Astronomy, Public

Event for stargazers

 Cardiff University hosts national society for stargazers with all-day event as it celebrates 60 years

Cardiff University is playing its part in celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of the UK’s leading organisation for beginners to stargazing, the Society for Popular Astronomy. Marking its 60th year, the society will be meeting in Cardiff’s School of Physics and Astronomy on Saturday, 7 December, with a spectacular line-up of talks from Cardiff astronomers. The event is free and open to anyone to attend.

Topics include some of the most mysterious forces in the Universe and the incredible range of ways in which astronomers seek to investigate them.

  • Professor Matt Griffin, of Cardiff University will set the ball rolling with a talk about the hazards of asteroid impacts. Prof Griffin is one of the leading developers of cutting-edge technology and instruments for both ground-based and satellite-borne observatories.
  • Dr Enzo Pascale, also of Cardiff, carries out high-altitude research of his own, using balloons, into the formation of stars and planets. He will describe just how scientists benefit from balloon-borne astronomy.
  • Visible light is just one source of information to tell us how the Universe has evolved. Other regions of the spectrum include radio waves and infrared, ultraviolet and X-ray radiation. Find out all about multi-wavelength astronomy from Cardiff research associate Dr Matt Smith.
  • Some of the biggest explosions in the Universe come when certain stars reach the end of their lives and turn supernova. Chris Clark, who has studied the remains of supernovae with the Herschel space observatory, will describe why they happen.
  • Amazingly, more than three-quarters of the stuff that makes up the Universe is invisible. Astronomers call the rest Dark Matter and what we know about it will be explained by Cardiff Professor Steve Eales.
  • Another mysterious force about which little is known is Gravitational Waves. Dr Patrick Sutton will talk about some of the violent events that produce them in the final talk to round off the day.

For more information about the Society for Popular Astronomy, see