Lyrid Meteor Shower over Portsmouth via Shutterstock

Four days of free, online astronomy events from Wednesday 26 to Saturday 29 January 2022

  • 10 January 2022
  • 8 min read

Join us this January for our second annual virtual Pompey Stargazing event.

The ongoing  situation with Covid-19 means we can’t hold our Stargazing event in-person in 2022. Instead, we invite you to join us online for a series of free talks, events and activities for members of the public.

This year, astronomers and cosmologists from the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation and staff from the University of Portsmouth are teaming up with the Hampshire Astronomical Group and the National Museum of the Royal Navy to deliver three evenings of public talks covering topics from astronavigation and space law to cutting edge research into the origin of the Universe. 

We’ll round the event out with a family activity day where you can learn about the scale of our solar system, make your own toilet roll solar system model, participate in an interactive astronavigation session, and ask our panel of experts any questions you might have about astronomy, astronavigation or space.

The Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation has hosted an annual public 'Stargazing at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard' event since 2013, in collaboration with the National Museum of the Royal Navy. We look forward to seeing you online this year, and hope to be back with an in-person event in 2023.

Use the hashtag #PompeyStargazing if you're taking part, telling your friends or sharing your stargazing observations on social media.

Ticketed events

‘A Tour around Orion’ and ‘A (not so) short history of the Milky Way’

Wednesday 26 January, 6.00pm – 7.00pm

Join us for 2 back-to-back public talks followed by a Q&A session with both speakers. 

Steve Broadbent, Chairman of the Hampshire Astronomical Group will give a tour of the night sky around Orion using astronomy software Stellarium, discussing where and how stars are born, their stages of life and ultimate fate. (Recommended for ages 8+)

Dr Samantha Penny from the University of Portsmouth’s Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation will explore the history of the Milky Way, the spiral galaxy we all call home, how we can use other galaxies to better understand our own, and what lies in store for the Milky Way in the future. (Recommended for ages 8+ )

‘Nautical Navigation in the Age of Sail’ and ‘The Universe's Toolkit: What Nature is Fundamentally Made of’

Thursday 27 January, 6.00pm – 7.00pm

Join us for 2 back-to-back public talks followed by a Q&A session with both speakers. 

Will Heppa, Curator of Artefacts at the National Museum of the Royal Navy will discuss how sailors navigated the oceans before the advent of GPS, and what tools they used to do this, while showcasing some of the prized items from the museum’s navigational collection. (Recommended for ages 16+)

Dr Johannes Noller from the University of Portsmouth’s Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation will discuss the last 100 years of amazing science discoveries that have fundamentally changed our understanding of the Universe, but how our understanding of fundamental forces like gravity is still evolving as we make new and exciting discoveries. (Recommended for ages 16+ )

‘Space Law: It’s out of this world’ and ‘The Omniplosion of the Universe’ 

Friday 28 January, 6.00pm – 7.00pm

Join us for 2 back-to-back public talks followed by a Q&A session with both speakers. 

Join Sarah Atkins, Senior Lecturer at the University of Portsmouth’s School of Law, to learn whether you can really own a star; whether there are space outlaws; how you can be a space lawyer when you grow up; and much more on Space Law. (Recommended for ages 6+)

Joseph Jackson, from the University of Portsmouth’s Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, will talk about inflation, the theorised rapid expansion of space in the early universe, and how it may have shaped the Universe we see today. (Recommended for ages 14+)

Family Activity Day

Saturday 29 January

Want to learn how to make your very own scale model of our solar system using nothing but a marker and a roll of toilet paper? Want to know more about how sailors navigated without modern technology and what tools they used? Got a question about space that you've always wanted to ask an astronomer? Join our Virtual Stargazing Family Activity Day from the comfort of your own home.

Activities

The scale of the solar system

10.00am – 11.00am, recommended for ages 7+

National Museum of the Royal Navy activity session

1.00pm – 2.00pm, recommended for ages 7+

To make your own quadrant as part of this session, please print or copy this PDF quadrant template.

Ask us about astronomy!

3.00pm – 4.00pm, recommended for ages 7+

Other activities

Social Media

Keep an eye on the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation Facebook and Twitter pages throughout the week where we'll be on-hand with some bonus content and answers to your stargazing questions.

National Museum of the Royal Navy Activity Sheet

We’re really pleased to be teaming up with the National Museum of the Royal Navy for this year's Virtual Pompey Stargazing event. As well as joining us for some of our live sessions, they've also produced some educational activities themed around Space and Navigation for you to explore in your own time. If you're a Brownie, Cub or Beaver you can even use this activity sheet to achieve an interest badge.

Download the NMRN Stagazing 2022 worksheet

An accessible version of the activity sheet can be requested by contacting phd.learning@nmrn.org.uk.

Stargazing resources

You'll hear us talk about various websites and resources during the week.

Here are a few useful links for you to investigate further:

  

Read more about the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation