Meeting videos

Because members of the SPA are spread across the country, we recognise that many will be unable to travel to join us at our regular meetings.

That is why, in recent years, we have been videoing talks at meetings and other special events so that everyone can enjoy the presentations by our expert speakers. It is another way that the SPA caters for all members, wherever they may live!

Please note that YouTube now put ads on videos but these are not controlled by the SPA, nor do we receive any funds from the adverts.

Meeting at Institute of Physics on 30 April 2022. Prof. Graziella Branduardi-Raymont on X-rays from the Solar System, plus second half with Robin Scagell and Grant Bowskill, speaking on recent product developments. Also relayed via Zoom.

Watch online ad-free on Vimeo

Online meeting on 29 January 2022. Prof. Geraint Jones on the Comet Interceptor mission, plus second half with Robin Scagell and Alan Clitherow.

View online

Online meeting on 30 October 2021. Second half with Robin Scagell and Matthew Barratt.

View online Please note that the first half, with Dr Suzie Imber, is no longer available at the request of the speaker.

Online meeting on 31 July 2021 with Dr George Seabroke on The Gaia Revolution

View online

Online meeting on 24 April 2021 with Prof Andrew Coates on Current and Future Mars Missions (replaces Prof Geraint Jones).

View online

Online meeting on 30 January 2021 with Dr Stephen Feeney on The Hubble Constant: a Crisis in Cosmology.

View online

Online meeting on 21 October 2020 with Prof Andy Newsam on Exploring an Ever-Changing Universe

View online

Online SPA meeting with Dr Susanne Schwenzer, Saturday 25 July 2020: Curiosity at Gale Crater

Dr Susanne Schwenzer explains how NASA’s Curiosity probe has been exploring the geology of Gale Crater on Mars.

View online

Online SPA meeting with Prof Lucie Green, Saturday 23 May 2020: Solar update

We are currently at a minimum of solar activity. But what causes the Sun to vary its activity level, and when can we expect the next maximum?

You can view a recording of this meeting in full at

25 January 2020 meeting

Prof Stephen Serjeant: Citizen Science and the Data Avalanche

Robin Scagell: What’s Up for Feb-April 2020; How Tycho Changed the Universe

26 October 2019 meeting

Prof Serena Viti: A Journey into the Formation and Evolution of Stars and Planets

Robin Scagell: What’s Up for November 2019 – January 2020

Graham Cluer: Detecting Meteors by Radar

27 July 2019 meeting

For copyright reasons, David Whitehouse’s talk could not be videoed

Prof David Rothery: Moons of the solar system 

27 April 2019 meeting

At the request of the speaker, Dallas Campbell’s talk on Space was not videoed
Robin Scagell: What’s Up for May-July 2019

David Arditti: Planetary imaging

30 March 2019 SPA Convention

Prof Richard Nelson: The Formation of Planetary Systems

Prof Ian Robson: The Story of Pluto

Dr John Davies: New Horizons in the Solar System

Prof Ian Crawford: The Scientific Legacy of Apollo and the case for renewed exploration of the Moon

Prof Monica Grady: 1969 And All That

26 January 2019 meeting

Dr Queenie Chan – Meteorites and the Ingredients of Life. Please note: we apologise for the poor sound quality of this video as the local microphone was accidentally switched off
Robin Scagell – What’s Up for February–April 2019
Dr Lee Macdonald – The Victorian Origins of Deep-Sky Photography
Annual General Meeting

27 October 2018 meeting

Dr Colin Stuart – How we’ll live on Mars
Robin Scagell – What’s Up Nov 18–Jan 19
Paul Sutherland – Aurora chasing on a budget
Robin Scagell – It’s about time

29 September Cardiff meeting

Prof Ian Robson – The Changing Scene of Astronomy
Philip Wallace – The Birth, Life and Death of Stars
Dr Megan Argo – When Galaxies Collide

28 July 2018 meeting

Prof Dave Rothery – Mercury and the BepiColombo mission
Dave Finnigan – Some deep-sky objects
Graham Cluer – Chasing the solar eclipse

