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Popular Astronomy

Popular Astronomy Magazine - January-February 2018
See what's in the January-February 2018 edition of 'Popular Astronomy' magazine. Click the cover to find out.

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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. 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 27 January, 2 pm. Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, University College, London (details below).

Dr Greg Hunt of Imperial College will talk about Highlights from Cassini. For a decade, the Cassini mission has been delighting us with unprecedented views of Saturn and its fascinating satellites. Not only have we discovered more about the planet itself, but we now have a new possible abode for life in the solar system. And even though Cassini is no more, the work isn't over yet. Researchers will be gleaning new information from the mission for years to come.

Following the break, Robin Scagell will describe what's in the night sky for the coming months, and renowned planetary imager Martin Lewis will let us into the secrets of High Resolution Planetary Imaging. Modern cameras allow amateurs to image details on the planets which were previously impossible to detect, even from professional observatories. Come and hear the tricks of the trade and see some remarkable images.

Saturday 28 April. 2 pm. Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, University College, London 

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

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. 

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:



Tue, 16 Jan 2018   - Coming soon! Our new website

Fri, 05 Jan 2018   - Early morning spectacular

Sun, 31 Dec 2017   - Did you see the fireball on 31 December?