Celebrity (1) Princess (4)

Dr. Rhodri Evans BSc PhD ARCS FRAS FAAA

Dr. Rhodri Evans is recognised as being one of the best communicators of astronomy and science to the public. He regularly talks on BBC television and radio, and is a popular speaker on cruise lines, regularly drawing audiences of 600+ to his talks. Dr. Evans is also a frequent speaker to astronomical societies, The Rotary, the Women’s Institute and school students. He has given talks in Africa, North America, Australia, Asia, Europe and South America, and has received rave reviews from guests on the cruises where he has been a speaker.


Dr. Evans obtained a 1st class honours degree in Physics from Imperial College, London, and a PhD in astrophysics from the University of Wales. He then spent nine years lecturing and working in the United States, including at the University of Chicago, one of the top ten universities in the world. He speaks on a wide variety of topics, and has an ability to explain sometimes difficult topics in a way that non-specialists can understand. Dr. Evans’ research takes him up high into the sky - he makes observations using a NASA-funded telescope which flies at an altitude of 14km in the stratosphere. He has authored seven astronomy and physics books which are aimed at the general public. His website can be found at http://rheastro.com






SECTOR                                Miami to Los Angeles


LECTURE 1      “What is visible in the sky during this leg of the cruise?” The new Moon falls on 18 December 2017, so during the first part of this leg the sky will be dark enough to see “faint sky” objects such as the Andromeda galaxy and the Orion nebula. I will also summarise which planets are visible and where to see them.


LECTURE 2      “Looking beyond visible light”

The light to which our eyes are sensitive is just a tiny part of what is emitted. This includes radio waves, X-rays and infrared light. Find out how we have learnt far more about the Universe by studying it at all these different wavelengths, discovering many things we didn’t know existed.


LECTURE 3      “The oldest light in the Universe - the fascinating story of its accidental discovery”

In 1965 astronomers accidentally discovered the echo of the Big Bang.  Learn about how it was predicted in 1948, how no-one took any notice, and then was stumbled upon when astronomers were looking for something else. Since then, studying this light has taught us a great deal about the properties of our Universe.                                 


LECTURE 4      “Astronomy in Central America”

The Mayans had a long history of studying the skies.  Learn about the incredible accuracy with which this ancient civilization was able to predict celestial events, the grand observatories that they built, and their fascinating way of counting years.


LECTURE 5      “Who are the masters of the Universe?”

Who are the ten most important physicists? Newton and Einstein are two of them, but who are the other eight? Learn about their fascinating lives, and some of the work that they did that changed our understanding of the world around us.


LECTURE 6          “Jupiter - the giant of the planets”

Jupiter will be visible in the morning sky during this leg of the cruise, before sunrise.  Learn about Jupiter, her great red spot, and her four large moons, one of which, Europa, could harbour life.


LECTURE (Reserve)      “Pickering’s Harem”

The women who changed our understanding of the Universe”

In the late 1890s astronomer Edward Pickering, director of Harvard Observatory, employed a team of talented women.  Learn about how some of these women changed our understanding of the nature and size of the Universe.                       



SECTOR                               Los Angeles to Auckland


LECTURE 1      “What is visible in the sky during this leg of the cruise?”

As we are sailing south towards New Zealand, the sky will change as objects invisible from Europe and North America become visible. Also, familiar constellations will appear upside down.  I will summarise which objects will be visible and how to find them during the second leg of the cruise.


LECTURE 2      “The Southern Cross and the Magellanic Clouds”

For many guests on a cruise to the southern hemisphere, seeing the Southern Cross is one of the highlights. I will explain how to find the Southern Cross, what its importance is, and how it was used for navigation by the Polynesians.  In addition, I will explain what the Magellanic Clouds are and how to find them.


LECTURE 3      “Is there life on Mars?”

Mars will be visible in the morning sky before sunrise during this leg of the cruise. Learn where to find it in the sky, and more about the red planet, including our on-going search for life on it. What are the current plans to send humans to Mars? Will we get there before 2030?


LECTURE 4      “Captain Cook’s voyage to Tahiti in 1769 to measure the Solar System”

In 1769 Captain James Cook sailed to Tahiti to make observations of Venus which would help determine the distance from the Earth to the Sun.  Learn about the fascinating story of his trip, and of Frenchman le Gentil who tried twice to go to India to make the same observations.


LECTURE 5      “Saturn and its spectacular rings”

Saturn’s rings are one of the most spectacular views in the sky.  Saturn will be visible in the morning sky during this leg of the cruise.  Learn how to find it, and more about the rings and what caused them.  Also, learn about Titan, Saturn’s largest moon and the only moon in the Solar System which has an appreciable atmosphere.


LECTURE 6      “The quest for Tannu Tuva”

Learn about physicist Richard Feynman’s 10-year quest to visit a lost kingdom in central Asia called Tannu Tuva.  Feynman and his friend Ralph Leighton went to extraordinary lengths to visit this mystical place, and along the way they had many adventures including being hired to play bongos for an opera!


LECTURE (Reserve)      “The search for life beyond the Solar System”

In 1995 we discovered the first planet going around another star.  Since then, we have discovered over 2,000 extra-solar planets.  Do any of these support life, and will we ever be able to make contact with other life out there?

                  Dr. Rhodri Evans presenting to a cruise ship audience

Lecturer in Astronomy: Dr. Rhodri Evans    University of Cardiff. S. Wales


                                                     Speciality:  Astronomy