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Chris Lintott visit to EAS

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Last night Kendal’s EDDINGTON ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY was delighted to welcome a very special guest speaker to our home at Kendal Museum – “The Sky At Night”‘s Dr Chris Lintott. Chris had a good look around the exhibits in our “Our Amazing Universe!” exhibition before he began his talk, and particularly enjoyed the chance to see the beautiful medals awarded to Eddington during his career.

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Chris, who has spoken to our Society before, came to talk to us all about the world-conquering “GALAXY ZOO” project, and an audience of almost 50 people enjoyed hearing all about the roots of the project, its successes to date and the Zookeepers’ ambitious plans for the future. Chris illustrated his talk with fascinating images and animations, many of which really helped to make the subject easier to understand for the audience members who weren’t so knowledgeable about galactic astronomy and the expansion of the universe, etc.

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As usual, Chris was very entertaining, littering his presentation with great humour and anecdotes, and I can confidently say that there wasn’t a single person in the room who didn’t enjoy the evening. It was nice to see members of Cockermouth Astronomical Society in the audience, I know they thought the trip south was worthwhile! 🙂

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At the end of his talk Chris was, of course, more than happy to take questions from the audience, and I think he enjoyed answering some of the more challenging ones; as a speaker myself, I know there’s nothing worse than looking out at a sea of blank faces after asking “Any questions..?” 🙂 Chris was also happy to sign copies of his best-selling book “BANG!” for members of the audience who brought them along to the talk…

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Before leaving the Museum Chris was given a tour of the Museum by its Curator, Jamie Barnes, and he was clearly delighted by what he saw in the many collections. I’m pretty sure we’ll see some collaboration between Kendal Museum and the Galaxy Zoo project in the future.

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After the talk we kidnapped Chris and had to physically drag him to a pub around the corner, for much-needed and well-deserved beer, chips and sarnies. EAS members took advantage of having a professional astronomer and TV presenter cornered and helpless and kept the questions coming!

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So, after all the organising, emailing and rescheduling the evening was a great success! It was a real treat for us to have Chris visit us, as he’s horrendously busy with his TV filming commitments, lectures and many other projects, and it was great that he came to talk to us while our “Our Amazing Universe!” exhibition is being held at the Museum.