Public lecture on ‘Exploring Mars, Discovering Earth’ as part of Science Fortnight at NUI Galway

Nov 12 2013 Posted: 09:52 GMT

NUI Galway’s Astronomy Society will host the first Science Fortnight, running from 11-22 November. The Science Fortnight will take place in conjunction with National Science Week and the Galway Science and Technology Festival, with all events taking place on campus.

As part of Science Fortnight, the NUI Galway Astronomy Society will welcome Kevin Nolan for a special public talk entitled ‘Exploring Mars, Discovering Earth’ on Wednesday, 20 November.

Kevin Nolan is a lecturer in physics at the Institute of Technology Tallaght and Co-ordinator to Ireland for The Planetary Society. Kevin is nearing completion of a part-time PhD involving design of a software image analysis pipeline for the European Space Agency’s INTEGRAL, a multi-wavelength space observatory. He is a published author of Mars, a Cosmic Stepping Stone, which looks at the effects and relevance of Mars exploration.

This talk will discuss how people have attributed naïve "Earth-like" characteristics to our sister planet for centuries. Though early space missions obliterated those early perceptions - suggesting Mars to be a dormant world - recent missions reveal a planet with characteristics and past activity suggestive of early Earth-like characteristics now regarded as relevant to the emergence of life. With a well set out strategy, the exploration of Mars has finally matured and is expected to deliver valuable scientific insights. This talk will examine some of these issues and present the latest findings from the MSL-Curiosity Rover currently exploring the surface of the Red Planet.

The talk will take place at 7pm in the Colm Ó hÉocha Theatre in the Arts Millennium Building (AM250), NUI Galway.  This talk is free and open to the general public.

The NUI Galway Astronomy society is in its second year with nearly 600 members. The main goal of the society is to promote astronomy, both recreationally and academically. Throughout the year the society hosts a series of talks on astronomy and organise events to increase general awareness and understanding of astronomy. They work with the Galway Astronomy club and are supported by the University's Centre for Astronomy.


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