Brighton Astro

Brighton and Hove's astronomy club

Our next meeting is 7pm on 27th February 2018

About us

Brighton Astro is a place for cosmic enthusiasts from all walks of life to meet up, talk about the universe and gaze at the stars. Every month we host a FREE talk with drinks and nibbles and the opportunity to go out with our telescopes afterwards – weather permitting!

We're open to everyone, from beginners to experts. So why not join us and look to the stars?

Monthly meet ups

Once a month (usually the final Tuesday) we gather at 68 Middle Street, Brighton for a presentation on an aspect of the universe. Our speakers range from experts in the field to members of the group; you don't need to know a lot when you come, but you'll definitely leave knowing more!

We're always on the lookout for our next speaker, so if you have something to share we'd love to hear from you.

After the meetings you'll find us on the seafront with our telescopes, or sheltering from the elements in the pub. Brighton Astro is a great place to meet new people, have some fun and learn together.

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Next meeting: What keeps astronomers awake at night?

Tuesday 27th February 2018

Ciaran Fairhurst
Sussex University

Arrive from 7pm for a 7:30pm start
68 Middle Street, Brighton, BN1 1AL

Astronomy is ridiculously ambitious: we are attempting to chart the history of the entire universe - and everything in it - from the Big Bang to the present day. So far we've done a pretty good job; we know why eclipses happen, how planets form and how stars die. We know about planets around other stars, distant galaxies and even how galaxies clump together to form structures inadequately described as humongous. What I want to do is talk about the gaps, the things we almost know but not quite. I'll try to show you why they are so tough, and how we're attacking them. We call them "open questions" but really they're what have kept astronomers observing and theorising for millennia: they're what keeps us up at night.


If you would like to come along, please sign-up for free via our meetup page.

If you sign up via meetup but can no longer attend, please update your status to say that you are no longer attending so that someone on the waiting list gets a place.

Please only come along if you've signed up, as we're limited on space so won't be able to fit anyone else in.

Are you under 18? Please see our juniors section.

Register on

Future monthly meetings

  • Tuesday 27th March 2018: Mark Crowe, Cassini's mission to Saturn
  • Tuesday 24th April 2018
  • Tuesday 29th May 2018: Colin Stuart, Astronomy author, writer and speaker
See a list of our past talks
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Past talks

  • Friday 16th February 2018

    Dr Francisco Diego, UCL

    Think Universe! (part of the Brighton Science festival)

    Mysterious creation myths still influence our culture, but what does science say about the origins of the universe? Join astronomer Dr Francisco Diego for a fascinating talk on the relevance of science to modern culture.

  • Tuesday 30th January 2018

    José Vieira, Sussex University


    Cosmology is perhaps best described as "the study of the Universe as a whole". What does the Universe look like at the largest scales? How did it come to be? How will it evolve in the distant future? These are all important questions which cosmology deals with.

    In this talk we will briefly review the history of cosmology - from when it was "born" of Einstein's theory of relativity until recent years, when remarkable observational successes have allowed it to mature into a fully-fledged scientific field.

  • Tuesday 12th December 2017

    Brighton Astro's xmas (pub) quiz!

    Come and join us for a Brighton Astro xmas space quiz!

    We have space (sorry) for 50 people. 8 teams of 6. Don't worry if you don't know people or have a team ready, we'll be putting together teams on the night, so just come along...

    A bit of space knowledge may help but not essential, we'll try to make sure the teams are evenly matched.

  • Tuesday 28th November 2017

    Nicholas Yeomans

    Triton - Neptune's major moon

    Join us to hear all about Triton, the largest moon of Neptune. Nick will tell us about its origins, nitrogen geysers, and its retrograde orbit.

    Triton's recent occultation of a star gave astronomers the first opportunity since the 1990s to detect atmospheric changes.

  • Tuesday 31st October 2017

    Peter Burr

    Moons of the solar system

    "Moons...they're just boring lumps of rock aren't they?"

    Yeah right.

    Our Solar system moons vary hugely and in total there are...well come to our October meet and find out!

  • Tuesday 26th September 2017

    Jarvis Brand
    Planetarium coordinator,
    The Observatory Science Centre, Herstmonceux

    Twenty(ish) ways the universe wants to kill you

    The universe is not your friend! You might think that the universe is a nice stable place that has allowed life to develop but we're a freak, a long shot, a straight flush in the poker hand of life and the cosmos stacks the cards against you and we're never more than a statistic away from annihilation.

    In this light hearted look at our own extinction Jarvis Brand discusses a range of ways from the small to the large in which the end could come from rogue asteroids and greenhouse effects to the big rip and membrane collision. How dangerous are they and where can we stand at a safe distance to watch the fireworks?

