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Gravitational Waves in the early Universe ~ Prof. Mark Hindmarsh (University of Sussex)

The direct detection of gravitational waves this year by the Advanced LIGO detector has opened a new window on the Universe, through which we can look back to the very earliest moments of the Big Bang. In this talk I will look at some of the violent events in the early Universe observable via gravitational waves, and how gravitational wave astronomy will complement and extend the reach of particle collider experiments like LHC.

Early life on Earth ~ Ronald Anderson

Scientists have uncovered 3.7 billion year old fossils in Greenland that have set a new record for the earliest known evidence of life on Earth. They show that stromatolites, which are layered sediments produced over time by single celled microbes. The fossils indicate that these living microbes were already present in an ancient shallow sea on our very young planet. Australian researchers made the discovery. Their findings were published in the September 1, 2016 issue of Nature.

Prior to this discovery, the earliest known traces of life were in 3.5 billion year old stromatolite fossils found in western Australia. These new findings predate it by 220 million years.

The Kennedy Space Centre~ Barry Edwards

As  part of his holiday, Barry has made two visits to the Kennedy Space Centre.  His first visit is to the main centre and includes the history of the space flight and a mock up of the control centre used for the moon landing.  Two years later he made his second visit and tours the launch sites with the moon lander, launch vehicle , lunar rover etc.

The Local Group