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, 13th July 2018

Telescope choices based on optical and practical considerations

A talk by John D Timmins FRAS

Cost: £3 for non-members

Our speaker, John Timmins is the founder of Peak2Valley Instruments and is a Fellow of the RAS.

Telescopes have evolved over recent years and now offer good performance at affordable prices, but new and experienced amateur astronomers remain confused as to the fundamental differences in the two basic types, reflector and refractor. The aim of the talk is to clarify the understanding of telescope optics and simplify the choice of instrument to suit user's expectations.

Friday, 12th October 2018

Making a Solar System: A Recipe for Worlds

A talk by Dr Ashley King

Cost: £3 to non-members

Our Founder's memorial lecture this year will be delivered by Dr Ashley King, who is currently a post-doc research assistant at the Natural History Museum (since 2012) and a post-doc research scholar at the University of Chicago, US (since 2010) .

The solar system formed from a cloud of gas and dust around 4.5 billion years ago. Astronomical observations allow us to witness the birth of distant stars and planets, however the recipe for our own solar system is recorded in primitive extra-terrestrial materials. These include cometary samples returned by NASA's Stardust mission, or collected in the Earth's stratosphere as fluffy interplanetary dust particles, and meteorites ejected from the surfaces of asteroids.

Dr King will talk about how we are using cutting-edge analytical techniques to unlock the secrets of primitive extra-terrestrial materials, revealing details about the earliest conditions in the solar system and how the raw ingredients came together to form asteroids, comets and planets.


Friday, 9th November 2018

Title TBC

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.

Details of his talk will follow later.

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 ofHampshire 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.