Society for Popular Astronomy Diamond Jubilee meeting focuses on cutting-edge space science in Edinburgh

SPA 60th Year Logo

The UK's leading organisation for beginners to stargazing, the Society for Popular Astronomy, is celebrating its 60th year. We will be holding a Diamond Jubilee meeting in Edinburgh this Saturday, 15 June, and we've lined up a spectacular day of talks which are open to all.

In the historic setting of the city's Royal Observatory (ROE), on Blackford Hill, leading astronomers will talk about their cutting-edge research. The meeting is completely free to attend, but you will need to register with the SPA for a ticket since numbers are limited.

Topics include the search for intelligent alien life, UK contributions to a new NASA space telescope that will take over from Hubble, and a powerful "time machine" that was assembled in Edinburgh and is now in Chile, ready to start observing distant galaxies.

Dr Duncan Forgan, of the Institute for Astronomy, is interested in planet formation, protoplanetary disks and astrobiology. Are any of these planets inhabitable?

It has recently delivered KMOS, a £15 million of instrument that is now entering service at the Very Large Telescope in Chile where it can observe 24 distant galaxies at once and tell what they're made of! Instrument scientist Dr Michele Cirasuolo, of the UK ATC, will tell us all about it.

This telescope, the successor to Hubble, will be the premier observatory of the next decade. One of the UK's leading JWST scientists, Dr Alistair Glasse, will talk about the telescope and his work.

Other speakers will include Dr John Davies, Dr Horst Meyerdierks and SPA President Prof. Derek Ward-Thompson. Full details are on the SPA website, Anyone wanting to attend is asked to email

For more information, please contact:

Robin Scagell (SPA Vice President)
Phone: 01628 521338
Mobile: 07941 110968