    Jarvis Brand (B.Sc. (hons), M.Sc., PGCE) studied Astrophysics and Physics at the University of Birmingham where he was a research associate. He now runs the planetarium for the Observatory Science Centre at Herstmonceux.

  • Tuesday 29th August 2017

    Dr Stephen Wilkins, Sussex University

    An introduction to Relativity

    Einstein's special and general theories of relativity are physical theories regarding the relationship between space and time in addition to being the current description of gravity in modern physics. Since their development in the early 20th century they been subject to intense scrutiny and empirical validation, with the most recent example being the discovery of gravitational waves. Relativity has also drawn significant attention outside the physical sciences because of some of the seemingly counter-intuitive implications such as time dilation and length contraction, concepts which have become science fiction staples. In this talk I'll attempt to provide an accessible introduction to relativity and its implications.

  • Tuesday 25th July 2017

    Peter Burr

    The Voyager Missions

    40 years ago, two spacecraft were sent on a journey, not of one lifetime but thousands of lifetimes. Meet the Voyagers and marvel at their missions into the unknown!

  • Tuesday 27th June 2017

    Daniel Moinar, Sussex University

    Galaxy evolution

    What would the sky look like through eyeballs the size of tennis courts? What could we see if we had radio-wave vision? Come and find out at our next Brighton Astro meet up on Tuesday 27th June where PhD student Dániel Molnár will be talking about the giant machines that allow us to do this, and what we learn from them. In his PhD, he studies all different types of galaxies, from "average" ones to violent and intense so-called active galaxies.

  • Tuesday 30th May 2017

    Ciaran Fairhurst, Sussex University

    Detecting the most distant galaxies

    One of the salient questions in Astronomy is "How far away is it?". As our equipment both literally and philosophically has improved, this question has driven our view of the universe to completely change. From a flat disc in the centre of the universe below a static, unchanging heavens to the modern day view: that the universe is an ever changing mess in which we just happen to be along for the ride. During this talk I'll try to talk about the how measuring distances is done, describe what kinds of celestial objects hold the records for farthest object, and briefly outline how to use a telescope as a time machine.

  • Tuesday 25th April 2017

    Group astrophotography show-and-tell

  • Tuesday 28th March 2017

    Gareth Jenkins

    Neutron Stars

  • Monday 27th February 2017

    Gordon Laing

    An introduction to Astrophotography

    Gordon is the locally based founder and editor of, the site to visit for the most comprehensive camera reviews and discussions. He'll be taking us through the popular subject of astro-photography, sharing his vast knowledge of photography and technical know-how to help us all achieve those stunning shots of the night skies that we love. We doubt you'll find anybody that knows a camera inside and out better than Gordon and we are excited to have such an authority address the group. There'll be something for all levels and it's sure to garner wide interest so make sure you arrive early to 68 Middle Street and take this rare chance to pick the brains of a real expert.

  • Tuesday 31st January 2017

    Gareth Jenkins

    Black holes

  • Tuesday 29th November 2016

    Pete Goodman

    Dark matter

  • Tuesday 25th October 2016

    Olle Akesson


  • Tuesday 27th September 2016

    Phil McAllister

    The big bang

  • Tuesday 30th August 2016

    Richard Dallaway


  • Tuesday 26th July 2016

    Pete Goodman

    The night sky - beyond our solar system

  • Monday 20th June 2016

    Pete Goodman

    Equinoxes and Solstices

    Mat Cobianchi


  • Tuesday 24th May 2016

    Pete Goodman

    The night sky - our solar system

    Mat Cobianchi


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What's astronomy without stargazing? Sign up to our email list below to find out when and where we're out with our telescopes. If you've never seen the moon up close, been awe-struck by the rings of Saturn or wondered at the Milky Way then this opportunity is not to be missed.

Stargazing is always at the mercy of the weather and meet ups can be at short notice, so keep an eye on our social media feeds and the sky for updates!

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Contact us

Sign up here to join our mailing list. You'll receive emails about upcoming events and stargazing sessions. You can unsubscribe at any time, and we promise never to spam you!

We also have a community email group where we share space news and links, if you’d like to join the list please drop us an email at the address below.

Email us:
Twitter: @astrobrighton
Facebook: brightonastro

Our meetings are held on the last Tuesday of the month at:
68 Middle Street, Brighton, BN1 1AL

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All children under 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult.

Junior members between the ages of 16-18 are asked to obtain consent from their guardians and make themselves known to us when they arrive, so that we can get emergency contact details.

Brighton Astro is an open event that may have alcohol present for members over the age of 18.


68 Middle Street is fully accessible by wheelchair. If you do have any specific needs regarding accessibility or health please contact us and we'll do everything we can to make sure they are accommodated.

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