Module: Frontiers in Astronomy

Frontiers in Astronomy


This workshop module looks at three of the hot research areas in astronomy these days, namely Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs), Gravitational Waves and Dark Energy. GRBs are extremely energetic explosions that have been observed in distant galaxies and in learning more about them, students will undertake a mini-analysis of a typical GRB light-curve. We then turn our attention to Gravitational Waves: their detection and possible origin; and a quick demonstration will help students to visualise the mechanics behind such waves. We finish with a quick overview of dark energy, a mysterious form of energy that is thought to be driving the expansion of the Universe.

Age Range

11 – 16


45 minutes

Module Composition
  • Gamma-Ray Bursts – Presentation
  • Measuring GRBs – Practical Activity
  • Gravitational Waves – Presentation
  • Demonstration of Gravitational Waves – Practical Activity
  • Dark Energy – Presentation
Extension Activities

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