Outreach Presentations

The Society undertakes a range of outreach activities at various venues, such as U3A History, Science & Astronomy groups, Rotary clubs, Beaver/Cub/Scout & Rainbow/Brownie/Guide groups, and also local schools. We also utilise the observatory in Hesketh Park that we manage on behalf of Sefton MBC, and this includes public open days and observing sessions, weather permitting. We also hold regular meetings for society members and visitors (always welcome) given by either one of our members or a guest speaker, (see our Programme page). If you would like to hear one of our outreach talks listed below, just complete the form at the bottom of this page.

Rick’s Astro presentations (duration 45-60 min). All these talks can be adapted to meet the requirements of a wide range of audiences.


Finding your way around the night sky.

Binoculars, small telescopes, & what you can see.

Telescopes: What to buy.

Telescope Optics

Cooke telescope observing targets. (Telescope in Baxendell’s observatory)

Constellations: stars and easy deep-sky objects

Titan: The atmospheric moon.

Measuring the infinite: Cosmic distance ladders.

Cosmic dawn: Big bang to first stars & galaxies.

Planets, stars, and galaxies.

Our Sun.

New Moon: Revisiting what we thought we knew about the moon.

Solar System’s minor objects.

Dawn Mission to Vesta & Ceres and what we learnt.

New Horizons mission to Pluto, Charon & Arrokoth & what we learnt.

How do you make a Solar System like ours?

How do you make a Universe like ours?

Heavenly Visitors: Comets, Meteors & Showers

Relatively speaking: The History of General Relativity.

Gravity: A new eye on the universe.

Part 1 History of Quantum Theory: Is it here, there, or everywhere?

Part 2 Quantum weirdness: Do we live in a multiverse?

The search for reality: Democritus to quantum gravity.

Black holes: The inside story.

Local astronomers.

Liverpool Astronomers: Jeremiah Horrox & William Lassell.

Joseph Baxendell: Southport’s Astronomer

Isaac Roberts: A Welsh Astronomer

Life cycle of stars & their legacy

1) Stars: An overview

2) Magnitude, HR diagram, and the birth of stars.

3) Mainstream life of stars.

4) Leaving the mainstream: Stars that “rage, rage against the dying of the light”.

5) Stellar corpses: Degeneracy, White dwarfs, Neutron stars, and Black holes.

6) Elements: How and where they’re made and dispersed into the cosmos.

History of Cosmology

1) Greeks to Newton: The transition from a Geocentric to a Heliocentric universe.

2) Herschel to Hubble: The story of nebulae.

3) Something went bang in the night: Hubble to the big bang.

Life in the universe

Astrobiology – Conditions for life.

What does it take for anyone to be out there?

The search for extra-terrestrial water.

The planetary thermostat and life on earth.

Enceladus: A potential genesis for life?

Bob’s Astro presentations & lectures (duration 45-60 min) Many are written to meet the new AQA standard for Astronomy in the GCSE and A level physics syllabus.

An Introduction to Astronomy.

The solar system.

15 Northern constellations.

Time and the dawn of astronomy.

The History of astronomy.

Early Astronomy – ancient times to the Renaissance.

Modern Astronomy – Newton to Gravitational waves.

Gravitational waves.

Black Holes.


The detection of binary stars.

The Life Cycle of stars.

The Sun an ordinary star?

Extra-terrestrial life: Is there any there?

Measuring Space – How is it done?

The Story of Cass A.

The Big Bang Model of the Universe.

Observing space: optical telescopes.

Observing space: non-optical telescopes.

Telescopes for amateur astronomers.

Analysing stars – star luminosity.

Colour & Magnitude.

The Hertzsprung diagram.


Supernova, neutron stars & black holes.

The Andromeda Galaxy

Women Astronomers

Bob’s short talks/discussion groups (25-40 min)

Timeline of life on earth- how did we make it here.

Telescopes for amateurs and how to choose and use them.

How many Universes would fit in the Milky Way?

The days of the week – Why does Monday follow Sunday?

The speed of light – why is it constant?

Special Theory of Relativity – Proof of E = MC 2

General Theory of Relativity – Einstein’s field equations.

Choosing & using binoculars.

Edmund’s  Astro presentations (duration ~45-60 min)

Special Earth – the near uniqueness of Planet Earth, and why alien life is exceptionally rare.

American contributions to astronomy and space exploration

Gazing from the shoulders of giants..

The Herschel’s: Astronomy, a family business.

The Earth is flat & doesn’t move.


Ancient British Astronomy.

The electromagnetic spectrum

Eddie’s Astro presentations – these are not in PowerPoint, and are well suited to younger guide and scouting groups like Beavers, Cubs, Rainbows, and Brownies.

From Goddard to Apollo, early attempts at space exploration.

Introduction to astronomy.

Mike D’s Astro presentations

In the beginning (Stellar synthesis of elements & periodic table).

A potted history of time (Part 1).

A potted history of time (Part 2).

Search for the quark.

Little green men

John Fernley and the Hesketh Park Observatory.

If you would like to arrange a talk by one of our speakers, please complete the request form below.