An honorary professor of Dundee University’s Duncan of Jordanstone Art College is heading for the stars.
Astronomer Nigel Henbest is booked on one of the first flights of Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic programme and will talk about the preparations he is undergoing for blast-off at the Big Bang event, organised as part of next month’s Wigtown Book Festival.
He said: “I have the ticket, it’s number 245, and hope to make the trip within the next two to three years.
“I have done all the training, including going in a centrifuge that subjected my body to huge G-forces – it was like having a small elephant sitting on my chest.”
Professor Henbest, who has written a host of books on astronomy, as well as presenting TV and radio shows on the subject, will also take part in a talk with Heather Couper about space exploration.
The pair will look at how, from at least 40,000 years ago to the present day, humans have probed the mysteries of the night sky.
They will also discuss the career of Dundonian Thomas Henderson – the first person to measure the distance to Alpha Centauri, the closest star system to our own – and pay tribute to pioneering Scots physicist James Clerk Maxwell.