The Flamsteed Astronomy Society

Solar viewing with the FAS (Mike Meynell)Solar viewing with the Flamsteed Astronomy Society. Credit: Mike Meynell, FAS Moon over the Planetarium by Mike MeynellMoon over the Peter Harrison Planetarium. Credit: Mike Meynell, FAS If you are interested in exploring new concepts and discoveries in astronomy, then join the Flamsteed Astronomy Society. The Society meets in the Museum's Lecture Theatre on the first Monday of the month during the winter, with world-class astronomers joining members to explore new concepts and discoveries. The group also have observing sessions out and about and special sessions on the Royal Observatory's 28-inch telescope.

In summer, a programme of visits and observing activities are arranged. Flamsteed members will be active during March's National Science Week and the first weekend of every month from 11.30–15.00 in the Astronomers' Garden at the Royal Observatory to offer visitors the chance to view the Sun through a solar telescope donated to the Museum by the Flamsteed Astronomy Society.

Membership of the Flamsteed Astronomy Society costs £80 for an individual membership, £120 for joint membership and £63 for concessionary membership. This includes the price of the standard Museum membership. See How to join.

Find out more on the Flamsteed Astronomy Society's website.

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Flamsteed Debate on Extraterrestrial Life with Dr Chris Lintott, Dr Marek Kukula and Dr Louisa Preston

Monday 11 May 2015

19.15, Lecture Theatre, National Maritime Museum

Are we alone in the Universe? The search for extraterrestrial life has, so far, proved futile. Scientists the world over have yet to yield any evidence of lifeforms existing elsewhere in the Universe. Some may argue that our Universe is old enough for intelligent civilisations to have spread ubiquitously. That there should be an abundance of signals from communicative civilisations and so we should have found each other by now.

The discovery of hundreds of planets beyond our Solar System has reinforced the belief that our galaxy is teeming with potentially habitable worlds. Our galaxy is just one of billions of galaxies in the observable Universe, so is it reasonable to argue that intelligent life is probable elsewhere? Is it simply a matter that we are not searching for the right signals? Are there advanced civilisations who gaze into the night sky and try to imagine us?

The evidence for both sides is mounting, but which is right? Dr Louisa Preston will be chairing a debate in which Dr Chris Lintott will offer a perspective against intelligent extraterrestrial life, and Dr Marek Kukula will favour it.