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 May 2016

(Physics of) Star Formation

A talk by Dr Dirk Froebrich

Cost: £3 for non-members

In the last few years Dr Froebrich has given his "talks" more in the style of an open Q/A session, within a pre-defined subject. I.e. the topic has been announced beforehand (see title). He will give a short introduction to the subject and then the audience can ask any questions on the subject they like.

In particular he would like to advertise the citizen science project
HOYS-CAPS that Kent have been running since last year. The project website is: 

Friday, 10th June 2016

Confessions of an Astronomer

Professor Ian Robson

Cost: £3 for non-members

Professor Robson spent a decade as Director of the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope and Joint Astronomy Centre on Hawaii and was appointed as both Honorary Professor of University of Edinburgh and Honorary Fellow of University of Central Lancashire.He has just retired as President of the Society for Popular Astronomy (2014 - 2016).

This is a light-hearted look at the life of a professional astronomer; as well as the research and teaching, perhaps surprisingly, it can be packed with ‘interest’ in the widest sense of the word. The talk contains many amusing and exciting anecdotes; from being marooned with a steaming helium dewar in a cablecar in the Pyrenees, flying in an RAF Comet above the North Sea at 45,000 ft and to many exploits in Hawaii. The talk covers a wide range of astronomy, is lavishly illustrated and contains not a single equation!

Friday, 8th July 2016

Mercury: New views of the Sun’s innermost planet

A talk by Professor David Rothery

Cost: £3 for non-members

Friday, 14th October 2016


A talk by TBA

Cost: £3 for non-members

Ray Bootland Memorial Lecture

Friday, 11th November 2016


A talk by Dr Chris North

Cost: £3 for non-members

Dr Chris North is well known to many people from his appearances on The Sky at Night.

He is a researcher based at Cardiff University, focussing on the SPIRE instrument on Herschel Space Observatory.   He is also a member of the team behind Chromoscope (

Friday, 9th December 2016

Herschel’s Incredibly Cool Universe

A talk by Dr Chris Pearson

Cost: £3 for non-members

The Herschel Space Observatory was launched in 2009 and was the largest telescope ever put into space. The UK held a major share in the mission, assembling and testing one of the key instruments called SPIRE. Herschel looks at our Universe in infrared light, illuminating young stars being born and entire galaxies in the process of creation. I will introduce the Herschel mission, explaining why it was so important to astronomy and lead you through the story of our infrared Universe as seen by Herschel. We will travel from the distant reaches of the observable Universe looking at the cradles of creation, through spectacular images of our own Galaxy, right to the doorstep to our very own Solar System and the components that went into making life on Earth.

Dr Pearson's PhD was in “Galaxy Evolution and Cosmology" with Prof. Michael Rowan-Robinson Imperial College, London.

He has worked on cosmological galaxy surveys at infrared wavelengths for both ground based telescopes and space borne missions. He worked for 7 years in Japan on the AKARI space telescope before moving to the UK to RAL Space to work on the SPIRE instrument on the Herschel Space Observatory where he leads the team that produces all the nice maps from SPIRE .

Friday, 21st April 2017


A talk by Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Cost: £3 for non-members

The talk details are to be confirmed.

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

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.