Astronomy in the City
The University of Birmingham Observatory team invite you to attend our programme of free public events, "Astronomy in the City". Journey with us from star gazing all the way to exploring the night sky with our powerful new telescope. Along the way, members of the University's AstroSoc, the Birmingham Astronomical Society (BAS) and the Knowle Astronomical Society will show you how to use their portable telescopes. Tours of our Observatory, including observing with our research telescope will also be offered. Our experts will be on hand to answer your questions throughout the event, and in a special "Ask the Expert" session.
The first of our autumn programme is a special event as part of the British Science Festival 2014. Our usual programme of talks, observatory vists, and observing in Chancellor's Court is divided between three festival events. The full festival programme is available to download, and tickets may be obtained here.
Astronomy in the City continues to be free of charge to the public. However, please note that trips to the Observatory, and our hour together in the Large Lecture Theatre are all strictly ticketed. Get your tickets from the website, as describe below.
As part of the British Science Festival we offer three free activities on September 6th:
Trips to the Observatory
Trips will depart throughout the day from the University of Birmingham Edgbaston campus in a minibus, and return approximately two hours later. You will visit the Observatory, see our new 50cm telescope, chat with our staff and students about how we use the observatory for teaching and research. These must be pre-booked. We will also not run our usual ballot system. Free booking is available here.
Trips to the Observatory will depart at 9:30, 12:00, 14:30, 17:30 and 20:00.
Due to safety considerations, we are unable to welcome young children at the Observatory as part of these trips. Astronomy in the City is aimed at secondary school age and above (Year 7+). Younger children are welcome to attend the talks/observing on campus, but are not allowed to visit the Observatory. All under-18s must be accompanied by a parent/guardian/teacher.
Astronomy in the City
Join astronomers from the University of Birmingham Astrophysics Group for the launch of our autumn Astronomy in the City programme. Find out about the biggest objects in the universe and what these cosmic giants can teach us about the mysterious dark matter and dark energy! Hear what you can see in the September night sky. Ask our experts about black holes, the big bang, extrasolar planets, and more...
We will follow our popular format that includes Callum Bellhouse guiding you around the night sky, and the totally unscripted, unrehearsed "Ask the Experts" panel ... last time we had cosmic soup and quantum tunneling ... what will you ask us about in September? Our panel will be chaired by Felicia Ziparo, and will include Graham Smith, Will Farr, Callum Bellhouse, and Christopher Berry. In his talk, Graham Smith will introduce you to Cosmic Giants - the biggest monsters in the dark universe!
This will be from 16:30-17:30 in the Poynting Large Lecture Theatre (Room S02 in the Poynting Physics Building).
The festival programme lists this as an event for adults. (As usual) we will aim the content at secondary school age and above. So feel free to bring your well-educated and well-behaved children with you.
This is an all-ticket event. Free tickets are available from the festival website.
Stargazing in Chancellors Court
No need to book, just turn up! All ages welcome. 18:00 till late (note the Sun will set at approximately 19:45).
Join professional astronomers from the University of Birmingham Astrophysics Group, and local amateur astronomers, to explore the night sky with a variety of telescopes in the historic heart of the University. Use the telescopes on hand to spot planets, star clusters, nebulae, and other spectacular astronomical sights. Get expert tips on stargazing with and without a telescope. Why not bring your binoculars?
On the night we will also invite small groups (subject to a minimum age of 11) to look through the University's historic Grubb Telescope on the roof of the adjacent Poynting Physics Building.
For more details about these events and the other activities taking place as part of the British Science Festival head to their website.
Disabled access is readily available on campus, however the Grubb and Observatory have limited access.
This event features some ticketed activities. Please see the appropriate activity for more information about tickets.
We welcome donations, both on the night and via our Alumni Office (look for "Physics Telescope Fund"). All donations will be used to fund further developments at the Observatory.
Astronomy in the City is brought to you in partnership with the University of Birmingham Astronomical Society, the Birmingham Astronomical Society, the Knowle Astronomical Society and Solihull School.