Forthcoming meetings

Our regular quarterly meetings are held in London, at the Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, University College London (our new venue as from January 2018). Admission is free to members, and we also welcome newcomers who want to get a taste of what we provide before they join. No need to register – just turn up. Details of how to get there, with maps, are given below. Other events are occasionally held around the country, in which case details of their location will be given. All talks are presented at a popular level and should be understandable by anyone with an interest in astronomy. 

Saturday 28 April. 2 pm. Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, University College, London. (details below). 

Prof Andrew Coates of the Mullard Space Science Laboratory will speak on Looking for Life on Mars with the ExoMars 2020 Rover.

ExoMars rover
How Europe’s ExoMars rover will look on the surface of the Red Planet. Image credit: ESA

Andrew is the Principal Investigator for PanCam, which will be the eyes of the ExoMars Rover of the European Space Agency. The Rover will travel across the Martian surface in search of signs of life, and PanCam will send back 3D views of the landscape. It will look for sites where there might still be organic material, and also help to navigate the spacecraft over the Martian terrain. The ExoMars rover will be able to choose its own route with the aid of its onboard cameras.

 In addition, after the break, Robin Scagell will look at some highlights of the night sky over the next few months, and Ian Ridpath will speak on Pictures in the Sky – how the constellations originated, included where we get all those odd names from!


London meetings will also be held on Saturdays 28 July and 27 October 2018, at University College London. Details to come.


 Other national events

An updated list of major star parties and conventions is maintained on our Forum.


Meeting videos

You can view videos of the main talks at meetings on your computer. Just click on the image at right to see what’s currently available. There are videos of talks about all aspects of astronomy there – they’ll keep you entertained for hours!


Society Meetings – new regular venue

SPA meetings are held on the last Saturday of January, April, July and October in the Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre of University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT.

Gustave Tuck Lecture theatre
The Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre. (Credit: UCL)

The nearest tube station is Euston Square (Circle and Metropolitan lines). Turn left on leaving the barrier, which brings you to the top of Gower Street. Walk 150 m down Gower Street and the entrance to UCL is on your left:

Enter the quadrangle and cross to the door on the far right. This area is publicly accessible, and there is no need to sign in or report to security:


Climb the stairs to your right to the 2nd floor, or take the nearby lift:

The Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre is nearby, with its main entrance through double doors. There are a few steps up to this, but there is a wheelchair lift should it be needed:

About the meetings

The first section of each meeting is generally taken up by a talk from a guest speaker, while the second has shorter items on current astronomical events, and possibly reports from sections. Prior to the meeting, and during the break, refreshments are available in the Old Refectory, which is on the ground floor.

Here is a Google map of the venue to help you with directions: