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EAAS Meeting - 1st December 2003

December's meeting began with an excellent talk on the constellation of Orion by Les Gornall. He covered how to find it in the sky and the many interesting features which you can find out by reading his online summary which is coming soon.

The main lecture was by Terry Moseley, IAA entitled "Aliens, where are they?". Terry covered the many theories and ideas in this subject and also showed how unique we are in the universe. What was very plain to hear was that the Earth is very unique in the Universe and perfectly created for life to exist. The Moon is unique in it's large size, it's use for the tides, for light at night and it's very low reflectivity from the dark lunar surface The Moon's synchronise orbit means that the darker, less reflective side is always facing us as if the other side was visible then the night would become more like the day! Also, the Moon's size and it's planetary orbit (as opposed to an equatorial orbit) keeps the Earth's axis at a steady 23.5°. Jupiter plays a big role in keeping many asteroids and comets from hitting the Earth so to protect life on the planet. The non-eliptical orbit of the Earth also makes for a very stable temperature on the surface of the Earth. Whew!!! We really are unique in this universe.

Terry went on to explain the difficulties of interstellar space, one of which is the sheer immensity of the universe, not to mention the time it would take to travel to other stars. The mind boggles at the shear number of galaxies, never mind the number of stars in each galaxy!

While some controversial topics were mentioned, the overall thrust of the arguments were humanly reasoned and based more on probability - the audience was left to make it's own decisions.

For more information please contact the Club Chairman, John McConnell via:




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