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 26 October 2019, 2-5 pm. Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, University College, London. (details below)
Prof Serena Viti (UCL): A journey into the formation and evolution of stars and planets
The formation of stars and planets is a multi-million-year journey: stars form from the interstellar medium and yet throughout their lifetime, and especially when they die, they feed back material into it. In her talk, Serena Viti gives an overview of the main stages of the life of stars and planets, with particular emphasis on the roles that molecules play, from forming the first stars to creating the building blocks of life on planets.
Following the break, Robin Scagell will look at what’s coming in the night sky over the next few months, and in particular the forthcoming Transit of Mercury on 11 November.
Following this, Graham Cluer will talk about observing meteors by radio. Even in daylight under cloudy skies it is possible to do some astronomy. Using free software and fairly simple (and inexpensive) equipment anyone can detect meteors by using radar signals that reflect off their ionisation trails. This can give interesting data about the numbers of meteors, the size of the peaks of meteor showers and even something about the meteors themselves. Graham will demonstrate his system and talk about the results he has obtained from running it almost continuously for three years.
Meetings of the society will also take place in 2020 on 25 January, 25 April and 25 July.
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!
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: