Forthcoming meetings

Our regular quarterly meetings are held in London, at the Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, University College London. 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 25 January 2020, 2-5 pm. Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, University College, London. (details below)

Prof Stephen Serjeant (Open University)

Stephen will give his Presidential address on Citizen science and the Data Avalanche. Astronomy and particle physics have begun a new data-rich era of discovery, from finding warps in space and time to new particles in accelerators. But the data avalanche is so fast, so large and so complex that it’s a challenge for computing. Humans are still often much better than artificial intelligence (AI) at classification tasks.

Stephen will show us how SPA members and Young Stargazers can join in with such projects. Our members have a genuine and valuable participation to make in scientific discovery.

Following this, Robin Scagell will give his guide to What’s Up in the sky in the next three months, and will then speak about Tycho Brahe and his legacy. Tycho is well known for his observations, made before the invention of the telescope, which were used by Kepler to formulate his planetary laws. His story is a fascinating one, and he was one of the most colourful personalities in astronomy. Robin’s talk shows how Tycho achieved such accuracy, and what spurred him on to carry them out.

Meetings of the society will also take place in 2020 on 25 April and 25 July.

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

SPA meetings are held on the last Saturday of January, April, July and October, normally 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. Meetings close at 5 pm.

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