Public Talks

Monthly Talks on Astronomical Topics of Interest

Monthly Public Talks

Our popular monthly talks are for keen members and the public to learn about some specialist aspects of astronomy, from CCD imaging through to Cosmology, we welcome speakers from all over the world.

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, 9th May 2014

Cataclysmic Variables: 10 breakthroughs in 10 years

A talk by Dr Christian Knigge

Cost: Non-members : £3

Eta Carinae
I suspect most of your members already know that Cataclysmic Variables (CVs) are interacting close binary stars that contain an accreting white dwarf. I suspect that because CVs have long been favourite targets of amateur astronomers, since they vary spectacularly on all sorts of time scales, from seconds to millennia. So what I plan to do is provide a whirlwind tour of some key breakthroughs that have happened in the last decade or so. These breakthroughs touch on both their evolution as binary stars, but also on the process of accretion that fuels them.

Dr Knigge is Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Southampton. He also obtained a BSc in Physics with Computer Science from Southampton, but then went on to get a PhD in astrophysics from Oxford. He then moved to the USA, where he worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. in 1998, he was awarded  a Hubble Fellowship, which was taken up at Columbia University in New York. Finally, in 2000, he started as a lecturer at the University of Southampton, which lead to the current position as professor, via stints as Senior Lecturer and Reader.

Friday, 13th June 2014

The Origin of the Constellations

A talk by Dr Robert Smith

Cost: Non members : £3

The names of the constellations are certainly very ancient – but how old are they, and can we find out who created them? There are (at least) two ways of looking at these questions, and they give somewhat different, but possibly compatible answers. I will explain both approaches, giving in the by-going a discussion of how we describe the sky in terms of the celestial sphere (itself a very ancient idea).

Friday, 11th July 2014

Active Galactic Nucleui and Radio Astronomy

A talk by Sadie Jones

Cost: Non-members: £3

Active Galactic Nucleui and Radio Astronomy

Details TBA

Friday, 14th November 2014


A talk by Dr Robin Catchpole

Cost: Non-members: £3

Details TBA