May 9th 2024

From Black to White… where a second can last an eternity.

Mark Holmes will bring us the story of Black and White Holes, possibly the greatest of mysteries in our Universe

April 11th 2024

Our speaker will be Nicholas Booth and his topic is “Adventures In the Space Trade”.

Nicholas Booth is the youngest Briton to have ever worked for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. After studying science at college, he became a writer, first on Astronomy Now, then newspapers. He has written several books on science and eventually became a technology editor on The Times.

His most recent book is ‘The Search For Life On Mars’, co-written with Dr Elizabeth Howell – one of the few people who has lived on a simulated Mars base.

Nicholas will talk about some of the people he met including Nobel laureates and famous names. He will also discuss many of the unsung heroes of the space age. He will tell us what it was like to report on space missions and what can be done to keep the promise of space alive.

March 14th 2024

John Anderson will give a talk entitled “The James Webb Space telescope – the what, where and how”. He will be looking at the early life of the James Webb Telescope from its design and launch to how it deployed autonomously to the L2 position.

L2 is one of five Sun-Earth Lagrange points, positions in space where the gravitational pull of the Sun and Earth combine such that small objects in that region have the same orbital period (length of year) as Earth. This makes it possible for Webb to remain in constant communication with Earth.

February 8th 2024

Dr. Steve Barrett of the Department of Physics at the University of Liverpool will be making a welcome return to give us an update on the James Webb Space Telescope after its second year of operation.  His talk is simply entitled “JWST+2”.

If you’ve seen some of the images coming back from the JWST you’ll know this should be a fascinating topic.

The image to the left is Cassiopeia A taken using the Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) Instrument.

Image courtesy of NASA and STScI

December 14th 2023

There will be two parts to our festive meeting.

First up will be Mark Holmes to present the second part of his talk entitled “Venus, from Antiquity, Myth to Hell”, which he started in our November session. Having preciously introduced us to Venus; running from antiquity to modern space probes and even the possibility of life in the Venusian atmosphere, he now moves on to describe how we might begin making observations of this fascinating planet.

That will be followed, after a special tea break, by Colin’s ever-popular Christmas quiz… and you don’t want to miss that!

November 9th 2023

Mark Holmes will present his talk entitled “Venus, from Antiquity, Myth to Hell”, which he recently delivered to COSMOS (Community Observatory St Martins on Scilly).

Mark says “This will be a broad sweep of history and myth all the way through to modern probes and our understanding of our ‘Sister Planet’“.

October 12th 2023

Professor Ian Morison will be talking about ‘Electronically Assisted Imaging and describing some amazing new Astrophotography Software. As with all of Ian’s presentations, this will be one not to miss!

August 10th 2023

Our Chair Mark Holmes promises an intriguing talk with the title “Solar Maximum is coming – what are we doing at HLCO?”

Over the past months there has been a remarkable increase in the number and size of sunspots. Here is one of Mark’s images, taken on 7th July.

July 13th 2023

Our talk will be given by Dr. Helen Jermak from the Astrophysics Research Institute at Liverpool John Moores University. Her topic is ‘Building the world’s largest ground-based robotic telescope’ and she has offered to bring some demonstration items with her!

For those with long memories; Helen was the first guest speaker we had at HLCO (way back in 2014) when she gave a talk on Blazars.