Monica Grady. Professor of Planetary and Space Sciences at The Open University presented at one of the main events at the NI Science Festival in 2015. Monica pioneered the development of a tool on the Philae lander probe which was part of the Rosetta space mission project called Ptolemy.
Monica presented to a packed audience about her experience of working on the Rosetta mission for over two decades. She explored results from the gathered from the comet P67 to illustrate how comets and meteorites have influenced the development of life on Earth.
Before the event, Monica gave a wide-ranging interview to Sync NI about her career and the Rosetta mission.
Mark Thompson from BBC Stargazing Live and astronomers from The Open University hosted an evening exploring the night sky with The Open University’s PIRATE telescope.
The PIRATE facility is based in Mallorca. A remotely controlled 17 inch telescope with high quality imaging cameras, PIRATE is used for exo-planet research and exploring new and interesting objects found by the galaxy-mapping satellite, Gaia. The evening consisted of demonstrations and presentations to explain this cutting edge technology as well as the chance for members of the public to control the telescope themselves!
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The Imagine! Belfast Festival of Ideas and Politics takes place over seven days encouraging people to get involved in ideas and debate on politics, culture and activism.
The OU has taken part in the festival for the last two years.
In 2016 we hosted four events including ‘Between the Economy and Culture’ which gave a chance to hear the impact of the Brexit on Northern Ireland. Dr Leslie Budd, previously the Special Economic Advisor to the former Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment of the Northern Ireland Assembly set out an analysis of the socio-economic impact of Brexit on Northern Ireland through the lens of its music industry in its wider cultural setting.