Guildford Astronomical Society


Aerial view of the University with labels

Our meetings are held in Lecture Theatre L in the Lecture Theatre Block (Level 2) of the University of Surrey, Guildford.

Click here for a map to show you directions to the University Main Car Parks. If you’re travelling using a SatNav the postcode is GU2 7XH.

A detailed map (available here) shows the location of the Lecture Theatre Block (pale blue and near the middle of the map), Main Car Parks 1-4 and Bus Stops next to Senate House and North of the Austin Pearce Building. There are also more convenient car park spaces available for disabled drivers at various nearby locations. The University also has a web page here for newcomers to the campus.

Meetings start at 7.30pm on the first Thursday of each month (except August when there is no meeting) and usually finish around 10pm. One or two meetings in the year, (including the AGM), are set aside for members only; these are indicated in our list of Talks for upcoming meetings.

Note for Visitors: To help cover the cost of the room hire, we charge just £5.00 (£4.00 for Junior/Student guests) per meeting. On arrival, please introduce yourself to any member of the Committee (look for their badges) — you’ll be very warmly welcomed!

Tea/Coffee (biscuits included) available in the break for just £2. However, we respectfully ask that you don’t bring any food or drinks into the lecture theatre.

If you have any special access requirements, please contact the Secretary, .
Please note Lecture Theatre L does not have a hearing loop system. It does have a system where your smart phone maybe used. Please go here for details.

See you there…

Meeting Format

Meetings generally take one of two formats:

  • An invited expert gives a talk/presentation – illustrated and/or animated – of an aspect of astronomy. Subjects are chosen because they’re topical, practical – or just interesting to astronomers. Each year we arrange a balanced mix, covering a wide range of topics. and levels.
  • A ‘members evening’, in which members present short talks on their own interests, projects, and topics of general interest.

Occasionally, invited speakers have to cancel, (usually at extremely short notice), and at these times the meeting often takes the form of an informal quiz, a question and answer session, or a hands-on Workshop.

Typically,the main talk of the evening lasts for an hour or so, after which we have a 15-20 minute comfort break. Tea, coffee and biscuits are available from the adjoining refreshments room.

A view of the Duke of Kent Building across the lake

Following the break, the remaining time until 10pm usually features Society news and business, (such as the latest reports from the Observatory, Observing Evening Reports, etc), and a short ‘What’s on?’ feature describing events happening later in the current month.



If there’s time at the end, some members go for a drink and chat. You’re welcome to join us in the bar at The Astolat (Directions).

The 2018-2019 Session

Subject to change

DateTalk/Presentation TitleSpeaker
6 Sep 2018Hawking, Black Holes and the Edge of PhysicsPaul Fellows
4 Oct 2018Herschel Space Observatory and ALMA explore deep into the spaceDr Mikako Matsuura
4 Oct 2018Astrospectroscopy ... where pretty picture end and science startsSteve Baker
1 Nov 2018The intimate lives of starsDr Ghina M. Halabi
1 Nov 2018Constellation Viewer Application v2.3John Hodder
6 Dec 2018Cosmology Pt 1.Dr Colin McGill
6 Dec 2018Outreach - The Astroboost ProjectJulia Gaudelli
6 Dec 2018The Society's Observatory FacilitiesTim Ellison
3 Jan 2019Cosmology Pt 2Dr Colin McGill
3 Jan 2019Monthly NoticesPresident
3 Jan 2019Break
3 Jan 2019Monthly Whats Up PresentationRob Graham
7 Feb 2019The Antikythera Mechanism

1. What is the Antikythera Mechanism?
In which I'll explain how the Mechanism was found and how it got there; what it looks like now and what the most recent scans have revealed; what the inscriptions on the Mechanism tell us and the conclusions we can draw from them.
2. How did astronomy develop in Ancient Greece? In this part I'll explain how early theories about the nature of the universe evolved, how data was obtained to support those mathematical models and how they were gradually refined through the period from 450BC to 150AD.
3. But what does the Mechanism do?
I'll then walk through each part of the Mechanism, explaining the design objectives and the technical challenges encountered by the engineers. I'll demonstrate how the complete Mechanism operates and consider what it could have been used for.
4. How could it have been calibrated?
One of the most difficult challenges is to work out how to calibrate a new Mechanism so that it gives accurate readouts in the present day. This hasn't been done before. I'll look at how to start the lunar calendar which drives the Mechanism and then consider how to translate our post-Newton heliocentric data for the planets into the geocentric model deployed in the Mechanism.

John Lancashire
7 Mar 2019How clumpy is Dark Matter in the Milky Way ?Dr Denis Erkal
University of Surrey
4 Apr 2019Lunar ImagingDr David Arditti
BAA Council
2 May 2019Jupiter and the Juno mission

The talk will deal with recent advances in our understanding of Jupiter's massive atmosphere, especially from the Juno orbiter and from ongoing amateur imaging. The spectacular JunoCam images are revealing remarkable features in the polar regions and fascinating details in the atmospheric circulations and cycles that we are studying from the ground.

Dr John Rogers
Jupiter Section BAA
6 Jun 2019How the Universe Will End…Prof Brad Gibson
University of Hull
4 Jul 2019Members Only - AGM
GAS Committee & Members
Aug 2019Note: There is no meeting in August 

The 2019-2020 Session

Subject to change

DateTalk/Presentation TitleSpeaker
5 Sep 2019The Latest Developments in Solar ExplorationProf. Lucie Green
Aug 2020Note: There is no meeting in August 

Click here to see the profiles of past and forthcoming speakers.