Members enjoyed a beginners’ guide to the universe

Morpeth and District U3A

Cosmologist Dr Peter Edwards from the Department of Physics at the University of Durham captivated his audience of U3A members at their last meeting by giving them 
A Beginner’s Guide To 
The Universe.

He explained that we live about one third of the way into a galaxy, that galaxies are made of stars, and that we are all made of stardust. Our star is the sun and we orbit the sun, which is a very active place, throwing off huge flames which react on the earth, creating the beautiful, colourful Northern Lights.

The word galaxy is derived from the Greek work Galaxias, meaning ‘milky’, hence the Milky Way. Dr Edwards also stated that the universe is infinite.

The visible universe is what the telescope sees, and there is one star for every grain of sand on earth – equivalent to one with 22 zeros after it.

Nebulae are where stars are born or are dying, the beginnings and endings, which are pulled together by gravity.

After describing different galaxies and pretty nebulae, members were left with the more recent theory that there is, in fact, more than one universe, a multiverse, although this cannot be proved – yet.

Margaret Norfolk gave the vote of thanks, and everyone had much to talk about after such an informative talk.

Morpeth U3A’s next meeting will be at the Rugby Club on Tuesday, March 31, starting at 2pm, when Patricia Rescigno and Alison King will be talking about Puppy Walking and Life with a Guide Dog.

More information can be found by phoning 01670 505899, or visiting