28 April 2018 meeting

Prof Andrew Coates – Looking for Life on Mars with the 2020 ESA ExoMars Rover
Robin Scagell – What’s Up for May–July 2018
Ian Ridpath – Pictures in the Sky

27 January 2018 meeting

Dr Greg Hunt – Highlights of Cassini
Martin Lewis – High resolution planetary imaging

28 October 2017 meeting

Prof. Tim O’Brien — Radio Transients
Robin Scagell — What’s Up Nov 17-Jan 18
Mell Jeffery — Occultations

29 July 2017 meeting

Dr Manish Patel — Searching for Signs of Life with the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter
Dr Manish Patel — Searching for Signs of Life with the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (Q & A)
Robin Scagell talks about total solar eclipses

29 April 2017 meeting

Prof Giovanna Tinetti — A virtual journey to the planets in our Galaxy
Robin Scagell — What’s Up for May to July 2017
Tracie Heywood — Stars to suit your lifestyle

SPA Cambridge Convention, 1 April 2017

Prof. Ian Robson — The Changing Scene of Astronomy
Dr Helen Mason — Active Regions and Solar Flares
Dr Helen Walker: Mars Orbiters, Rovers and Landers
Prof. Iwan Williams: The CONSERT experiment aboard Rosetta β€” What it did and what it discovered
Prof. Karen Masters: What Have Astronomers Learned From Citizen Science?
Dr Floor van Leeuwen: GAIA: ESA’s Mission to construct the largest and most precise 3D space catalogue ever made

28 January 2017 meeting

Dr Jonathan Pritchard — The Cosmic Dawn and the First Galaxies
Nicky Fleet — What’s Up for February-April 2017
Tony Sizer — The Stars, Like Dust
Annual General Meeting

29 October 2016 meeting

Dr Rene Breton — Einstein’s Relativity: Tested to the Limit with Pulsars
Robin Scagell — What’s Up for November 16 – Jan 17
Alice Sheppard — Astronomy from your Laptop

Special meeting at Jodrell Bank, 17 September 2016

Prof Tim O’Brien — The Story of Jodrell Bank
Prof Michael Bode: The Liverpool Telescope — a Giant Robotic Eye on the Universe
Prof Rob Jeffries — Gravitational Waves
Prof Ian Morison: Are We Alone? The Search for Life beyond the Earth
Prof Lucie Green — 15 Million Degrees: Journey to the Centre of the Sun

30 July 2016 meeting

Prof Sheila Rowan — Gravitational Waves: The New Astronomy
Robin Scagell, Ian Morison, Richard Fleet: Summer Observing

30 April 2016 meeting

Dr Morgan Fraser: Gaia — The Milky Way and Beyond
Robin Scagell — What’s Up for May-July 2016
Stuart Atkinson — Comets! Fear, Fact and Fiction

30 January 2016 meeting

Dr Lewis Dartnell — Astrobiology: The Search for Alien Life
Robin Scagell — What’s Up for Feb-April 2016
Jan Drozd — Astronomy in Western Art
Annual General Meeting

31 October 2015 meeting

Dr Jeff Wagg — the Square Kilometre Array
Ian Morison — The Night Sky for November 2015 – January 2016
James Hilder — the Search for a Dark Sky

25 July 2015 meeting

Prof. Chris Evans — The World’s Biggest Telescope Ever — ESO and the E-ELT
Robin Scagell — What’s Up for Summer 2015
Jerry Stone — Is Pluto a Planet?

25 April 2015 meeting

Prof Tim O’Brien — Novae: an Ultra-Panchromatic View
Robin Scagell — What’s Up for May–July 2015
Dr David Mannion — The Future of Spaceflight

SPA Convention, 28 March 2015

Dr Helen Walker — Commanding a UK Satellite
Dr Lucie Green — Europe’s Journey to the Sun: Solar Orbiter
Prof. Monica Grady — Mars missions and Exomars
Prof. Ian Wright — Rosetta/Philae – Landing (many times) On a Comet
Prof. Tim O’Brien: The Moon and Beyond. Jodrell Bank and the Early Days of Solar System Exploration

31 January 2015 meeting

Living with a star: The Sun as a natural hazard — Prof. Mike Hapgood
What’s Up for Jan-Mar 2015 — Robin Scagell
An Introduction to Astro-Imaging with a Digital Camera — Prof Ian Morison

