Public Talks

Monthly Talks on Astronomical Topics of Interest

Monthly Public Talks

Our popular monthly talks are for members and the public to learn about some aspects of astronomy. These talks are aimed at ‘middle of the road’ level so the talk will appeal to members of the public with no prior knowledge, newcomers as well as those who have been interested in the subject for a number of years.

Topics from imaging the night sky, through to Cosmology, we invite speakers from all over the UK and the World.

We make a small charge on the door of £3.00 to cover our expenses. Unless otherwise stated, there is no need to book, simply turn up on the evening.

Our local venue:

Clanfield Memorial Hall,
South Lane,
Clanfield
Waterlooville
Hampshire
PO8 0RB

If you wish to view this location on MultiMap please click here

All talks start at 8:00pm unless otherwise stated

Friday, 8th October 2021

The Fermi Paradox

A talk by Dr Stephen Webb

Cost: No charge for members or non-members for a Zoom meeting

Ray Bootland Memorial Lecture

 In 1960, the year Ray Bootland helped found the Portsmouth Astronomical Group, the radio astronomer Frank Drake carried out the first modern attempt to detect transmissions from extraterrestrial civilisations. More than six decades have passed and, although the world is now a very different place, the Hampshire Astronomical Group  (as it is now called) still meets and astronomers are still attempting to detect signs of alien intelligence. This latter fact is puzzling: the computational and observational resources that astronomers can apply to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence are a trillionfold more powerful than Drake's initial attempt - so from a galaxy that contains hundreds of billions of stars, and a universe that contains hundreds of billions of galaxies, we might expect to have already seen  some signs of a civilisation more advanced than our own. And yet, so far, the search has proved fruitless. As the great physicist Enrico Fermi once asked: "Where is everybody?"    

In this talk we discuss some approaches to answering Fermi's famous question.

Stephen has a PhD in theoretical particle physics, and is the author of nine books - including a best-selling book on the Fermi paradox. He has appeared on a BBC documentary "The Big Think" with Lord Rees, given numerous public lectures including the Leibniz Campus Lecture, and his 2018 TED talk has been viewed more than 6 million times.   

 This talk will be held via Zoom - if you want to attend, please email lindy.bryant@hantsastro.org.uk for your ZOOM link and "doors" will open at 7.45pm for an 8pm start.


Image: Dr Stephen Webb

Friday, 10th December 2021

Science of Santa

A talk by Dr Steve Barrett

Cost: No charge for members or non-members for a Zoom meeting

A short tongue-in-cheek 'stocking-filler' talk for the festive season. Is Santa Claus real? Can the myth be reconciled with scientific reasoning?

Our speaker tonight, on a return visit, is Dr Steve Barrett who is a Senior Researcch Fellow in the Department of Physics of Liverpool University, where his research interests span all aspects of imaging, image processing and image analysis. This includes medical imaging (biophysics), scanning probe microscopy of atoms, molecules and surfaces (nanophysics), microscopy of earth materials (geophysics) and astrophotography.

Dr Steve MAY be unable to travel to us and, if this is the case, this talk will be held via Zoom - if you want to attend, please email lindy.bryant@hantsastro.org.uk for your ZOOM link and "doors" will open at 7.30pm for a 8pm start.

Friday, 14th January 2022

Time in Einstein's Universe

A talk by Colin Stuart

Cost: No charge for members or non-members for a Zoom meeting

Due to Covid restrictions, this talk may be held via Zoom - changes to that status will be confirmed here if you want to attend, please email

lindy.bryant@hantsastro.org.uk 

for your ZOOM link and "doors" will open at 7.30pm for a 8pm start.

 

Friday, 11th February 2022

Appley Bridge meteorite - The Space Rock that Hit Lancashire

A talk by Russell Parry

Cost: No charge for members or non-members for a Zoom meeting

Join Russell Parry presenting the fascinating story of the fall and find of the Appley Bridge meteorite in 1914 as told through newspaper reports and archive documents of the time.

It tells the story of the confusion with enemy Zeppelins, the confiscation of the meteorite by the police and its subsequent release for analysis.

The presentation includes many previously unseen photographs of the meteorite and images provided by various organisations around the World.

Russell has appeared on several TV and radio programmes talking about the Appley Bridge meteorite, has presented talks on several voyages on Cunard's Queen Mary 2 and at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.