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Manchester Astronomical Society
Established 1903

 Public Lectures :

Our public lectures are held in the John Dalton Building, Manchester Metropolitan University, Chester Street,  Manchester, in Room C0.14 (on the ground floor). If using SatNav, please use M1 5GE (Chester Street) to find the car park, or M1 5QS (Zouk Restaurant, Chester Street) to find the main entrance of the John Dalton Building which is almost opposite Zouk, further along Chester Street. DO NOT USE M15 6BH - this will not take you to the John Dalton Building. The lectures are FREE to attend and all are welcome. Lectures start at 19.30 and finish by 21.00. Click here for more location information.



Google Earth JD


 Lectures and AGM for 2018 - 2019 :

18th October 2018 - Rickbir Bahia - University of Manchester - "The Past, Present and Future of Mars"

Rickbir Bahia - The Past, Present and Future of Mars

Rickbir Bahia Mars

I am a final year PhD student in part of the University of Manchester's School of Earth and Environmental Sciences - Isotope Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry group. Although I have been previously involved in the analysis of debris avalanches on the Moon, my PhD is in Martian science with a particular focus on the use of ancient Martian valley networks. The aim is to use said valley networks to further our understanding of how the planet's surface and environment has developed over time. There is a great deal of satellite data analysis involved in the study coupled with the data collected on the red planet's surface by the Curiosity Rover. The talk I shall be presenting aims to give an overview of what we know about the planet's development, what work is currently being carried out on its surface by both rovers and many satellites, and planned future missions.

"Trailblazing lecture as part of Manchester Science Festival 2018"


Lecture Theatre C0.14, John Dalton Building, Chester Street, M1 5GD. 19h30 BST Thursday October 18

Members.... don't forget that Subscriptions were due on 1st October !
Pay tonight if you have not already done so

22nd November 2018 (4th Thursday) - Zdenek Kopal Memorial Lecture - Prof. Mike Garrett - University of Manchester - SETI and the Square Kilometre Array

The Faculty of Science & Engineering and the Faculty of Education (STEM) in partnership with the Manchester Astronomical Society and the Institute of Physics present the 2018 Kopal Memorial Lecture :

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI)

Mike Garrett

Prof. Mike Garrett (the Sir Bernard Lovell Professor of Astrophysics, and Director of Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics)

I will give an introduction to the Square Kilometre Array – a new radio telescope that is expected to be fully operational around the end of the next decade. The telescope will include a low-frequency component (located in Western Australia) and a mid-frequency component (located in South Africa). The Headquarters of the SKA is located at Jodrell Bank, next to the iconic 76-m Lovell Telescope. The SKA (and its various pathfinders e.g. MeerKAT) represents a major new capability that will have a major impact across a broad range of different astrophysical topics. I will present the various possibilities with a focus on my own major research interest, SETI. In particular, I will present some recent work on conducting SETI surveys with distributed interferometer arrays such as the SKA.

In September 2016, Michael (Mike) Garrett was appointed as the inaugural Sir Bernard Lovell chair of Astrophysics at the University of Manchester. He is also the Director of the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics(JBCA) with overall responsibility for both the Astrophysics department (located in the Alan Turing Building) and the Jodrell Bank Observatory (JBO). Mike Garrett’s scientific interests are diverse - ranging from studies of compact cosmic objects in our own galaxy, to investigations of high-redshift systems in the early Universe. Mike has a significant interest in SETI (Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence) research, and has recently published new methods of detecting techno-signatures from advanced civilisations. In 2018, he initiated and led a new multi-disciplinary course at the University of Manchester – Are we Alone? The course is in its first year with 150 students enrolled. He is a co-vice chair of the IAA’s SETI Permanent Committee – a group that is responsible for the SETI Post-detection protocols. Mike Garrett has published over 150 refereed papers.


Lecture Theatre C0.14, John Dalton Building, Chester Street, M1 5GD. 19h30 UTC Thursday November 22

19h00 Registration and Refreshments in the Street
19h30 Doors to Auditorium C0.14 open
21h00 Event END

SKA dish underconstruction

SKA dish under construction

13th December 2018 - Presidential Lecture held in the Godlee Observatory (MEMBERS ONLY due to limited capacity) - 60 years of NASA - Anthony Jennings

60 years of NASA - a look at the achievements of NASA - Anthony Jennings

Trip to the Moon

Members Only tonight, please - NO Visitors

The talk will be followed by the MAS Members' Christmas Buffet
17th January 2019 - Gurbir Singh - Salford AS - "The New Space Race - India v China"

Gurbir Singh

Gurbir Singh is an amateur astronomer and a writer. His first book, 'Yuri Gagarin in London and Manchester', was published in 2011. This book traces the visit of the world’s first spaceman’s visit to England with first-hand accounts from the people who saw and met him.
His second book, 'The Indian Space Programme', was published in 2017 following 6 years of research.

The New Space Race - India v China

The first tentative steps towards a space programme started in the early 1960s in both countries and initially developed at a similar pace. Today China is way ahead of India when it comes to capability in launch vehicles, the frequency of launches, the numbers of spacecraft in orbit, lunar exploration and human spaceflight. Both nations now have a mature space programme that underpins their respective economies, national security and the sense of presence on the international stage. This talk will cover the achievements, capabilities and ambitions of India and China and the prospects for their future collaboration in space.


21st February 2019 - Dr Megan Argo - UCLAN - "When Galaxies Collide" - CANCELLED - Re-scheduled for season 2019/2020

Dr Megan Argo - University of Central Lancashire -"When Galaxies Collide" - CANCELLED

Due to sudden illness, tonight's Lecture by Megan Argo is cancelled

Alternative:- Kevin Kilburn will give a talk entitled "The Quiet Sun"

Quiet Sun
21st March 2019 - Prof. Donald Kurtz - Professor of Astrophysics, UCLAN - "It's About Time!"

Professor Donald Kurtz - Astrophysics, UCLAN

It's About Time


Don Kurtz was born in San Diego, California to an American father and Canadian mother. He obtained his PhD in astronomy from the University of Texas at Austin in 1976, then spent 25 years in South Africa at the University of Cape Town from postdoc to professor. Since 2001 he has been Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Central Lancashire in the UK. Don observes with some of the largest telescopes in the world and has over 2000 nights at the telescope. He is the discoverer of a class of pulsating, magnetic stars that are the most peculiar stars known, the rapidly oscillating Ap stars.

18th April 2019 - Annual General Meeting - MEMBERS ONLY TONIGHT
Annual General Meeting -


The Annual General meeting will be held in the Godlee Observatory, commencing at 20.00 hours

If you wish to be considered for a Council or other position, ensure that your name is on the list in the Godlee and is proposed and seconded by 4th April. The list will be closed at the meeting that evening

May to September - No Scheduled Public Lectures during Summer

May to September - No Scheduled Public Lectures during Summer

The 2019 - 2020 Public Lecture season opens on 17th October 2019

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