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Aurora Science Zone

Details

Throughout the Festival

Saturday 22nd June:

Norwich Astronomical Society
Spotlight Talk, 1.45pm: Why We Have the Moon

Natural History Museum
3.00pm – 6.00pm – Zoe Hughes (Curator, Fossil Invertebrates, Brachiopods and Cephalopods)
Science station: Brilliant Brachiopods

Spotlight Talk, 4.30pm: The Colourful World of Cephalopods

6.00pm – 9.00pm
Pip Brewer, Senior Curator, Fossil Mammals and Nadine Gabriel, Assistant Curator, Fossil Mammals
Science Station: Rhinos, Bison and Lions of Lowestoft

Spotlight Talk, 7.15pm: The Fossil Hunter

Norwich Astronomical Society
Spotlight Talk, 8.30pm: Our Dwarf Yellow Star 

 

Sunday 23rd June: 

Natural History Museum
9.00am – 12.00pm –Max Barclay (Senior Curator, Coleoptera) and Howard Mendel
Science Station: Living Jewels

Spotlight Talk 10.00am: Tales from the Beetle Drawers

Norwich Astronomical Society
Spotlight Talk, 11.00: Our Nearest Star

The Aurora Science Zone investigates the science of Lowestoft’s ancient beach, its deep ocean and most easterly skies.

Cefas (Centre for environment, fisheries, aquaculture science), Natural History Museum and Norwich Astronomical Society will offer spotlight talks on subjects including the early humans and animals who inhabited this coastline, climate change and marine pollution, astrophotography and dwarf stars.

The ancient and fascinating character of the stretch of Suffolk and Norfolk coastline surrounding Lowestoft will be the focus of interactive science stations and spotlight talks by Natural History Museum scientists Zo Hughes, Max Barclay, Pip Brewer and Nadine Gabriel including on the beautiful beetles you can discover on your doorstep to the incredible mammals that roamed the area some 700,000 years ago.

 

Saturday 22 June

Norwich Astronomical Society
Spotlight Talk, 1.45pm: Why We Have the Moon
Mark Shepherd explores the questions of why does most life depend upon the Moon, could we live without it and explains how to observe and celebrate our nearest neighbour.

Natural History Museum

3.00pm – 6.00pm: Zoe Hughes (Curator, Fossil Invertebrates, Brachiopods and Cephalopods)

Science station: Brilliant Brachiopods
Discover weird and wonderful brachiopods, obscure marine animals that used to live in the oceans where Lowestoft is today, around 4 million years ago. Find out how Museum scientists are using fossil brachiopods to reveal what the climate was like all those years ago, and why this is important to us today. Play a round of ‘Extinction Kerplunk’ and discover the effects of ocean warming on marine life.

Spotlight Talk, 4.30pm: The Colourful World of Cephalopods
Cephalopods are an extraordinary group of molluscs, including ammonites, nautilus, octopus, squid, cuttlefish and others, that have been on our planet for nearly 500 million years. Join Museum scientist Zoe Hughes and discover more about their diversity throughout the fossil record and up to today.

6.00pm – 9.00pm

Pip Brewer, Senior Curator, Fossil Mammals and Nadine Gabriel, Assistant Curator, Fossil Mammals

Science Station: Rhinos, Bison and Lions of Lowestoft
Lowestoft 700,000 years ago: hippos wallowed in rivers and straight-tusked elephants walked through the dappled shade of open woodland. Flint picked up from river beds was used to make stone tools by people distantly related to us. Join Museum scientists Pip Brewer and Nadine Gabriel as they show you fossil specimens from Pakefield and describe life in East Anglia over half a million years ago.

Spotlight Talk, 7.15pm: The Fossil Hunter
Join Museum palaeontologist Pip Brewer and find out what’s really involved in digging up a fossil! From the UK to Australia to South America, Pip has helped excavate some remarkable fossilised mammals, some of which now sit in the world-renowned Natural History Museum collection in London. Discover the value of these fossil specimens, including what they can reveal about our past and why this is important for our understanding of the future.

Norwich Astronomical Society

Spotlight Talk, 8.30pm: Our Dwarf Yellow Star
Join Mark Shepherd for a fun guide to our yellow dwarf star, its family of planets and moons; our place in our MilkyWay galaxy and the cosmos on the largest scale.

Also Cefas Spotlight Talks

 

Sunday 23 June

9.00am – 12.00pm

Max Barclay (Senior Curator, Coleoptera) and Howard Mendel 

Science Station: Living Jewels
Beetles are the most diverse group of animals on the planet. With more than 400,000 species, one in five living organisms is a beetle, and there are many more to be discovered. Come and explore a range of beautiful beetles from one of the largest and most comprehensive collections in the world. See species you will find on your doorstep in the Lowestoft and Suffolk regions, as well as species collected by famous scientists in the tropical forests of the world, and discover one of nature’s greatest success stories.

Spotlight Talk, 10.00am: Tales from the Beetle Drawers
With around ten million specimens in the collections, the Museum houses some remarkable historical stories within our many drawers of beetles. Join Museum beetle expert Max Barclay as he reveals some of these incredible stories and discusses the importance of this natural history collection in understanding the current and future health of our planet.

Norwich Astronomical Society

Spotlight Talk, 11.00: Our Nearest Star
Mark Shepherd talks about our nearest star and our place in the galaxy.

Also Cefas Spotlight Talks

Have a go at hands-on activities, explore artefacts including meteorites and fossils and take part in a live link-up with Cefas’s research vessel Endeavour to ask your questions to its scientists about the work they do.

Look out for the creative Trashion Show, curated by Cefas’s Cheryl Moran to raise awareness of this important issue.