Dr Jane Clark: Measuring the astronomical unit for myself.
Celestial Mechanics helps us map out the Solar System with remarkable precision. But it only allows us to solve for orbits to within an arbitrary length constant. The most commonly used is the Astronomical Unit, the Sun-Earth distance, suitably defined to allow for slight variations in that distance.
This talk will show how I have used modest equipment to convert the Astronomical Unit to miles or kilometres. Two methods will be compared and contrasted.
The presentation will also be accessible to school students in year 12 and 13, if they wish to attend. However, we do ask you, if you are proposing to bring a party of more than 6, to please let Vince Smith know at Vincent.Smith@bristol.ac.uk.