Speakers 2017/18

2017-18 Season Speakers :

7th Dec. 2017 :
William Joyce: Exploring Ideas about the Moon through the Ages 
Melanie Davies: The Spectrum of Space

We were very sorry to learn that Brad Gross, who was to be our speaker at December's meeting, has passed away following a short and unexpected illness. Our thoughts are with his family and his colleagues at this difficult time. He was an exceptional person and will be missed by everyone who was fortunate enough to know him.

We think Brad would have wanted our meeting to continue, and Will Joyce and Melanie Davies (both long-time colleagues and friends of Brad's) have kindly agreed to present a talk in his place.

David Mannion4th Jan. 2018 Dr David Mannion : Astronomical Numbers

David Mannion has three degrees in Astronomy and has taught in Schools and Colleges for 28 years in the UK, Austria and Turkey. He has also been a tutor for the Open University in both Physics and Astronomy.

Dr. Mannion became a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1984 and was a member of its Education Committee 2005 - 2010.

He has run numerous Astronomy Clubs and was a founder member and a Vice President of the Association for Astronomy Education.

His other burning interest is weightlifting having once been a British Student Weightlifting and Powerlifting Champion in 1984. He is currently a National Referee for British Weightlifting and became a Masters Champion in the 94 kg class in 2007, 2010 and again in 2012.

He wishes to keep lifting weights and watching the stars for as long as possible. He has two videos on Galileo and Newton on YouTube (See The Heavens Above episode 1 and 2). His web site is http://WorldofAstronomy.org.uk/.

David Southwood1st Feb. 2018 David Southwood : Magnetic Field Instruments on the Cassini Huygens mission

Paul Fellows MA FRAS1st Mar. 2018 Paul Fellows MA FRAS : Fire & Ice Volcanoes in our Solar System


David Baker PhD BSc FBIS FRHS5th Apr. 2018 David Baker PhD BSc FBIS FRHS : Mars Explorations


David5th May. 2018 Alan Chapman, Nik Szymanek or Members Presentations : details to be confirmed closer to the time


Alan Chapman or Members Presentations7th Jun. 2018 Alan Chapman or Members Presentations : details to be confirmed closer to the time


Andy Burns7th Jul. 2018 Andy Burns : details to follow


Dave Eagle7th Sep. 2018 Dave Eagle : details to follow


Guy Hurst7th Oct. 2018 Guy Hurst : Comet Observing



Alan Chapman or Members Presentations7th Nov. 2017 Richard Pearson : The Sun
So much is unknown about our nearest Star and Richard will show you its beginnings, life cycle, ending and its place in the Universe.


Caroline Beevis5th October 2017 Caroline Beevis - “Space Dogs, The True Story of Russia’s Canine Cosmonauts”

Space Dogs, The True Story of Russia’s Canine Cosmonauts’ tells the true story of all 48 dogs and the scientists who were given the task of sending an animal into Space in preparation for Yuri Gagarin’s historic flight. This presentation features rare images and footage leading up to and beyond Laika’s tragic flight of November 3rd 1957, and it includes artwork and music from around the globe that was inspired by Laika, making it an informative, sensitive presentation suitable for all ages.

A life-long stargazer, Caroline has been involved with the South Downs Planetarium in Chichester for fifteen years, is a member of Mid Kent Astronomical Society, and has given regular talks, workshops and astronomy evenings in schools around Kent and Sussex. She has had astro-images published, as well as being guest astronomer in The Namib Desert.

Melanie Davies7th Sept. 2017 Melanie Davies : The Cassini Mission

Melanie brought us up to date with the magnificently successful Cassini spacecraft mission to Saturn! With the end of the mission on the 15th Sept Melanie brought us up-to-date Cassini news and images/video including items only 3 days old.
If you wanted to see that Wave at Saturn image that Melanie spoke about in that full high resolution version you can find it at nasa.gov. To find out more about this mission go to https://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov.  

William JoyceWe also had William Joyce present a fascinating talking on 'The Mystery of the Ice Volcanoes' in our second half. A comparison of the planet Earth volcanic systems against the rest of the solar system moons and planets with some surprising and unexplained findings.