Week of Inspiration

Monster Scopes of the Future: Govert Schilling

Tuesday 27 November 2018 19:30 - 21:00

We are on the treshold of a new era in astronomy. Over the next few years, new giant telescopes will be built, with mirrors measuring between 25 and 40 meters across. Thanks to new technologies like active mirror control and adaptive optics, these new instruments will vastly improve upon the current generation of telescopes. They will enable the study of the birth and evolution of the universe, they will sniff out the atmospheres of Earth-like planets orbiting other stars for signs of biological activity, and they may finally solve the nagging riddles of dark matter and dark energy. In this talk, science journalist Govert Schilling will take you on an exciting tour of these extremely large telescope projects and discuss their technological challenges and scientific prospects.

Govert Schilling (1956) is an acclaimed and prize-winning freelance astronomy writer. His articles appear in Dutch newspapers and magazines, but he also writes for New Scientist, Science and BBC Sky at Night Magazine, and he is a contributing editor of Sky & Telescope. He wrote over fifty books (including a couple of children's books) on a wide variety of astronomical topics, some of which have been translated into English, German, Italian, and Chinese. He is frequently asked to comment on astronomical topics for Dutch radio and tv, and he regularly lectures for a wide variety of audiences. In 2007, the International Astronomical Union named asteroid (10986) Govert after him.

Photo: Esther van Berk