Forthcoming meetings

Our regular quarterly meetings are held in London, at the Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, University College London (apart from the October 2018 meeting which will be at the nearby Lecture Theatre 1, Cruciform Building). 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. 

Special meeting in Cardiff: Saturday 29 September 2018

Colliding galaxies
Colliding galaxies (NASA/CXC/CfA/E. O’Sullivan/CFHT/Coelum)

This meeting is organised in conjunction with Cardiff Astronomical Society.
The venue will be the Dept of Physics and Astronomy at Cardiff University, with doors open at 12.30. It is open to members and their guests. There will be three talks:

Professor Ian Robson (Royal Observatory, Edinburgh): The Changing Face of Astronomy
Professor Patrick Sutton (University of Cardiff): The Detection of Gravitational Waves
Dr Megan Argo (University of Central Lancashire): When Galaxies Collide

The afternoon session will close by 17.00.
Further detailed information about the venue (maps and directions) and the detailed timetable of events will be published closer to the date.

Humans on Mars

Saturday 27 October, 2 pm. in Lecture Theatre 1, Cruciform Building, University College, London. (details below). 

Author Colin Stuart will speak on How We’ll Live on Mars. Humans will soon make their first trip to Mars. How will we get there? What challenges will we have to overcome and what spectacular sights await the successful? In a talk packed full of stunning visuals and the latest scientific thinking, astronomy author Colin Stuart will take you on a journey to the Red Planet to witness the majesty of a Martian sunset.

Plus talks after the interval, including Robin Scagell’s latest What’s Up in the sky and an additional talk by Robin called It’s About Time – a lighthearted look at some of the oddities caused by the Earth’s annual movement around the Sun, from why sundials usually don’t tell the right time to why knowing when twilight began was once a matter of life or death.

Saturday 26 January 2019, 2 pm. Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, University College, London. (details below). 

Dr Queenie Chan of the Open University will speak on Meteorites and the Ingredients for Life.

Earlier this year, the discovery of the ingredients for life in two meteorites that fell 20 years ago made headlines. A team headed at the Open University found compounds such as amino acids and hydrocarbons alongside liquid water within the meteorites, supporting the belief that life could originate elsewhere in the solar system. Queenie Chan, lead author of the paper which announced the discovery, will explain how they reached this conclusion, and explain its exciting implications. She will also bring along some meteorites from the OU’s collection to look at!

London meetings will also be held on Saturdays 27 April and 27 July 2019. 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, normally in the Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre of University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT. However, the October 2018 meeting will be held in Lecture Theatre 1 of the Cruciform Building, which is directly across Gower Street from the main entrance to the UCL quadrangle.

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 the Cruciform Building is on your right:

Cruciform Building UCL

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 Refectory, which is on the lower ground floor.

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