Guildford Astronomical Society

Meetings

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.

 

Afterwards

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 2019-2020 Session

Subject to change

DateTalk/Presentation TitleSpeaker
5 Sep 2019The Latest Developments in Solar ExplorationProf. Lucie Green
5 Sep 2019Albury ObservingTim Ellison
5 Sep 2019Training - Where & What ?Max Dobres
5 Sep 2019Chillean Solar Eclipse 2019Pam Noon
5 Sep 2019GO1 RepairsMartin Baker
3 Oct 2019Origins. How the Earth made usProf. Lewis Dartnell
7 Nov 2019Black holes that feed on galaxiesDr Leah Morabito
7 Nov 2019Monthly Whats Up PresentationJohn Axtell
5 Dec 2019A machine learning tool for characterising evolution of nearby galaxiesChoong Ling Liew-Cain
5 Dec 2019Monthly NoticesPresident
5 Dec 2019Break
5 Dec 2019Monthly Whats Up PresentationRob Graham
2 Jan 2020Binary stars: astrophysical laboratories

The stars in the sky are not always isolated and alone: many live with companions in binary star systems. If the stars in a binary are close enough they can interact by interchanging mass and spin, leading to astophysical phenomena like thermonuclear supernovae and gamma-ray bursts.
I explain how binary stars are bound by the fundamental force of gravity, and how they can escape this force when one of the stars explodes. Some of these we see as hypervelocity stars zooming out of our Galaxy, while those that remain bound can make the recently-detected gravitational waves predicted by Einstein's theory of general relativity.
Binary stars provide a laboratory in the sky to study such fundamental physics and are critical to our understanding of the Universe. I will show some computer simulations of binary stars as used in our state of the art research.

Dr. Robert Izzard
6 Feb 2020Mercury and its geologyProf. David Rothery
The Open University
5 Mar 2020Surrey Satellite TechnologySpyridon Grammenos
SSTL
2 Apr 2020Super-Massive and Wolf-Rayet stars - TBCProf. Raman Prinja
UCL
7 May 2020Remote ObservingPete Williamson
4 Jun 2020Geology of Solar System ObjectsDr Kerri Donaldson Hanna
2 Jul 2020Members Only - AGM
GAS Committee & Members
Aug 2020Note: There is no meeting in August 

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