Explore the culture of the stars…
If you have a passion for star gazing, telescopes, the Hubble and the universe and this thing we call “astronomy”, you are far from alone. Of course, we know that astronomy is a highly respected science that has produced some of the most amazing accomplishments of the twentieth century. On top of that, it is a thriving area of fascination and one of the most exciting hobby areas going with thousands of astronomy clubs and tens of thousands of amateur astronomers watching the stars every night just like we do.
Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences, but also one in which amateurs still play an active role, contributing to many recent important astronomical discoveries.
Our Astronomy Section provides a programme of talks and, occasionally, a visit to an observatory or other site of astronomical importance!
Some of our guest speakers include those from external organisations, members of the Society or members of other astronomical societies. We are fortunate to have many well-known public speakers giving talks, for example Dr David Whitehouse, retired BBC Science Correspondent and Dr Allan Chapman, a well-known historian of astronomy at Oxford University.
We also contribute to Open Days with solar telescopes and other equipment to be seen and used, as well as supporting Young Explorers sessions with hands-on activities and a planetarium show.
Reports on Talks
Edwin Hubble: Astronomer of the Galaxies
Guest Stars, Ancient and Modern
A life on Mars
Spectroscopy: Cracking starlight’s hidden code
New Horizons – Voyage to the Outer Solar System
Archaeoastronomy: Ancient monuments and their use of the sky
Debunking the Moon landing hoax protagonists
Tim Peake, Space and the ISS
Charles Messier: “The ferret of comets”
How Astronomy Has Changed
Rocks from Space
Probing the Dark Universe
Active and Adaptive Optics
Pluto from myth to discovery
Comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko
Macrographia on the Moon
The South African Large Telescope
The First Billion Years
The Cassini Mission
Volcanism in the Solar System
Upcoming Astronomy events
Lecture: The Mystery of 29P9th October 2018 at 7.30pm
Speaker: Dr Richard Miles Richard is Director of the British Astronomical Association (BAA)’s Asteroids and Remote Planets section. 29P/Schwassmann–Wachmann is a comet that has periodic outbursts. It’s also categorised as a “Centaur”, having an orbit between Jupiter and Neptune. We will find out what mechanism is most likely responsible for these outbursts. This talk is being […]
Lecture: Astronomy and Philosophy30th October 2018 at 7.30pm
Speaker: Dr Martin Griffiths After 17 years as a lecturer at the University of South Wales, he is now Director of the Brecon Beacons Observatory. He is an enthusiastic science communicator, lecturer, writer and professional astronomer utilizing astronomy, history and science fiction as tools to encourage greater public understanding of science. Martin was unfortunately unable […]
Lecture: An Introduction to Quantum Mechanics17th November 2018 at 2.30pm
Speaker: Bill Coombes Bill is a member of BNSS, and does many outreach activities to encourage youngsters to have an interest in science. He has contact with the ISS through NASA. Bill also belongs to the Poole Radio Society. Bill is giving this talk with as little complex technical detail as possible, so it will […]