Natasha Lund

Science Communication and Arts

“It’s important to try to do things we love. Art and physics are much closer than you would think. Art is based on very clear, mathematical principles like proportion and harmony. At the same time, physicists need to be inventive, to have ideas, to have some fantasy. Physics addresses fundamental questions, perhaps not the final answer, perhaps just a little step forward. It is for me, a great scientific adventure but it’s also a great human adventure.” – Experimental Particle Physicist, Fabiola Gianotti.

Astronomy, physics and space have always been the most exciting topics to me. I first came to Kielder Observatory as a stargazer from a larger southern town where there was no darkness. I found the dark sky park and with it the observatory. To be around other like-minded young people, and in such an inspiring site with fantastic instruments was wonderful. I’ve been so fortunate to work here for a couple of years now, and I get to do my favourite things. To learn about the world of astronomy, and to tell others about it too. This takes me not only into the classroom at the observatory but into schools and to public outreach events. I’m very slowly completing my own formal education in physics (work keeps us very busy!), and I am an avid reader.

  • Who is an inspirational figure to you: Fabiola Gianotti, who is quoted above. When leading the ATLAS detector, only 20% of her workforce was female and she is the first woman to direct CERN. She has displayed an unwavering and inspiring dedication to her field, with over 500 publications and numerous awards for her significant contributions to physics. The discovery of the Higgs Boson was something I found very personally motivating and exciting. Whenever I think I can’t, I think of her and I know I can.
  • What is your favourite deep space object: IC1848/1808, the Heart and Soul Nebula, Cassiopeia.
  • What is your favourite thing about physics and astronomy: The unknown - there is still so much for us to learn and discover. Humans remain at their greatest as pioneers, when they contemplate the universe around them.
  • What are your hobbies: I love painting, photography and astrophotography.