IAA Lecture &  AGM, Wed 12th April, 7.30 p.m, LARMOR LECTURE THEATRE, Physics Building, QUB,

To start off, we’ll have a short lecture by Fraser Gillan  “Comets: Icy Messengers from the Edge of the Solar System”

We will explore the fascinating world of Jupiter Family Comets, a sub-group of short-period comets that originate from the Kuiper Belt region of the Solar System and have an orbital period of less than 20 years. These frequent visitors to the inner Solar System have orbits that are heavily influenced by Jupiter and undergo regular sublimation as they travel through the inner Solar System. By using large scale all-sky survey systems like the Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS), we can monitor the behaviour of a large amount of these comets throughout a significant fraction of their orbit. In this talk, I will give a brief overview on comets before focusing on Jupiter Family Comets and discussing the dust production that we have studied.


Fraser completed his BSc in Astrophysics at the University of Central Lancashire in 2019 where his undergraduate research project focused on calculating the orbits and properties of near-Earth asteroids using data from the MHT at the Alston Observatory. Building on his interest of small Solar System bodies, Fraser completed his Masters (by Research) in Astrophysics in 2020 also at the University of Central Lancashire. This work focused on the design and implementation of an automatic detection system to search for Solar System objects in data from NASA’s STEREO mission. Fraser then started his PhD at Queens’s University Belfast in October 2021 working with Prof. Alan Fitzsimmons in the Solar System group investigating the dust production rates in Jupiter Family Comets.
AGM: This will be followed by the AGM,- the usual business matters

ADMISSION FREE, including light refreshments – All welcome!

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