Astrofest 2014 (Talks)

The seventh time I took a picture like this.

As usual, I was still teaching on the Friday of Astrofest, but I was very much looking forward to coming over for the weekend. One of my colleagues had asked me if it would be a Deventer or a Heerlen weekend and I’d said ‘London, actually!’ Another colleague made a remark on how I’m always doing something. She’s worried I’m going to be exhausted in my next life. But the very fact I know there isn’t going to be another life, is why I do so many fun things now. So Steven and I met up in Rotterdam and we took the ferry boat (for the first time together on this route) to Harwich. The Sun followed me here again (note I don’t actually believe I have these superpowers, I just think it never rains in England) and it was a lovely weekend.

Here are a few snippets of the Saturday talks. Stuart Clark and Iain Nicholson did an excellent job chairing the conference and I especially enjoyed the first talk, by Alan Fitzsimmons on the Chelyabinsk impact. Speaking of rocks from outer space hitting the Earth, you should check out the B612 foundation (defending Earth against asteroids). The picture of the drawing in Allan Chapman’s lecture shows our dear Patrick in heaven, together with John Wilkins, and reunited with his beloved cat Jeannie. Dr Brian May stopped by to tell us about Starmus (tempting, Bri!) and Lucie Green gave a superb talk on our most important star (it was great to see you in the pub too, Lucie!) Chris was around this year as well and Steven thanked him for Galaxy Zoo, which is how we ended up together. Chris loved our story and said it was one of the many services he provides these days.

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