My poorly-shopped title image :(


Public Observing


I am involved in outreach activities at the Institute of Astronomy and at my college, Sidney Sussex in Cambridge. I give many public talks aimed for people of all ages. These range from mixed audiences at the weekly IoA public observing session (for which I also sometimes help to run the front-of-house activities), to Year 11 schoolchildren who are about to apply to University, all the way up to the lectures on astronomy given by the CAA aimed at adults wanting to find out more about astronomy and astrophysics. I also participate in open days at the IoA, as well as more general roles at the University-wide open days aimed at all 16-17 year olds about to apply to University.

For a more complete list of my outreach talks, and ideas for presentations, click here

The IoA open evenings are on every Wednesday from about 7pm-9pm. The talk starts at 7:15pm in the Sackler lecture theatre, and (weather permitting) telescope sessions start at 7:45pm. Free tea, coffee, and biscuits are provided between sessions, and if the weather is too cloudy to observe, the Cambridge Astronomical Assosiation (CAA) give a further two talks following coffee. You're also free to wander around the department and check out any of our displays and information boards.

If you would like me to give a talk or presentation, please contact me on ccrowe (at) to discuss. Some selected talks I have given are shown on the right, with downloadable pdf slides. Note: most talks originally included many videos, which tends to lead to a rather large file size. Check which version you need before downloading the files!

Outreach Links

IoA Outreach Homepage
BBC Stargazing Live
Cambridge Astronomical Association
The Sky at Night
The Astronomy Magazine

Upcoming Talks

Thu 6 Dec 12 - Hoyle CR
Research at the IoA

Wed 12 Dec 12 - Tonale, Italy
Polarization Foregrounds with Planck

Wed 19th Dec 12 - Kavli LMR
The Planck Satellite

Wed 9 Jan 13 - Sackler LT
StarGazing Live with the BBC

Sat 2 Mar 13 - Sackler LT
A history of Space Travel

Public Observing Talks

How To Build A Rocket Rocket

Feb 2012 - Rockets have played a crucial role in developing our understanding of space in the last 100 years, and put a man on the moon in the 1960s. I look at the history and development of rockets, explan the different types and how they work, and then look to the future. Plus, build your own rocket!

Download:  PDF Slides(no videos)   PowerPoint Slides(videos)

Our Universe In 6 Numbers Numbers

Jan 2011 - Our universe is very special. If the fundamental forces or the atomic physics were the tiniest bit different, we would not exist today. We can describe our universe with a small number of basic parameters that define how atoms work, how space and time behave, and how gravity works. I examine some of these numbers and show what would happen if we were to tweak them slightly.

Download:  PDF Slides(no videos)   PowerPoint Slides(videos)

Other Talks

Exploring The Early Universe With Supercomputers Supercomputer

Feb 2012 - A talk given for Cambridge Geek Nights at the Cambridge Union.
I look at how the development of supercomputers have played a crucial role in cosmological simulations over the last 50 years, and discuss the deveopments that have led to these increases. I talk about the use of Darwin in Cambridge for the analysis of the Planck results, and give some scary statistics for the next generation of supercomputer needed to process results from the Square Kilometer Array.

Download:  PDF Slides(no videos)   PowerPoint Slides(videos)

Click here for a complete list of talks