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IQ2 Space Festival
Rick Stroud with Brian Cox Martians, big bangs, entropy and Higgs particles were just a few of the starry topics discussed by the panel of astronomical luminaries at the Intelligence Squared event chaired by Rick Stroud: A Journey into Outer Space at the Royal Geographical Society on 16th March 2011.

As the first speaker the historian - and only non-scientist - Richard Holmes gave a wonderful whistlestop tour of astronomy's history - 'the trailing edge of science'. By pairing famous astronomers with poets of the same period (Ptolemy and Ovid; Galileo and Milton etc.), and charting the imaginative impact of cosmology, Holmes argues that the supposed barriers between art and science never truly existed.
Next up, the Astronomer Royal Martin Rees spoke on the wider universe; beyond the domain of the stars. Starting close to home and moving out, he muses on the high chance of solar systems like ours existing, and what it might look like if two galaxies collided.
Martin Rees
Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal
The BBC's Professor Brian Cox discussed his day job at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva and the search for the elusive Higgs particle. Through high-speed proton-on-proton collisions scientists at CERN are trying see what the universe looked like, a billionth of a second after the Big Bang.
Brian Cox
Brian Cox, professor of Particle Physics at the University of Manchester
Charles Simonyi, the computer entrepreneur and civilian-astronaut, described what it's actually like to be in space. As one of only 24 people to ever journey outside the atmosphere, he gives a rare and fascinating account of his time on the International Space Station.
Charles Simonyi
Charles Simonyi, Software architect and spaceflight participant
who has twice been aboard the International Space Station
Colin Pillinger, the man who captured the country's imagination with his attempt to find life on Mars with the Beagle 2 project, was the last speaker. He told the story of the extraordinary Martian rock samples with their minerals and potential fossils, which compelled him to launch Beagle 2 and find evidence of extraterrestrial life.
Astronomical luminaries
Colin Pillinger, Charles Simonyi, Brian Cox, Rick Stroud, Martin Rees and Richard Holmes
Review: Fly Me To The Moon

On Stage with Buzz Aldrin

Essay: Trashing the Moon

Why I wrote The Book of the Moon

Video: Man & the Moon

IQ2 Space Festival

Moon Magic - Great images of the Super Moon

Rifleman, A Front Line Life
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