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Astronomy on Tap Leiden: Astronomical Instruments From Huygens To Today!

July 31, 2023 @ 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM CEST


Our next event will take place on Monday 31 July at Grandcafé de Burcht at 20:00 CEST!

Join us for a night of astronomy with two fantastic talks from Alex Pietrow and Bernhard Brandl, who will tell us about the advancement of astronomical instruments from the time of Huygens to state-of-the-art modern telescopes today. As always, there will be fun games where you could win cool science prizes!

Alex Pietrow: “Through Huygens’ Eyes; A Visionary’s Vision Impaired”

Christiaan Huygens was a brilliant polymath, arguably overshadowing the likes of Einstein in the volume and impact of his discoveries. From hyper accurate clocks, to the predecessor of the projector, you could fill a bookshelf with his biographies. Despite that it is still possible to find out new things about Huygens and his work. In this talk, Alex will show you Huygens’ revolutionary, yet mysteriously underperforming telescopes, and explain how he estimated Huygens’ eyeglass prescription 328 years after his death.

Alex Pietrow is a researcher at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics in Potsdam, Germany, and an alumni of Leiden University. His research focuses on the Sun and its atmosphere. In particular, he studies the formation and evolution of solar flares, and tries to connect these observations to similar events on other stars. For this work he regularly travels to the Canary Islands, to use some of the largest solar telescopes in the world. On the side, he is interested in the history of science, and in particular the history of astronomy, and researches old telescopes. He recently published a paper on the eyesight of Christiaan Huygens, which he managed to estimate by looking at the way that his telescopes were made.

Bernhard Brandl: “The best and biggest telescopes are only as good as the ‘eyes’ behind them!”

A key component of observational astronomy are the instruments behind the telescope which record the information that the Universe provides. As modern telescopes have grown in size, so have these instruments, with sizes of several meters and tons in weight. In this talk, Bernhard will explain why and show some recent state-of-the-art instruments.

Bernhard Brandl is professor of Infrared Astronomy at Leiden Observatory and professor of Astronomy & Instrumentation at the TU Delft. Apart from studying starburst galaxies, he has been building instruments for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) in Chile.

Logistical information: We start at 20:00 sharp, so please arrive earlier to enter the bar, save a seat, and grab a drink. We are not planning to stream the event live, but will be uploading a recording of the talks on our YouTube channel after the event.

Join us for an evening of astronomy and fun games where you could win cool science prizes!

For more information check out http://astronomyontap.nl/


July 31, 2023
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM CEST
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Astronomy on Tap Leiden
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Grandcafé De Burcht
Burgsteeg 14
Leiden, 2312 JS Netherlands
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