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Astronomy Outreach

The Astronomy & Astrophysics group at Warwick has an active programme of science communication that engages with different audiences. Members of the group are happy to give talks on our science either in person (where appropriate given social distancing) or online!

Warwick's mobile planetarium

Warwick Planetarium

The Astronomy and Astrophysics group is the proud owner of a mobile planetarium, which we use for outreach visits to schools and other organisations and events. You can find out more information on the dedicated Warwick planetarium webpage

We note that the planetarium programme is temporarily on hold given Covid-19 risks and uncertainties.

Many of our researchers are also willing to visit schools individually on request.

Warwick astro blog and social media

We produce a number of articles about astronomy for a general audience - releasing a series of these during the 2020 CoViD lockdown for Warwick Knowledge Centre - and also about our research and life as astronomers.

Find some of these on our Warwick Astro Blog.

Twitter header

You can also find our latest news and results on Twitter at @WarwickAstro.

A number of our researchers are also individually active on Twitter and participate in activities such as writing for Astrobites or "I'm a Scientist: Get me out of here!". If you have questions about astronomy or our work, do contact us via the group Twitter account.

11-18 year olds

We offer talks to local schools and GCSE work experience placements, giving secondary school students direct experience of scientific research. If you would like to arrange for a talk to school students, please contact one of our group members directly.

We also collaborate with the wider outreach team in Warwick Physics who host a weekly online Journal Club aimed at A-Level students.

If you are interested in work experience, please look at the main Physics department page and contact physicsadmin at warwick dot ac dot uk. The Physics department generally hosts students from all local schools in the same week and may not be able to accommodate specific date requests.

Astronomy societies and adult education

Members of the group give frequent talks to astronomical societies (see this mapLink opens in a new window) and other organisations across the midlands and south of England, and are also willing to give online talks to audiences worldwide. We offer talks on subjects related to our research programme, including aspects of interacting binary stars, supernovae, exoplanets, black holes and gamma-ray bursts. A list of offered talks is given below. If you would like to arrange one of these talks for your own society, please contact the named group members directly. Other talks may also be available from other members of our group.

Title Speaker
Dance of Death in the Stellar Graveyard Boris GaensickeLink opens in a new window
Thousands of solid stars and the future of the Universe
or Sirius, the history of the brightest night star
Pier-Emmanuel TremblayLink opens in a new window

Hunting for Extra-Solar Planets
or Life in the Universe

Peter WheatleyLink opens in a new window

Star Formation across Cosmic Time
or Building galaxies from the stars up
or Science of Sci-Fi (talks include Spacecraft, Cosmic Catastrophes, The science of "Interstellar", or Our Moon in Science and Science Fiction)

Elizabeth StanwayLink opens in a new window

Extrasolar Planets: Famous Firsts, Boisterous Births, and Destructive Deaths
or Planet Nine

Dimitri VerasLink opens in a new window

The Life of a Planet
or What are Alien Worlds Made of?

Tom WilsonLink opens in a new window

Exoplanets and Science Fiction

Faith HawthornLink opens in a new window

Wider public

Whenever possible we like to share our discoveries with the wider public through press releases. Recent press releases, linked to papers in peer-reviewed journals, announced the discovery of a metallic gas disc around a white dwarf star, providing a glimpse of the ultimate fate of our own Solar System, explored the nature of bizarre exoplanets and looked at the cosmic explosions that end the lives of massive stars. The stories are picked up globally, including coverage in the scientific press and in mainstream news media . Our press releases are also routinely picked up by regional newspapers and radio stations (e.g. Coventry Observer, Coventry Times, BBC Coventry), especially stories highlighting our research collaborations with amateur astronomers (our work with a Birmingham-based amateur was recently featured by BBC Midlands Today).

Science in society

Jeremy Wright MP visits the University of WarwickWarwick astronomers Danny Steeghs and Farzana Meru have taken part in the Royal Society MP-Scientist Pairing Scheme.

Established as part of the Royal Society's Science in Society programme , the MP-Scientist Pairing Scheme aims to build bridges between research scientists and members of the UK parliament and to encourage the flow of scientific information that could guide policy decisions. The scheme comprises of three activities: a briefing by the Royal Society, a Week in Westminster, and reciprocal visits to the constituency office and the campus.