University of Birmingham Astronomical Society

ASTROSOC - Join us @ 7:30pm, Thursdays, ARTS LR2

Space Race Bar Crawl!

What a great night!

The costumes were brilliant, and the teams competitive. Starting at Joe’s Bar the pods (teams) were given instructions for the night….

Following a story of landing on different planets (arriving at each pub) we had to face the challenges of new civilisations, and what better way to make peace than to drink.

Well done team Star trek for winning the pod race!

And well done to Eleri Worsley for winning Best Dressed for her ‘shooting star’ costume.

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The Drake Equation

Fun evening competing in groups to solve the Drake Equation, where Luke also showed how and why the result can vary so much (basically depends on how optimistic you are).

We had answers ranging from 10^-14 (Extremely pessimistic) and 6000000000 (maybe a little too optimistic), the closest answer being 0.74 which was only a factor of 100 out.

Unfortunately it was cloudy yet again but we headed over to Joe’s to end a very energetic and competitive evening.


Hope you learnt something new at last night’s AstroWorkshop, where we had four different stalls:



Solar Scope


Gravitational waves and Outreach




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See you next week where we have an undergraduate Talk by Luke Scantlebury-Smead (our Events Officer) about the Drake Equation.

AstroSoc Welcome Social Meal

Lovely meal at Jimmy spice’s last Wednesday ,  so nice to see so many of you in what turned out to be a great evening.

Hope to see you at more social events, especially the upcoming Space Race Bar Crawl (27th October) make sure to dressed space themed to get the chance to win best costume of the night! More information will be posted about the bar crawl closer to the event.

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Welcome to AstroSoc – Autumn Term begins!

Hello everyone, and welcome to AstroSoc’s 2016 Autumn Term!

Thank you to all 100 of you who came along to our first meeting on Thursday evening, an Introduction to Astronomy. It was great to see so many of you there.

Unfortunately, it was too cloudy to do any observing, so instead we marched over to Joe’s Bar for a couple of drinks and a good chat.

Here are some of things we covered in the welcome talk:

apps1apps2 autumntermplan

The Autumn Term timetable can also be found on this website, under ‘Events’.

IMPORTANT! If you’d like to join us at the social meal on 5th October, please click ‘GOING’ on the Facebook event (

Membership for the year can be bought from the Guild of Students website:

Get in contact ( if you’ve got any questions.

See you next week!

AstroSoc Camping Trip!

In mid-September, AstroSoc drove down to Exmoor National Park, a national dark sky reserve, for the annual AstroSoc camping trip 2016! We stayed at Westermill Farm, in Exford. On our first night we had a great BBQ, and later met some members of the Exmoor Stargazers in the local pub. Unfortunately, it was too cloudy for any observing!

The second day, we drove out to the coast, to the beautiful villages of Lynton and Lynmouth, and climbed along the cliffs to Castle Rock for a picturesque lunch spot! We then walked along the river gorges to Watersmeet, where we stopped for ice cream. We then enjoyed a few drinks and a lovely meal at The Crown Hotel. Eventually we drove back to the farm, where we were delighted to find clear skies! The full moon was bright, but we managed to spot a couple of wonders: the double-double system, and the ring nebula. Nathan Adams got an impressive photograph of the ring nebula, using the society’s 10″ reflector.

The next day we drove back via Bristol, stopping off at the Museum & Art Gallery. Eventually we returned to UoB, tired but full of memories of a great weekend!



Nathan’s photo of the ring nebula: Canon 550D & 10″ Newtonian reflector, 8s exposure

AstroSoc Annual Dinner 2016


AstroSoc Annual Dinner 2016

The evening of 17th June 2016 was AstroSoc’s Annual Dinner 2016, this year at Edgbaston Golf Club. A beautiful venue, a delicious three course meal, and talks from our chairperson Alice, followed by Dr Will Farr, giving his thoughts on ‘The Opening of the Era of Gravitational Wave Astronomy’. A wonderful evening was had by all, including the staff of the department who joined the committee and members of AstroSoc for the occasion.



Alice giving a reflection on the AstroSoc year




Dr Will Farr talking about the era of gravitational wave astronomy

EPS Societies Awards 2016

On 8th June, the committee donned their smartest attire and headed for the Great Hall, Aston Webb. Here was the venue for the annual EPS Societies Awards Dinner! AstroSoc were nominated for the following awards:

Head of School Idea of the Year Award (for Alex Thomas, PhD Pathways)
Outstanding Event Award(Astronomy in the City – Gravitational Waves Special)
Volunteer of the Year Award (Nathan Adams)
Outreach Award

Congratulations to Alex for winning the Idea of the Year Award for her work on PhD Pathways!

The presenting of the awards was followed by a delicious three course meal, and dancing the night away under the lights of the Great Hall!

eps awards

Committee & friends at the EPS Awards Dinner 2016


End of Spring Term

Games & Pizza night was a great success. Board games, card games, and Domino’s (other pizzas are available)… what could be better?

The next week was an Undergrad Talk from our very own Sophie Meredith. ‘The Science of Star Trek’ was a way to ‘find out the possibility and implications of Star Trek phenomenon including wormholes, transporter beams, and warp drives’.

The term was rounded off with the Annual Easter Treasurer’s Quiz, courtesy of Alex. Chocolate for the winning team! The perfect way to finish for Easter break.

Astronomy in the City


Jupiter taken with iPad + Newtonian 10″

Our latest Astronomy in the City event was another roaring success. Afterwards, we used the society’s telescopes to show the interested public the art of observing… and we were treated to beautiful skies! The image shown above is of Jupiter, its bands and Galilean moons visible against the dark sky. The photograph was taken with a 3rd generation iPad, and the Newtonian 10″ reflecting telescope owned by AstroSoc. It just goes to show that with a little patience and the luck of the good weather, anyone can take brilliant astrophotographs.

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