Explore the culture of the stars…

Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences, but also the one in which amateurs still play an active role, contributing to many recent important astronomical discoveries.

If you have a passion for stargazing, space, and the universe, or are ‘wowed’ by images produced by the Hubble and James Webb telescopes, 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. In addition to that, it continues to be an endless source of fascination and captivation for both young and old, with hundreds of astronomy clubs across the UK and tens of thousands of amateur astronomers watching the stars every night just like we do.

Our Astronomy Section provides a programme of talks and, occasionally, a visit to an observatory or other site of astronomical importance!

BNSS Members on a "Walk through the Solar System" along Bournemouth sea front.
A Walk through the Solar System July 2023

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 had 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.

BNSS welcomes the regular and on-going support of Wessex Astronomical Society 

Reports on Talks


Astronomical Paris: the Celestial, the Occult and the Macabre
Lunar geology from the safety of your own home
Mayan Astronomy
Reflection, Refraction & Excitation: The Hunt for Atmospheric Optical Effects
Quirky Astronomy
Stellar Evolution – the life cycle of a star
7 Moons


Short talks
Astronomy and Philosophy
The Mystery of 29P
Rodinia and the Boring Billion
Edwin Hubble: Astronomer of the Galaxies
Quantum Gravity
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”
Gravitational Waves
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