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Introduction to Astronomy – Gravity

02/11/2020 @ 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Gravity is the natural phenomenon of a perceived attractive force experienced between bodies of mass. We take it for granted, while it holds us to the Earth, keeps the Moon in orbit around the Earth, and the planets around the Sun. Tonight Chris Benton will outline the valuable insights and descriptions of gravity given by Galileo, Newton and Einstein used to explain what gravity is and how it works.

Galileo dropped balls from the Tower of Pisa and ramps concluding gravity accelerates objects of different mass by the same amount, known as the Equivalence Principle. Newton had the insight to realise the force of gravity that makes things fall to the ground on Earth is the same force responsible for the orbital motion of the planets and moons in the Solar System leading to his Universal Law of Gravitation. Einstein expanded on the Equivalence Principle to develop his General Theory of Relativity involving mass warping spacetime to explain gravity. It successfully predicts black holes, the bending of light and slowing of clocks in the presence of matter, and other phenomena.

We look forward to you all coming along to an easy to understand, in-depth explanation of these concepts before hearing John Wishart speak, who has an interest in quantum gravity. John will describe how, at microscopic levels, General Relativity breaks down, leading to new exciting theories involving quantum mechanics. You should not miss this presentation, which has something for everyone!


8:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Dr Chris Benton


Stardome Observatory
670 Manukau Rd, Epsom
Auckland, 1345 New Zealand
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