David Eicher started the lectures today with a talk on galaxies. Yesterday, when David presented with Brian May on Moon 3D, Brian did most of the talking, so today’s talk was the first time I have properly heard David speak – and he was VERY good! Here is one of Edwin Hubble’s plates from his presentation. I think David said it was one of Hubble’s observations of M31:
The next talk was on the Hayabusa 2 mission. Another brilliant talk – clearly today was going to be something exceptional!
The following link is to the webpage for live webcam feed for landing of Hayabusa 2 on its asteroid at the end of the month.
After coffee, Paul Able and Allan Chapman will be giving talks. Can you imagine attending a better conference than this? Perhaps it is possible, but it would need to be some conference to be so!
Brian May and Andrew
And with Paul Abel from BBC’s Sky at Night:
Other highlights and photos:
I did not realise Mercury has x-ray aurorae – there is no atmosphere and the solar particles coming down magnetic field lines hit the surface which gives off x-ray.
Andy and Paul Money:
Ed showed Paul photos of the new Peter Bolas Observatory at Rosliston Forestry Centre.
Lucy Hawking speaking about her father, Stephen Hawking:
The final two lectures were on dark energy and the leader of the team investigating the Kuiper Belt object Ultima Thule with the New Horizons probe.
This has been another fantastic conference! Shame have to go home now.