We will be hosting a regular programme of virtual events with fascinating speakers that will take place online and be available to view globally. Find out more about our schedule below and scroll to the bottom for more future events.
Yuri Gagarin: the untold story of the first human in space
On 12 April 1961 Yuri Gagarin, a 27-year-old Russian ex-foundry worker and father of two, climbed inside a tiny spherical capsule and blasted into the skies on top of the Soviet Union’s most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile.
Eleven minutes later he was in orbit, circling the globe 10 times faster than a rifle bullet, the first human to leave our planet and journey into the unknown realm of space.
Join Stephen Walker, documentary director and author of Beyond, an exhilarating new book on this dramatic chapter of humanity’s greatest adventure, as he tells the gripping tale of the race between the superpowers to put the first person in space on its 60th anniversary.
In conversation with BBC Sky at Night Magazine Editor Chris Bramley, our speaker will give a unique insight into why Gagarin was selected to be the first human to leave our planet, drawn from extensive original research and vivid interviews with people who knew him.
He will also unpack the contrasting approaches to the space programmes in the USSR and the USA, which played out against the backdrop of political confrontation in the depths of the Cold War.
Illustrated with rare archive images of Gagarin’s 1961 flight to space, its lead-up and reception, the talk will give a unique insight into the cosmonauts, scientists and engineers who put the first person in space, and pushed humanity further out to the stars.
As always, you’ll be able to submit your questions throughout the talk, to be answered live in the second part of the presentation.
As the Sun begins to increase in activity after starting a new solar cycle, Professor Lucie Green of University College London explains what drives the pattern of activity we see in our nearest star, and looks at powerful solar storms of the past to ask what kind of solar fireworks we can expect from the Sun over the coming decade.
Observing the Sun is a great opportunity to watch the dynamic nature of a star up close, and there are many ways to see solar detail while protecting your eyes from its powerful brightness.
Expert solar imager and presenter on The Sky at NightPete Lawrence is your guide to safe solar observing, showing what can be viewed with everything from simple eclipse glasses to astro-imaging setups with specialist optical filters.