Astronomy talk to unlock mysteries of solar system

Tahir Ahmed, astronomy expert

Tahir Ahmed, astronomy expert

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A chance to unlock the secrets of the solar system and beyond will be within reach when an astronomy expert holds a free taster session at Hucknall library.

Tahir Ahmed’s hour long talk on Friday 22nd August, from 5pm to 6pm, will be led by the big questions that the audience wants answering.

He said: “People see Brian Cox on television but they can’t ask him questions if they don’t understand something. That’s where these sessions come in.”

The hour long taster session will see Tahir explain concepts in simple terms that don’t require a deep understanding of maths or physics and he uses household objects to give a sense of the magnitude of the distances and sizes involved.

“I get one person to hold a basketball to represent the sun. And then someone else holds a ping-pong ball to show how big Jupiter is in relation to the sun.

“The earth is the size of a pencil tip!

“You can see about 1,500 stars on a clear night. But there are between 100,000 million and 200,000 million stars just in our galaxy, the Milky Way.

“But the Milky Way is only one of many billions of similar galaxies.”

Tahir (56), of Mapperley Park in Nottingham, says his enthusiasm for astronomy came out of ‘thinking about the vastness and timelessness of the universe.’

He said: “There’s a beauty and a wonder about the stars and the planets and the galaxies. There’s so much we don’t know and so many fascinating questions to ask.”

Tahir also uses a free piece of software called Stellarium which can simulate the night sky from anywhere in the world, to navigate the heavens. Many people rush out and down load Stellarium themselves after the talks.”

Tahir says his own particular area of interest is cosmology, which asks how the universe came about, how it is evolving and where it is going.

He currently works as an IT professional and uses his free time to deliver a series of workshops and seminars throughout Nottinghamshire, which grew out of some classes for adult learners that proved to be popular and successful.

Tahir says his mission is to ‘make the basic concepts of astronomy understandable to people in local communities.’

The talk in Hucknall Library is just one of a series of free Astronomy talks, workshops and seminars. Tahir also runs a monthly stargazing event in Caythorpe.

For further information contact Tahir at tahir_140@hotmail.com