Beachborough School Professor Matt Jarvis Oxford University

Black holes and Galaxies lecture by Professor Matt Jarvis

On Tuesday evening children in the Boardman were exceptionally lucky to have a Professor of Astrophysics from Oxford University to talk to them about ‘Black holes and Galaxies.’ Professor Matt Jarvis began the lecture with a fascinating discussion on black holes including the different kinds and how they are formed as a star comes to the end of its life. This developed into a complex explanation about nuclear fusion. The children were very knowledgeable and Matt only just beat Oscar Little in naming an exploding star as a Supernova!Getting sucked into a black hole was a hot topic and Matt demonstrated how the speed at which you are orbiting the black hole will influence how quickly you get sucked in; the faster you are going, the longer it will take. We also learnt that a black hole is so dense that not even light can escape from it and that if you took a sugar cubed sized piece of a black hole it would weigh the same as the Earth.The great debate was ‘Is Neptune the last planet in the solar system?’ Matt explained that Pluto is now called a dwarf planet. The nearest star to us is Alpha Centauri and is four light years away. Matt ended his lecture with a brief film showing the most powerful telescopes in the world and the future vision for communication in space. Congratulations to all those who attended and listened so intently to what was the most fascinating lecture. A difficult subject to grasp, we were so very proud of those children that demonstrated such an extensive knowledge of the universe.Report by Verity Sanders