Public Talks

Monthly Talks on Astronomical Topics of Interest

Monthly Public Talks

Our popular monthly talks are for members and the public to learn about some aspects of astronomy. These talks are aimed at ‘middle of the road’ level so the talk will appeal to members of the public with no prior knowledge, newcomers as well as those who have been interested in the subject for a number of years.

Topics from imaging the night sky, through to Cosmology, we invite speakers from all over the UK and the World.

We make a small charge on the door of £3.00 to cover our expenses

Our local venue:

Clanfield Memorial Hall,
South Lane,

If you wish to view this location on MultiMap please click here

All talks start at 7:45pm unless otherwise stated

Friday, 13th March 2015

Operation Ritchey–Chrétien Telescope

A DVD documentary by John and Ken Palmer

Cost: Free to all

A new era is about to dawn for the Hampshire Astronomical Group. A pivotal step forward into the digital age. From 1970's hardware into the advances of the 21st century. A radical shift forward in the Group's history...but not without: hard work, challenges, planning and the odd minor problem.

From concept to reality, we follow every phase of Operation Ritchey-Chrétien Telescope in this documentary.

Friday, 8th May 2015

The History of the Universe in the Palm of Your Hand

A talk by Dr Karen Masters

Cost: Non-Members £3

Dr Masters is a Senior Lecturer in Astronomy at the Portsmouth Institute of Cosmology & Gravitation


Friday, 10th July 2015


A talk by Professor Don Pollacco

Cost: Non-members: £3

Friday, 9th October 2015

Ray Bootland Memorial Lecture

A talk by Professor John Brown

Cost: Non-members £3

Professor Brown, the Astronomer Royal of Scotland will deliver a talk for the UN Year of Light.

For further info about Prof Brown, please see his website at

Friday, 11th December 2015

The Star of Bethlehem

A talk by Mark Kidger

Cost: Non-members £3

Dr. Kidger begins with the stories of early Christians, comparing Matthew's tale of the Star and the three Magi who followed it to Bethlehem with lesser-known accounts excluded from the Bible. Crucially, Dr. Kidger follows the latest biblical scholarship in placing Christ's birth between 7 and 5 B.C., which leads him to reject various phenomena that other scientists have proposed as the Star. In clear, colorful prose, he then leads us through the arguments for and against the remaining astronomical candidates. Could the Star have been Venus? What about a meteor or a rare type of meteor shower? Could it have been Halley's Comet, as featured in Giotto's famous painting of the Nativity? Or, as he suspects, was the Star a combination of events--a nova recorded in ancient Chinese and Korean manuscripts preceded by a series of other events, including an unusual triple conjunction of planets?