prof Michael Merrifield

Date Friday 14th October  Time    11.15am   12.15pm

Professor Michael Merrifield

Professor of Astronomy  Nottingham University

Michael Merrifield is Professor of Astronomy at the University of Nottingham.  In his research, he studies nearby galaxies, to try to understand how they formed into the beautiful objects that we see today.  He also has a long-standing interest in the development of telescopes and instrumentation, and chairs the committee that is overseeing the UK’s £85M investment in the European Extremely Large Telescope project.  His extensive work in presenting science to the public in accessible and innovative ways was recognised by the award of the Institute of Physics’ Kelvin Medal for his involvement in the Sixty Symbols and Deep Sky Videos YouTube channels, whose content has now been watched more than a hundred million times.  He also established a company, Crystal Nebulae, which produces scientifically-accurate laser-etched sculptures of astronomical objects. In his spare time, he is quite often to be found in his not-very-dark tree-overhung suburban back garden, pointing a telescope at whatever passes overhead.

Lecture Synopsis

”Telescopes: The Next Generation”


Progress in astronomy has long been closely connected to developments in telescope technology, and the coming few years will be no exception.  In this talk, Professor Mike Merrifield will discuss some of the upcoming facilities including the James Webb Space Telescope and the European Extremely Large Telescope, delving into both the engineering challenges of such instruments and the unprecedented scientific exploration that they will enable.