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
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
7 Feb 2019The Antikythera MechanismJohn Lancashire
7 Feb 2019Constellation Viewer Application v2.3John Hodder
7 Mar 2019SMILE: A novel and global way to explore solar-terrestrial relationshipsProf. Graziella Branduardi-Raymont
7 Mar 2019What's Up for March 2019John Axtell
4 Apr 2019Lunar ImagingDr David Arditti
2 May 2019Jupiter and the Juno missionDr John Rogers
2 May 2019Astronomy Over the Internet.John Cossins
6 Jun 2019How the Universe Will End…Prof Brad Gibson
6 Jun 2019Monthly NoticesPresident
6 Jun 2019Break
6 Jun 2019Monthly Whats Up PresentationRob Graham
4 Jul 2019Members Only - AGMGAS Committee & Members
4 Jul 2019A trip through our bit of the Galaxy - some of my picturesMartin Baker
4 Jul 2019Light Weight Grab & Go ImagingMax Dobres
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 Exploration

Location: Lecture Theatre E

Prof. Lucie Green
3 Oct 2019Origins. How the Earth made us

When we talk about human history, we focus on great leaders, mass migration and decisive wars.
But how has the Earth itself determined our destiny? How has our planet made us? As a species we are shaped by our environment. Geological forces drove our evolution in East Africa; mountainous terrain led to the development of democracy in Greece; and today voting behaviour in the United States follows the bed of an ancient sea. The human story is the story of these forces, from plate tectonics and climate change, to atmospheric circulation and ocean currents.
How are the Himalayas linked to the orbit of the Earth, and to the formation of the British Isles? By taking us billions of years into our planet’s past, Professor Lewis Dartnell tells us the ultimate origin story. When we reach the point where history becomes science we see a vast web of connections that underwrites our modern world and helps us face the challenges of the future.

Prof. Lewis Dartnell
Department of Life Sciences, University of Westminster
7 Nov 2019Black holes that feed on galaxies

At the heart of almost every massive galaxy, there is a super-massive black hole. We see evidence in astronomical observations that these super-massive black holes are linked to the global properties of the galaxies in which they reside.
One of the biggest open questions in astronomy today is: how do super-massive black holes impact galaxy evolution?
A small fraction of super-massive black holes are in an 'active' phase, where they are feeding on gas from their host galaxies.
We can identify these active galaxies in astronomical observations, and study how they can help direct the path of galaxy evolution.
We do not yet know exactly how this happens, but in this talk you will learn about the phenomena powered by active super-massive black holes, with a focus on what can be learned from radio observations from telescopes like the Low Frequency Array.
I will cover both current indirect evidence for the co-evolution of super-massive black holes and their host galaxies, and upcoming work which will help definitively push forward our understanding of how super-massive black holes impact galaxy evolution.

Dr Leah Morabito
Oxford University
5 Dec 2019Public ScienceProf Chris Lintott
Researcher and Citizen Science Project Lead, Department of Physics, University of Oxford
2 Jan 2020Gravitational waves: Now and in the FutureProf. Mike Cruise
University of Birmingham
6 Feb 2020Mercury and its geologyProf. David Rothery
The Open University
5 Mar 2020Surrey Satellite TechnologySpyridon Grammenos
2 Apr 2020Super-Massive and Wolf-Rayet stars - TBCProf. Raman Prinja
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.