25 October 2014 meeting

Supernovae and the Accelerating Universe – Prof. Bob Nichol
The SPA Deep-Sky Section – Dave Finnigan

26 July 2014 meeting

Prof. Ian Robson – The Confessions of an Astronomer
Robin Scagell — What’s Up for August-September 2014
Richard Fleet – Video Meteor Observing

27 April 2014 meeting

Dr John Richer – High Frequency Radio Astronomy
Robin Scagell – What’s Up for May–July 2014
Geoff Elston — Solar Filters

25 January 2014 meeting

James Hilder – Near-Horizon Observing
Robin Scagell – What’s Up January – March 2014
Citizen Science – a Revolution in Your Browser
Annual General Meeting

26 October 2013 meeting

A Life of Comets – Rob McNaught
What’s up for 2013 Nov-Dec – Robin Scagell
Observing Comet ISON – Jonathan Shanklin

SPA Cambridge Convention, 12 October 2013 – 60 Years of Astronomy

A Meteoric 60 Years – David Bryant
The next 60 years – Prof Martin Rees (Astronomer Royal)
Astro-Imaging : Then and Now – Nik Szymanek
The Cambridge Observatories in 1953 – Mark Hurn
Engineering the exploration of Mars – Ralph Cordey

27 July 2013 meeting

Latest Results from the Herschel Space Observatory – Derek Ward-Thompson
Perseids and Fireballs – Tony Markham

Special meeting in Edinburgh, 15 June 2013

Dr Duncan Forgan – The Formation of Planets and Extraterrestrial Intelligence

Special meeting in Preston, 11 May 2013

The Largest Structure in the Universe – Dr Roger Clowes
Citizen Science – Dr Jason Kirk
Dr Joanne Bibby: Exploding Stars β€” Where the Elements Come From
Planets and Pulsations – Simon Murphy
Solar Eruptions and Space Weather – Dr Timo Laitinen
Astronomy and the Public – Prof. Sir Arnold Wolfendale, FRS

27 April 2013 meeting

Sixty years of Radio Astronomy – Tim O’Brien
An Introduction to Astronomical Sketching – Sally Russell

26 January 2013 meeting – A Tribute to Sir Patrick Moore

Conversations about Sir Patrick Moore and his Astronomy
60 years of Astronomy, the JAS and the SPA – Robin Scagell

27 October 2012 meeting

Strange Weather: Exploring the Giant Planets – Leigh Fletcher
Reflector vs Refractor – Dr Ian Morison

21 July 2012 meeting

The Universe in the Classroom – Paul Roche
Night Sky Glows – Richard Fleet

28 April 2012 meeting

How to hear Black Holes – Mike Cruise
Transits of Venus – Tony Sizer

28 January 2012 meeting

The Square Kilometre Array – Peter Wilkinson
Looking for Aurorae – Robin Scagell
Planetary Imaging with a Dobsonian Telescope – Martin Lewis

29 October 2011 meeting

Fred Hoyle: Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology – Simon Mitton
Astronomy from Kosovo – John Chapman-Smith
Spectroscopy – Jack Martin

30 July 2011 meeting

Fingerprints of the Early Universe – Hiranya Peiris
Results from Cassini – Jerry Workman

30 April 2011 meeting

Spacecraft I have known and loved – John Zarnecki
The next 50 years in Space – Jerry Stone
Noctilucent Clouds – John Murrell

29 January 2011 meeting

Does Life on Earth imply Life on Mars? – Monica Grady
Planetary Observing – Andrew Robertson

October 2010 meeting

The View from Saturn – Carl Murray

25 April 2009 meeting

Songs of the Stars: Prof Don Kurtz (part 1)
Songs of the Stars: Prof Don Kurtz (part 2)
Songs of the Stars: Prof Don Kurtz (part 3)

31 January 2009 meeting

Detecting Meteors with Radio Astronomy – Noah Hardwicke
From Flying Sandbanks To Rubble Piles Part 1 – Prof. Iwan Williams
From Flying Sandbanks To Rubble Piles Part 2 – Prof. Iwan Williams