Friday 5th October. “To Mars via Kazakhstan Beagle 2, lost on Mars but found 11 years later.” Terry Ransome

The final highlight in Terry Ransome’s working life was to work at the Russian Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan from where Yuri Gagarin embarked on the first human spaceflight.  It is still busy today launching astronauts and cosmonauts to the International Space Station and lots more.

He took with him the UK’s Mars Lander Beagle2, the probe that was ‘lost’ on Mars on Christmas 2003, but ‘found’ 11 years later.

In this talk he tells of his Beagle2 and Kazakhstan experiences and how Beagle2 was eventually found and identified on the Red Planet. A
postscript tells of the latest (2016) European attempt at a Mars landing and looks ahead to the future.

Wednesday 21st November – Caroline Herschel Prize Lecture. Bath University.

Dr Sarah Rugheimer (Simons Research Fellow at the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of St Andrews) is an outstanding early career researcher studying the atmospheric composition of exoplanets, and the potential of these atmospheres to provide fingerprints of conditions that can sustain life. Her key results include showing how clouds can complicate the detection of oxygen in an exoplanet’s atmosphere, and how a star’s ultraviolet radiation affects the ability to detect signatures of life on its orbiting planets. Her energy and vision were central to the creation of the Centre for Exoplanet Science at St Andrews, where she has integrated and utilised insights ranging from the geochemical and isotopic character of the Earth’s rock archive to the fundamental physics of how a planet’s atmosphere forms. Her lectures demonstrate a rare clarity of understanding, and she has proved effective at presenting scientific concepts to the public.

30th November 2018 – Early Indian Astronomy and the Birth of Zero, Dr Peter Ford MBE and Deepali Gaskell

This talk starts in Georgian Bath where former members of the British East India Company came to take the waters and exchanged ideas about the mathematics that they had found in Bengal. It will trace the development of Indian Mathematics and the vital concept of Zero from its origins in ancient astronomy to its use in commerce and science.

Dr Peter Ford was a shadow trustee of the reformed BRLSI from 1990-1993. He was then one of the first trustees representing the University of Bath and later the membership of the BRLSI. He has lived in Lansdown Crescent for forty years half of which was spent in the Physics Department of the University of Bath. He was chair of the William Herschel Society for nine years. In 2008 he was awarded MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours List for “services to higher education and science”.
Deepali Gaskell. Marriage brought Deepali to Bath, where she now lives. Her interest in Astronomy and Mathematics nurtured by her mother who was an historian and archaeologist was revived when she came across, in her voluntary work with the National Trust, the collection of books in the library at Stourhead which included the Asiatick Researches commissioned by the British East India Company in the 1770’s. This has provided much of the material for this talk.
Deepali has also referred to the Records Office and to the collection in the archives of BRLSI, where she found Newton’s Principia Mathematica, Max Muller’s translation from the Veda, and Journals of the East India Company all of which helped to produce this talk. Deepali is on the Publications and Website committees at BRLSI.