Talks at the Observatory

Approximately once a month an external speaker – typically from a regional university – joins us at the observatory to give a talk on a scientific subject. We’ve had many fantastic talks in the past given by highly talented scientists and occasionally by very knowledgeable astronomical hobbyists.

Visitors are always welcome to join us although we do ask for a small donation to help pay for the upkeep of the observatory and to contribute towards any expenses incurred for speakers.

We cannot promise that all talks will be non-technical. Indeed, we normally leave it up to the speaker to choose a subject and deliver as she or he sees fit so sometimes technical language is used. Of course, everyone is encouraged to ask questions so points of clarification are often raised.

Having said that, most talks are very accessible; the speakers usually make no assumption about our levels of knowledge and use everyday language wherever possible.

Below is a list of talks from the past and scheduled for the near future. If you would like to join us, please feel free to do so. You don’t need to book in advance but please be aware that our lecture room is very small with seating for around 25 people and standing for another 5 or so.

Talks usually start at 8 – 8.15 pm and are always held on a Friday night.

We’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to all our speakers who so kindly give their time and knowledge for the benefit of our members and visitors. Talks are always awe-inspiring and often jaw-dropping as the enormity of the universe is explored, current theories explained and the plans and results of national and international projects are presented.

CAS Members – Do you have an idea for a talk? Is there a subject you would like to explore? We need your ideas so please let Marilyn know if you have any suggestions and she’ll do her best to arrange talks on subjects that you nominate.

You can contact her by writing to


Talks for 2019


Friday 29th November

An update about the amazing space telescope Gaia by Rob Jeffries


Friday 11th October

Update on Dark Energy – by Clare Burrage


Friday 16th August

Space Weather – a talk by Sam Walton


Friday 26th July

The Future of…. –  A talk by Natasha Carr


Friday 21st June

How do Planets Form? by Professor Simon Goodwin


Friday, 17th May

Future Concepts for Space Exploration by Martin Braddock


Friday, 29th March

Extrasolar Planets aka Exoplanets by Dr Susan Cartwright


Friday, 1st March

Neutrinos Update by Dr Matthew Malek


Friday, 8th February

Quantum Mechanics by Dr Pieter Kok


Friday, 11th January

Exploring The Distant Universe With Gamma-Ray Bursts by Prof Nial Tanvir


Talks for 2018


Friday, 23rd November

The Origin and Development of the Universe – should we be surprised we are here? by Dr Chris Booth


Friday, 5th October

All About Axions by Professor Ed Daw


Friday, 28th September

Terraforming Mars by Simon Goodwin


Friday, 10th August

Gravitational Waves by Natasha Carr


Friday, 20th July

Picturing the Planets by Susan Cartwright


Friday, 15th June

How Does Our Sun Work by Dr Ian Whittaker


Friday, 11th May

The Real Origins of Life by Gareth Few


Friday, 20th April

The Monster in the Crab by Gary Poyner


Friday, February 23rd

When Worlds Collide by Roy Gunson


Friday, January 26th

Galaxies in Many Dimensions by Dr Michael Merrifield