BrisScience does comets, Stern does climate

I have to admit that comets have been mostly a source of disappointment to me. After waiting thirty-odd years for Halley’s comet and driving far out of town to look for it, I thought I saw a faint smudge on the horizon. Apart from that, there’s been Kohoutek and Hale-Bopp, both more notable for failed apocalyptic prophecies than for lighting up the sky. The lesson, I guess is that if you want to find out about comets, you should find an astronomer who has the proper equipment.

BrisScience is giving you the chance, this Monday 25 June at City Hall, with a lecture by Dr Paul Francis entitled WHAT WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT COMETS (ALMOST ANYTHING!) (details over the fold

For the net couch potatoes among us, Sir Nicholas Stern and other eminent figures (Christian Azar,Bert Bolin, Carl Folke,Karl-Goran Maler, Martin Weitzman, Barbara Wohlfarth) will be discussing climate change, live on the Web if you can work out time difference (it’s form 9am to 12 noon in Stockholm) (via Terry Hughes).
See the lecture on Friday 15th June. (Windows Media Player) mms ://


Monday June 25th, 6:30-7:30pm:
Dr Paul Francis – “What we don’t know about comets (almost anything)”
Ithaca Room, City Hall

There will be a refreshments after the talk, and Paul will be available to answer questions.

Please forward on this announcement to friends and colleagues. For
further information or to subscribe to the mailing list, have a look
at or contact Joel Gilmore (0411 267 044, Looking forward to seeing you on the night!



A few times every year, comets wander into our solar system, out from the vast darkness beyond Pluto. Where do they come from? And why do they come to visit us? We don’t know, though there are several wild theories, some involving vast rings containing trillions of orbiting ice-blocs, or whole families of planets hundreds of times further out than Pluto. I’ll review these mysteries, and the enduring puzzle of what might lurk in the vast, dark, unexplored reaches between Pluto and the nearest stars.


Dr Paul Francis is an astronomer at the ANU’s Mt Stromlo Observatory. His research interests include black holes, the formation of galaxies, and comets. Born in London, he studied at Cambridge, since when he has worked with NASA, at Steward Observatory in Arizona, at Melbourne Uni, and at the Gemini Observatories in Hawaii and Chile. He has won a number of prizes for science communication and teaching.

DATE: Monday June 25

TIME: 6:30pm to 7:30pm (doors open at 6:00pm); complimentary wine,
soft drinks, and nibblies served after the talk

VENUE: Ithaca Room, City Hall, Brisbane City

This free talk is open to all and there is no need to book.

4 thoughts on “BrisScience does comets, Stern does climate

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