An Evening with Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Thursday 16th March, 7pm

Tickets can now be booked at the Robert Burns Cinema for this event. There is no charge, but donations are welcome in support of or Society and to cover the speaker’s expenses. All members should have received this information by email already.

Tuesday 14th February at 7pm, Professor Victoria Martin will speak to us about “Life at the Large Hadron Collider”. Meeting in person at the centre, unless the weather changes Professor Martin’s plans and we go with a Zoom talk.

Steven (Secretary)


Important Information!

Please note that the talk we were all looking forward to by Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell in person at the Robert Burns Cinema on Thursday 16th March, at 7pm, has now had to be changed to a presentation on Zoom. Professor Burnell was due originally to have been attending an event in Edinburgh the day before but this has now been cancelled. The train strike now due on 16th March means that the original speaking plans to come to Dumfries in person are no longer able to go ahead.

The Robert Burns Cinema will be sending out the Zoom link to the 60 or so people who have booked and Mark will also email the link to members. Anyone else who is interested can get the link from The Robert Burns Cinema, which will be advertising this.

Tuesday 14th February. No meeting at the centre, but there will be an excellent talk instead at 7pm by Dr Stephen Barrett, “The End of Everything” (of the Universe!), offered on Zoom. Dr Barrett, of Liverpool University, is an excellent communicator as all of us found who joined his talk on “The Beginning of Everything” (The Big Bang). We are joining the Moffat Astronomy Club who have invited the speaker on this occasion and Mark will as usual be emailing our members with the link.


The Beginning of Everything

On Tuesday 10th January we join with the Moffat Astronomy Society who are hosting the evening for a talk by Dr Stephen Barrett of The University of Liverpool on the origin of the cosmos. The Moffat secretary asks if our members can log in sometime around or shortly after 7.15pm on Zoom for a 7.30 start. Mark will send out the link to your email in the next day or so..

On 14th February we have a talk arranged by Professor Victoria Martin who aims to deliver this in person weather permitting. Professor Martin will give us fresh insights into the work of The Large Hadron Collider.

On Thursday 16th March (no meeting on Tuesday 14th), we look forward to welcoming Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, the discoverer of pulsars. It is anticipated that Dame Jocelyn’s talk will be in the cinema of The Robert Burns Centre at 7pm but the venue is still due to be confirmed.



December Quiz and Advance Notice of February and March Speakers

Pens and pencils at the ready again on Tuesday 13th December, at 7pm, the evening of our Quiz. Yours truly and Mark will be joint quizmasters taking 20 questions each. I am going for the easier ones! At Georgetown Community Centre as usual.

In February and March we have 2 great speakers lined up.

In February, Professor Victoria Martin, of Edinburgh University who was interviewed on Radio 4’s morning news programme on The Large Hadron Collider, now this is up and running again. This may be an in person visit by Victoria, or held via Zoom.

In March we are very fortunate to have booked as our speaker who is coming to Dumfries one of the most famous names in 20th century Astronomy, Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, who made the discovery of pulsars, dense rapidly rotating collapsed stars which indicated that the signals were not coming from Little Green Men after all! Controversially, Dame Jocelyn was not awarded the Nobel Prize, which many think was due to her.

We are presently sorting out the venue for Jocelyn’s talk but this will be on Thursday 16th March at 7pm. Note – NOT ON THE TUESDAY!

Steven (Secretary)

The Local Galaxy Group.

All things are relative they say, and this is especially true of the word “local” here as the local galaxy group ranges an unbelievable light years’ distance across.

Professor Martin Hendry speaks to this on this subject on Zoom, Tuesday 8th November at 7pm.

Martin is an excellent speaker, so let’s have a very good turnout, please!


Hands on Science

On Tuesday evening, 11th October, at 7pm our meeting takes an unusual format. Dr Alan Walker, from The University of Edinburgh, is bringing down his scientific equipment in order for us all to learn more about and participate in a Cloud Chamber Experiment.

Please give this meeting your support with a bumper attendance!


The New 2002-2023 Season is Here!

Our meetings of The Dumfries Astronomy Society resume on Tuesday 13th September 7.00pm at Lochvale House, Georgetown. This will be our first meeting at the venue for two and a half years because of Covid. Mark Toner and Steven Ballard, two members of the Society will be offering a talk on “The Satellite Galaxies of The Milky Way” and this will tie in very nicely with our talk in November when Professor Martin Hendry, of Glasgow University, will be speaking about “The Local Group of Galaxies” of which our own Milky Way and the larger Andromeda Galaxy are both members.

Let’s have a good turnout for this evening, our first opportunity to meet together face to face for such a long time!



Annual General Meeting, Tuesday 10th May, 7pm, at Lochvale House, Georgetown.

Dear members,

The Dumfries Astronomy Society AGM will be held next Tuesday evening.

This will be our first face to face meeting in over two years because of the Covid pandemic. For these past two years, like many astronomy clubs, we had to hold meetings virtually, in our own case, using Zoom. There have been advantages in this as distance is no object to speakers and offers more possible choices of them. However, not being able to meet members of our society in our normal setting has also created challenges, and Zoom does not really lend itself to personal friendly interactions and fellowship.

Going forward, it will be important to decide what patterns for our monthly meetings we would like to adopt. Shall we go to meeting monthly at Lochvale House after a year of remote meetings, or is a mixed program of in person talks and Zoom sessions the best option?

Please do come. It’s your society and your views are important!