Building galaxies in the office

Interactive talk as part of the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2014. This event is repeated on Friday 4 July and Sunday 6 July.

Galaxy image-NASA

Event details

If you have ever looked up at the sky on a clear night, you may have asked yourself: “Where did the Milky Way come from?”. This question has fascinated humans for thousands of years and lies at the heart of modern astronomy. Remarkably, we now know that many of the stars in the Milky Way actually originated in other galaxies which were consumed by our own Galaxy during its billions of years of evolution.

Join Dr. Mark Wilkinson as he explores what we know (and what we don’t know) about how a cosmic soup of dark matter, gas and dust produced the magnificent range of stars and galaxies that we see in the Universe today. Along the way he will show how astronomers are using the world’s most powerful telescopes and computers to answer questions such as: What happens when galaxies collide? How do supermassive black holes grow? And what can juggling teach us about astronomy?

Dr Mark Wilkinson is a Royal Society Research Fellow at the University of Leicester. His research is currently focussed on dark matter, the invisible substance whose gravity holds galaxies together. He uses a combination of telescope observations and computer simulations to dissect the Milky Way and other nearby galaxies and use them as probes of the history of the Universe. He is co-chair of the DiRAC High Performance Computing facility for theoretical astrophysics, particle physics and cosmology in the UK. He is regularly invited to give public lectures about astronomy, and also organises interactive workshops in schools.

This event is suitable for adults and children 14 years old and over.

Attending this event

This event is free to attend and open to all. No tickets are required. Doors open at 11.45pm and seats will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

Enquiries: Contact the events team


Building galaxies in the office 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK

Events coming up

  • Science Showoff 30 June 2015 at The Royal Society, London Join us for a weird and wonderful night of science comedy, music and performance.
  • Summer Science Exhibition 2015 30 June 2015 at The Royal Society, London Our annual Summer Science Exhibition showcases the most exciting cutting-edge science and technology research. Come and try your hand at the science experiments that are changing our world.
  • How maths and logic gave us monitors 30 June 2015 at The Royal Society, London Discover why, 200 years on, the birth of George Boole in 1815 was critical for the development of the digital computer.

For more events please see the events diary.

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