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
4th Oct A beginner’s guide to the Big Bang Matt Bothwell Gateway cubs Cloudy 130
11th Oct Exploring the astronomical world Paul Murdin 29th Cambridge cubs Cloudy 155
18th Oct What's all the fuss about gravitational waves? Carolin Crawford 1st St Michaels Mead Scout troop Cloudy 165
25th Oct The inferno world with titanium skies Ryan MacDonald - half term - Partly Clear 225
1st Nov A random walk through accreting black holes Will Alston Neale Wade academy school group Partly Clear 175
8th Nov The Phoenix Cluster Helen Russell Partly Clear 145
15th Nov How do you measure the distances of stars? Floor van Leeuwen 1st Steeple Morden Guides Cloudy 155
22nd Nov The Dark Universe Ricardo Chavez 26th Cambridge cubs Cloudy 170
29th Nov The birthplaces of planets Dominika Boneberg Partly Clear 110
6th Dec Exploring the dark universe with Einstein’s telescope Nick Bate Magellan Explorers Cloudy 133
13th Dec How to make an Earth Amy Bonsor Beal High school astronomy club Partly Clear 101
20th Dec Visit the Menagerie of Extreme Worlds! Mihkel Kama Cloudy 90
Date Talk Title Speaker Group Booking Weather No. of Visitors Handout
10th Jan Where Did We All Come From Craig Mackay Cloudy 89
17th Jan The biggest galaxy in the Universe? Matt Bothwell 3rd Ely Scouts Cloudy 186
24th Jan Telescopes the Size of the Universe Matthew Auger Hitchin Priory Rotary Club Clear 128
31st Jan Light and Colour in the Universe Robin Catchpole 1st Meldreth brownies Clear >330
7th Feb The Discovery of Ultraluminous X-ray Pulsars Dom Walton The Partridge Group Clear 143
14th Feb The first lights of the Universe and the world’s largest radio telescope Eloy de Lera Acedo - half term - Raining 83
21st Feb Peering back to the dawn of time with the Atacama Large Millimetre Array Renske Smit 1st Hemingford’s cub pack Partly Clear 144
28th Feb What's on the menu of supermassive black holes Thomas Wevers 16th Cambridge Scouts Cloudy 91
7th Mar Cooking up planets in protoplanetary discs John Ilee 1st Cambourne Beaver Scouts Clear 188
14th Mar Historical observations of supernova explosions in our Galaxy Dave Green - Cambridge Science Festival - Cloudy 151
21st Mar Galactic Archaeology with Stellar Surveys Anna Hourihane - Cambridge Science Festival -