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Royal Astronomical Society’s Inaugural John Brown Memorial Lecture

5 December 2023 @ 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm

The first in an annual lecture series honouring the life of esteemed astronomer, the late Prof. John C Brown.

Talk by Prof. Randall Stevenson

Celestial Visitants – Comets and Culture in the Nineteenth Century and Beyond

Prof. John Brown explained that he was first attracted towards astronomy by a childhood view of a comet – Comet Arend-Roland. He also recorded strong interests, in later life, in ‘the arts-science interface’. This first John Brown Memorial Lecture will look, accordingly, at an epoch when astonishing comets appeared unusually frequently in the skies, and at how these influenced both contemporary culture and science. The period from the early nineteenth to the early twentieth century has been called a ‘comet-crazed century’: the lecture will describe the large numbers of spectacular comets appearing at the time, discussing their effects on literature, art and popular culture, and on the development of cometary science itself.


Wolfson Medical Building
Glasgow, Scotland G12 8QQ United Kingdom + Google Map

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