Outreach Presentations

The Society undertakes a range of outreach activities, including the observatory in Hesketh Park, which includes observing sessions, weather permitting, and talks on a range of astronomy topics. These talks can be given in schools or venues used by other organisations, e.g. U3A History, Science & Astronomy groups, Beaver/Cub/Scout, & Rainbow/Brownie/Guide groups etc. 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 talks, just complete the form at the bottom of this page, and our current range of outreach talks is shown below.

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.

Telescopes: What to buy.

Telescope Optics

Binoculars, small telescopes, & what you can see.

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

Trying to measure the infinite: Cosmic distance ladders.

Cosmic dawn: First stars & galaxies.

Our Sun.

Planets, stars and galaxies.

How do you make a Solar System like ours?

Solar System’s minor objects.

Heavenly Visitors: Comets, Meteors & Showers

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

Titan: The atmospheric moon.

Dawn Mission at Vesta & Ceres.

New Horizons at Pluto-Charon.

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.

Local astronomers.

Liverpool Astronomers: Jeremiah Horrox & William Lassell.

Joseph Baxendell, his observatory and work.

Life cycle of stars & their legacy

1) Magnitude, HR diagram, and the Birth of stars.

2) Mainstream life of stars.

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

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

5) 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 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


What does it take for anyone to be out there?

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.

Observing space – optical telescopes.

Observing space – non optical telescopes.

Telescopes for amateur astronomers.

Analysing stars – star luminosity.

Colour & Magnitude.

The Hertzsprung diagram.

Red shift.

Supernova, neutron stars & black holes.

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.

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.

John Fernley and the Hesketh Park Observatory.

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