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

Our local venue:

Clanfield Memorial Hall,
South Lane,

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

All talks start at 7:45pm unless otherwise stated

Friday, 9th November 2018

The Search for Life on Exoplanets

A talk by Dr Paul B Rimmer

Cost: £3 for non-members

Dr Rimmer is a Postdoc at University of Cambridge Cavendish Astrophysics Laboratory of Molecular Biology.

Are we alone in the universe? Is our galaxy teeming with
alien life, or is our small blue planet the lone island of life in an
otherwise dead universe? This question has stayed with us since before
the time of the Greeks until now, and ours is the first generation
poised to be able to answer it. The discovery of exoplanets, planets
orbiting other stars, has been explosive. The number of known exoplanets
is now well over 3000. Some of these planets are rocky, and are the
right distance from their star, not too hot and not too cold, for life.
Do these planets have atmospheres? Could life have started on their
surfaces? Are there signs of life on other planets that we would have a
chance to see from Earth, and how do we find these signatures? I will
talk about how far exoplanet science has come to answering these
questions, and how far we still need to go in our search for life on
other worlds.


Friday, 14th December 2018

How We'll Live on Mars

A talk by Colin Stuart

Cost: £3 for non-members

Humans will soon make their first trip to Mars.
How will we get there? What challenges will you have to overcome and what spectacular sights await the successful? In a talk packed full of stunning visuals and the latest scientific thinking, astronomy author Colin Stuart takes us on a journey to the Red Planet to witness the majesty of a Martian sunset.
Based on his two latest books – The Traveller's Guide to Mars and How to Live in Space – as well as his work with astronaut Tim Peake, strap in for a voyage of discovery and wonder that's truly out of this world.

Friday, 11th January 2019

The Cradle of the Sun - Did Our Solar System Form in a Star Cluster?

A talk by Dr Richard J Parker

Cost: £3 for non-members

Dr Parker is a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow, working at the University of Sheffield who delivered a talk about the "Search for Planet 9" at the 2018 BAA Winchester Weekend. For this talk, he will be considering where our Sun was born.

Stars like the Sun do not form in isolation, but rather in the company of tens to millions of other stars. These stellar birth-places are often very hostile astrophysical environments, where planets can be disrupted or prevented from forming altogether. However, there are several strands of evidence that suggest the Sun MUST have formed in such a dense environment. In this talk, I will discuss the evidence for and against the Solar System's formation within a star cluster. 

Friday, 8th February 2019

The search for Planet Vulcan

A talk by Paul Fellows

Cost: £3 for non-members

Paul Fellows is an old friend of Hampshire Astronomical Group, having been a member back in the days when we were the Portsmouth Astronomical Group.

Details of Paul's talk will be posted here shortly.

Image from lithographic map of 1846

Friday, 10th May 2019

Multimessenger Astronomy

A talk by Dr Stephen Webb

Cost: £3 for non-members

Almost everything we know about the universe came from observing electromagnetic radiation.
But information from astrophysical events can reach us via three other types of messenger:
  • charged cosmic rays,
  • neutrinos,
  • and gravitational waves.

By combining signals from the four different messengers we can gain new insights.

This talk looks at how multimessenger astronomy recently shed light on a decades-old puzzle, and it looks forward to what we might learn next.