Institute of Astronomy

Current Season - Public Talks


All public open evenings are held at the Institute of Astronomy with talks taking place in the lecture theatre in the Hoyle Building. You can find a map of the Institute site here.

Talk Times

All talks start at 7:15pm unless otherwise stated. Often our events are very popular and it is not always possible to accommodate everyone who attends in the main lecture theatre. We encourage you to arrive early to avoid disappointment.


There is no need to book unless you are a group of 15+ people; only the evenings that remain blank in the 'Group Booking' column are available for groups.

Date Talk Title Speaker Group Booking Weather No. of Visitors Handout
7th Oct Galactic Archaeology: Peering into the Milky Way's Past Keith Hawkins Bellerby's College A-level class Cloudy 137
14th Oct Scale of the Universe Christina Hedges 1st St Michaels Mead Scout Group Raining 167
21st Oct Dwarf Planet Discoveries: the latest on Ceres, Pluto and beyond Sonali Shukla Cloudy 95
28th Oct Mars vs 'The Martian' Carolin Crawford - half term - Clear 230
4th Nov Tiny but powerful - the smallest supermassive black holes Jenny Greene Raining 105
11th Nov Next generation telescopes Michael Parker Blacktrace Social Club Cloudy 138
18th Nov Bubbles and filaments in galaxy clusters Helen Russell 2nd Hunts Hinchingbrooke Park Scouts Partly Clear 128
25th Nov Brown Dwarfs Sonali Shukla Hitchin Probus Club Partly Clear 184
2nd Dec Gaia Alerts: science from the first year Heather Campbell Amino Communications Ltd Cloudy 110
9th Dec Accreting black holes: Welcome to the feast! Matt Middleton Cloudy 115
16th Dec Monsters in the dark; hunting for the Universe's most extreme galaxies Matt Bothwell Cloudy 100
23rd Dec NO EVENT - Holidays - - -
30th Dec NO EVENT - Holidays - - -
Date Talk Title Speaker Group Booking Weather No. of Visitors Handout
6th Jan Exploring Solar Systems Ryan MacDonald Cloudy 120
13th Jan Using the Moon to detect Life Amaury Triaud Cloudy 125
20th Jan Earth: the little planet that could Scott Thomas 2nd Cambourne Guides Clear 260ish
27th Jan The Hot and Violent Universe Ranjan Vasudevan Blacktrace Company Cloudy 120
3rd Feb The Dark Energy Survey: Exploring the dark sides of the cosmos with the world's largest digital camera Bjoern Soergel Westminster College Clear 210
10th Feb Quasars Laura Keating 1st Swaffham Prior Scouts Clear 255
17th Feb Juno - mission to Jupiter! Carolin Crawford 1st Hemingfords Cub Pack Raining 180
24th Feb The Universe in X-rays Michael Calzadilla Friends of St Andrews Church, Bedford Partly Clear 185
2nd Mar Cosmology after the first 5 minutes Sarah Bosman 2nd Somersham Brownies Raining 142
9th Mar NASA's Kepler Mission & the Search for Earth-like Planets Eric Ford Raining 95
16th Mar Black Holes and the Evolving Universe Meg Urry Beal High School Astronomy Club Cloudy 210
23rd Mar Neutron Stars Nathalie Degenaar Potton Scouts Cloudy 200