Prof David W Hughes
David W. Hughes is the Emeritus Professor of Astronomy at the University of Sheffield, UK. He has spent his life teaching and explaining the joys and complexities of astronomy to students and doing research into the minor bodies of the solar system and the history of astronomy.
He was a co-investigator on the extremely successful European Space Agency’s GIOTTO space mission to Comet Halley and also on ESA’s Smart 1 mission to the Moon.
David has served on a host of space and astronomy committees and has twice been a Vice President of the Royal Astronomical Society and the British Astronomical Association. He has lectured all over the world, led astronomical eclipse expeditions and has three times given the prestigious annual Herschel Lecture in Bath. In 1990 asteroid 4205 was named David Hughes in his honour.
|Date||Talk at GAS meeting|
|6 Dec 2012||The Star of Bethlehem, an astronomer's view
In 1976 I wrote an 85,000 word book explaining the biblical and astronomical clues as to the physical nature of the Star of Bethlehem. The conclusion was that the wise men had predicted and seen a close approach of the planets Jupiter and Saturn in the zodiacal constellation of Pisces. This was the sign that a new king of the Jews had been born in Israel.
See David's presentation here [PPT: 20.2Mb, Members only].
|6 Mar 2014||Astronomy and Art
Over the centuries astro-art has been produced by astronomers, artists, and the specialist ‘scientific-artist’. First were the astronomers who were keen to have a permanent visual record of their observations. Before photography, the astronomers had to get out their sketchpads, pencils and paints to record the comets, planets, moons and galaxies they saw. Their artistic skills were also used to map the stars in a constellation, or represent the path of an eclipse.
See David's presentation here [PPT: 18.1Mb, Members only].
|5 Mar 2015||The Influence of Astronomy on Life in Ancient Times
Astronomy had a profound effect on the development of civilisation. As the first science it introduced things that were constant and predictable to what was usually an unpredictable life style. The Sun, Moon, stars and planets provided daily timekeeping and a year-long calendar to regulate their lives, and the means to navigate on land and sea. The yearly variation of the Sun’s rising, setting and noontime positions marked the progression of the seasons and thus heralded the times to gather, hunt, fish, sow and harvest. The monthly variations of the Moon’s phase helped them predict the tides, and see at night.
See David's presentation here [PPT: 18.6Mb, Members only].
|3 Mar 2016||Mars, my second favourite planet
See David's presentation here [PPT: 21.7Mb, Members only].
|2 Mar 2017||Astronomy and Sex: the historical relationship between Women and the Cosmos|