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, 10th February 2017

Isaac Newton and the Surrey Pumas

A talk by Mike Frost, BAA Historical Section Director

Cost: £3 for non-members

An offbeat look at Newton's theory of gravity - featuring hollow Earths, counter-Earths Trojan asteroids, Kirkwood gaps, Lagrangian nodes, the three-body problem, and those mysterious beasts rumoured to haunt Surrey playing fields and Bodmin Moor. 

A quirky talk this month, delivered by the BAA Historical Section Director. Mike has previously delivered this talk on two continents!

Friday, 10th March 2017

"Let's Erupt Together" (Volcanoes and their Effects)

A talk by Michael Maunder

Cost: £3 for non-members

Tonight's lecture will look at why volcanoes matter to astronomers. Mike will cover (not necessarily in this order);

  • Ideas about how they drive Climate Change
  • Some unexpected products
  • A few personal experiences!
  • Perhaps a little bit of chemistry.....
  • Finally, some pretty pictures for us 

Friday, 21st April 2017

Transient Events in the Universe

A talk by Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Cost: £3 for non-members


Often when we view the Universe in a new way, new and unexpected phenomena are discovered. Recent developments in detectors (for example CCDs) and in computers are now allowing astronomers to search systematically for short duration phenomena – flares, bursts and other kinds of changes in the brightness of stars and galaxies. Some such phenomena were already known (supernovae, for example), and some have been accidentally discovered (gamma ray bursts, for example). There has also recently been more systematic searching for moving objects, such as asteroids that might impact the earth.

We are now entering a new phase with more and bigger telescopes, larger data flows, and observations with new, lower frequency, radio telescopes. This talk will describe this burgeoning field and speculate on what might be found.



Please note that this talk is on the 3rd Friday, not the usual 2nd Friday.

Friday, 12th May 2017

13 Journeys Through Space and Time

A talk by Colin Stuart

Cost: £3 for non-members

Colin is a writer and speaker on science and astronomy. He has recently written a book with the Royal Institution, looking at their reknowned Christmas Lectures. 

The book is an exploration of space and time and is a journey of discovery, through thriteen of the most fascinating Christmas Lectures given at the Royal Institution of Great Britain over the last 200 years.

It has a foreward by ESA astronaut Tim Peake.

We hope to have copies of the book available for sale at the Lecture.

Friday, 9th June 2017

Title TBC

A talk by Dr Aprajita Verma

Cost: £3 to non-members

Dr Verma, from Oxford University, is part of the team working on the European Extremely Large Telescope.

Friday, 14th July 2017

Title TBC

A talk by Professor Giovanna Tinetti

Cost: £3 for non-members

Giovanna Tinetti is a Professor of Astrophysics at University College London. Details of her tallk will be announced in the future.

Friday, 13th October 2017

Title TBA

A talk by Professor Lucie Green

Cost: £3 for non-members

Ray Bootland Memorial Lecture

Professor Green will deliver our Memorial Lecture this year.

Friday, 10th November 2017

Astrobiology : Tour of the Solar System

A talk by William Joyce

Cost: £3 to non-members

Details to be added.

Friday, 8th December 2017

Cosmology (details to come later)

A talk by Dr Chris Pearson

Cost: £3 for non-members

Dr Pearson will talk about his work in this area - further details to follow.

Friday, 9th March 2018


A talk by Dr Samantha Penny

Cost: £3 for non-members

Dr Penny is a Senior Research Associate at the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation at the University of Portsmouth.