Thursday, 26 February 2015, 6:00PM
Museum of London

Rosetta: Unlocking Secrets from Ancient Egypt to a Comet

Dr Matt Taylor, Professor Richard Parkinson, Professor Ian Wright

Just as the Rosetta Stone and the Philae Obelisk became the key to interpreting hieroglyphs and understanding ancient Egyptian civilisation, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta probe and its Philae lander are key to furthering our understanding of the formation of our solar system, and the origins of life. The Philae lander made the first ever soft landing on a comet, opening a new chapter in Solar System exploration.

The Egyptian theme was also used by Professor Colin Pillinger who named the instrument he proposed for the mission Ptolemy. Ptolemy will perform an on-the-spot analysis of the composition of the ices and organic material within the comet. The instrument has already been working in space, making measurements during an asteroid fly-by en route to its cometary destination. The orbiter will continue to follow the comet around the Sun and as it moves back out towards the orbit of Jupiter.

The roles of Thomas Young and Jean-Francois Champollion in deciphering the Rosetta Stone and the contribution of William Bankes with regard to the Philae Obelisk continue to provoke much discussion and will be considered alongside latest results from the spacecraft and instruments which have carried the names far into space.

 

This is a special Memorial Lecture, held in memory of Professor Colin Pillinger CBE FRS (1943-2014) who was Gresham Professor of Astronomy from 1996 to 2000.

speaker_3matttaylor.jpeg.crop_display.jpg

Dr Matt Taylor is Project Scientist for the ESA (European Space Agency) Rosetta mission based at the ESA technical centre in the Netherlands. He was born in London, gained his undergraduate Physics degree at the University of Liverpool, and a PhD from Imperial College London. His career has focused on the space plasma measurements, working in Europe and the US on the four spacecraft ESA Cluster missions, leading to a post at ESA which started in 2005 working as the project scientist for Cluster and the ESA-China Double star mission.

Read More
Read Less
professor-richard-parkinson

Professor Richard Parkinson is Professor of Egyptology in the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford, Director of the Griffith Institute and Fellow of The Queen’s College. He was formerly curator at the British Museum responsible for the care, research, publication and display of the collection’s papyri, as well as hieratic and hieroglyphic texts, inscribed materials including the Rosetta Stone. In 1999-2000 he curated, Cracking Codes: The Rosetta Stone and Decipherment (Rosetta Stone bicentenary exhibition).

Read More
Read Less
speaker_3ianwright2.jpg.crop_display.jpg

Professor Ian Wright is Principal Investigator for the Ptolemy instrument of the Philae lander. Prior to this he was head of Planetary Sciences at the Open University.

Read More
Read Less

Transcript

26 February 2015

Rosetta: Unlocking Secrets from Ancient Egypt to a Comet
Dr Matt Taylor
Professor Richard Parkinson
Professor Ian Wright

View PDF
Print
Related Future Lectures
Related Past Lectures
WATCHED

From Royal Highway to Common Sewer: The River Thames and its Architecture

Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 13 September 2017 - 6:00PM
WATCHED

Discovering the Port of Roman London

Dr Gustav Milne
Wednesday, 27 September 2017 - 1:00PM
WATCHED

Cleaning Up The Thames: Success or Failure?

Professor Carolyn Roberts
Thursday, 28 September 2017 - 6:00PM
WATCHED

Roman London's First Voices

Dr Roger Tomlin
Tuesday, 10 October 2017 - 1:00PM
WATCHED

How To Spot A Roman Emperor

Professor Mary Beard FSA FBA
Thursday, 26 October 2017 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Britain and the EU: In or Out - One Year On

Professor Vernon Bogdanor FBA CBE
Wednesday, 21 June 2017 - 6:00PM
WATCHED

Migration: A Historical Perspective

Professor Sir Richard Evans FBA
Thursday, 15 June 2017 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Artificial Intelligence

Professor Martyn Thomas CBE
Tuesday, 13 June 2017 - 6:00PM
WATCHED

Fifty Years of Conservation Areas

Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 7 June 2017 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Queen Elizabeth II

Professor Vernon Bogdanor FBA CBE
Tuesday, 16 May 2017 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

'All Must Have Prizes': Citizen Science and the Environment

Professor Carolyn Roberts
Thursday, 11 May 2017 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a conference

The Rosetta Mission

Dr Matt Taylor
Thursday, 26 February 2015 - 6:30PM
WATCHED

What is it about Cocaine that makes it addictive?

Dr William Harrop-Griffiths
Monday, 6 February 2017 - 1:55PM
WATCHED

An architect points out a possible contradiction...

Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 1 February 2017 - 6:59PM
WATCHED

Most Buildings We Revere Are Designed By Craftsman And Not Architects

Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 1 February 2017 - 6:55PM
WATCHED

The Role of Collaboration in Nature and its Link to Success

Professor Steve Jones
Tuesday, 31 January 2017 - 6:59PM
WATCHED

The Offspring of Semi-Female Mimics in Ruffs

Professor Steve Jones
Tuesday, 31 January 2017 - 6:58PM
WATCHED

What Is The Advantage To The Flowers That Are 'Orchid-Mimics'?

Professor Steve Jones
Tuesday, 31 January 2017 - 6:56PM