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, .

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 2017-2018 Session

Subject to change

DateTalk/Presentation TitleSpeaker
7 Sep 2017The Gaia RevolutionDr George Seabroke
5 Oct 2017From Quark to the CosmosProf Ian Shipsey
2 Nov 2017Diamonds in the Sky – The Importance of White Dwarfs in Modern AstrophysicsProf Martin Barstow
7 Dec 2017The Story of Water on Early Mars: Rivers, Lakes, and Seas on the Red PlanetDr Joel Davis
4 Jan 2018Ten Ways the Universe Tries to Kill YouStephen Tonkin
1 Feb 2018Dark Future?Bob Mizon
1 Mar 2018TBATBA
5 Apr 2018Lucky PlanetProf David Waltham
3 May 2018Twinkle: An Alternative Approach to Science Space Missions

Twinkle is a small, low-cost mission that will use spectroscopy to decode the light from hundreds of extrasolar planets. Twinkle will be able to reveal, for the first time, the chemical composition, weather and history of worlds orbiting distant stars. The Twinkle satellite will be built in the UK and launched into a low-Earth orbit within 3 to 4 years, using a platform designed by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd and instrumentation led by UCL. This project also is allowing for collaboration between amateurs and professionals in gathering data for candidate stellar systems. Dr Tessenyi will be updating us with the latest developments in this exciting program.

As well as project managing the Twinkle mission has is also CEO of Blue Skies Space Ltd. Dr Tessenyi has a PhD in astrophysics from University College London in exoplanet spectroscopy. He has worked in France and in the UK, gaining experience in engineering and management training.

Dr Marcell Tessenyi
Dept of Physics and Astronomy, UCL
7 Jun 2018Astrobiology; The Cradle of Life

How did life begin on Earth? Is there life elsewhere in the universe? How can we look for it?

These are three fundamental questions for modern science. In this talk I will discuss how we are trying to answer them.

Prof Nigel Mason
Professor of Physics, Open University
12 Jul 2018Members Only
AGM & Members Presentations

NB: This is the second Thursday in July
GAS Committee & Members
Aug 2018Note: There is no meeting in August 

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

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