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The Beatrice Hill Tinsley Lectures


Beatrice Hill Tinsley in 1977

Beatrice Hill Tinsley in 1977

Beatrice Hill Tinsley was a Professor of Astronomy at Yale University when she died, aged 40, of melanoma in 1981. Until she came on the scene, people believed that galaxies were fixed, immobile and unchanging in the universe. She discovered (among many other things) that galaxies are both changing and interacting with one another. She proved that the universe is still evolving.

Born in England, her family came to New Zealand when she was 5. She was educated first in New Plymouth and then at the University of Canterbury. In 1961 she married Brian Tinsley. In 1963 they travelled to the USA, where they remained

Beatrice was celebrated for her work as a synthesiser, the bringing together of apparently unrelated and individual scraps and strands of knowledge and theory, to help create a whole.

These Beatrice Hill Tinsley Lectures are our way of celebrating the life and work of this extraordinarily appealing and altogether remarkable young woman.


The Beatrice Hill Tinsley Lectures 2013

Administered by the RASNZ Lecture Trust

This lecture series has now concluded. Watch this space for the announcement of next year's lecture series.

Dr. Karen Masters is an Astronomy researcher at the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, University of Portsmouth, UK. She's the Project Scientist for Galaxy Zoo, and also involved in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (especially MaNGA). She's also a member of the Dark Energy Survey and Euclid. More information at http://twitter.com/KarenLMasters and http://icg.port.ac.uk/~mastersk.

Her talk is entitled "A Zoo of Galaxies":

We live in a universe filled with galaxies with an amazing variety of sizes and shapes. One of the biggest challenges for astronomers working in this field is to understand how all these types relate to each other in the background of an expanding universe. I will talk about how our knowledge of the different types of galaxies have evolved since we first understood they were objects outside our own Milky Way galaxy.

Modern astronomical surveys (like the Sloan Digital Sky Survey) have revolutionized this field of astronomy, by providing vast numbers of galaxies to study. The sheer size of the these databases made traditional visual classification of the types galaxies impossible and in 2007 inspired the Galaxy Zoo project (www.galaxyzoo.org); starting the largest ever scientific collaboration by asking members of the public to help classify galaxies by type and shape. Galaxy Zoo has since shown itself, in a series of more than 30 publications, to be a fantastic database for the study of galaxy evolution.

Details of the 2013 Tour.

The following details will be updated as information comes to hand.

  • New Plymouth October 4th: 7:30pm

    Venue: New Plymouth Girls High School Main Hall

    Admission: Students $5, Adults $10, Senior citizens $5

    Contact: Nick Gladstone (06)7521060, nickandviv@gmail.com

  • Wellington October 5th: 6:30pm

    Venue: Carter Observatory

    Admission: Public $18.50, WAS members $15. By ticket only. Book at Carter Observatory

    Contact: John Talbot 027495184, john.talbot@xtra.co.nz

    Web: http://www.carterobservatory.org/light-dark

  • Nelson October 7th: 7:30pm

    Venue: Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, Lecture Theatre A211

    Admission: Nelson Science Society members: Free. Public: $2.

    Contact: Paul Fisher wildlands.nelson@xtra.co.nz

  • Dunedin October 9th, 7pm

    Venue: Hutton Lecture Theatre, Otago Museum

    Admission: No charge.

    Phone: 03-474 7474 (Otago Museum public help desk)

    Contact: Dunedin Astronomical Society dunedin.astronomy@gmail.com

    Web: DAS Event

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Last updated 19 April 2014