I was one of the thousand people logging on to the Tyndall lecture yesterday afternoon to hear Professor Peter Gallagher, head of astrophysics at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) tell us about his work with I-LOFAR and astronomy.
It was a really well put together lecture, that brought us through a brief history of astronomy before linking that to the work now being done in I-LOFAR/DIAS - and struck the balance well between accessibility and complexity (and that's not easy to do!).
It was billed as being suitable for 14 - 16 year olds, so I had my TY students logging in from home, but I logged in myself from the lab with a group of 5th years, who were engrossed by it (and if others were doing that, the official attendee numbers would be understated) . It's a tidy 45 minutes long, so should fit into most school timetables one way or another - and it is now available as a recording at the this link:
I had claimed last week that locating the I-LOFAR (diameter 2, 000 km) at Birr had restored its claim (after a century) of being home to the largest telescope in the world and but that apparently is a matter of definition. If I understood the lecture correctly, The Event Horizon telescope took readings from all over the earth to put together its famous picture of a Black Hole, and effectively had with a diameter of something like 12,000 km.
Kudos to the IoP for organising the event. And also for organising the ongoing Physics Hubs: this week focusses on Particle Physics. Details and booking here: https://www.talkphysics.org/events/iop-ireland-physics-hub-23/