Event Information

3 June 2021
9:30 am - 3:30 pm
Event Categories:

Join us for an exciting day of astrophysics research and classroom contexts.

Astrophysics is one of the areas of physics that really inspires students, and it is unique in that current research can be related to the content of the school curriculum. In this special event we are bringing together astrophysicists and physics teachers, to share exciting research and then to contextualise it for the classroom. Our 3 guest astrophysicists all conduct research on stars, at the beginning, middle and end of their lives. We will hear about the birth of stars, telescopes, the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, magnetic fields, waves and vibrations, supernovae and so much more, all of which is covered at GCSE and A-level.

Each 90 minute session will begin with the astrophysicist talking about their research, this will be followed by an experienced IOP coach looking at the talk and relating it to the school curriculum and showing how you can use these cutting-edge ideas in the classroom. Each session will conclude with an opportunity to ask questions.

Session 1: 09:30-11:00
Dr Gwenllian Williams, University of Hertfordshire
In a galaxy, stars form out of enormous clouds of gas and dust, where gravity causes over-dense regions to collapse. A fevered topic of current research, I will review what we have learned over the years, from both computer simulations and observations with telescopes, and show how my own observations adds to our picture of star formation as a dynamic process.

Session 2: 11:15-12:45
Dr Stacey Habergham, Liverpool John Moores University and Dr Jenny Claydon, National Schools’ Observatory Development officer, LJMU
Supernovae are the explosive end to a star’s lifetime – they produce more energy in a couple of weeks than our Sun will during its entire lifetime. It’s somewhat surprising that, given these extreme light sources, there is still so much we don’t understand about these objects. Find out about what we know and what supernovae can tell us about the wider Universe. Want to observe a supernova yourself? We’ll also tell you about the National Schools’ Observatory and how you can take observations on a professional telescope.

Session 3: 13:30-15:00
Dr Aimilia Smyrli, University of Central Lancashire
Aimilia is a solar physicist whose research has used ultra-violet observations from the SOHO solar observatory to examine the behaviour of solar flares in the Sun’s corona. Aimilia studies waves and magnetic structures in our Sun’s atmosphere and their relationship to flares in other stars.

  • This event is free to attend, but as spaces are limited we would be grateful if you only reserve a place if you know you can attend.
  • You can come for one, two or all three sessions, and we certainly hope you are able to stay for the whole day.
  • A Zoom link will be sent out to you a day or so before the event.


  • Available Spaces: 33
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