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Purbeck Group
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Details of the Next Meetings
Meetings start at 10:00 am - please arrive at 09:50
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20th December 2017 - Geoff Kirby

Quirky Astronomy

Did you know that Sir William Herschel - arguably the greatest astronomer before modern times and discoverer of the planet Uranus – believed that the Sun contained a cold inner globe upon which alien creatures lived? He considered that this inner cool world could be glimpsed through the dark parts of sunspots. This idea was supported by the Astronomer Royal John Flamsteed and many of their contemporaries.

Johannes Kepler believed that Jupiter was inhabited and was covered by vast oceans upon which huge fleets of ships sailed. For Kepler, Jupiter was famed for seamen and hemp production.

In 1835 it was reported that Sir John Herschel (Sir William’s son) had used his huge telescope in Cape Town to observed flying humanoids on the Moon – as shown on the cover on Geoff’s latest book (left).

The great Sir Edmund Halley, of comet fame, believed that the Earth is hollow and inhabited by aliens. The Aurora Borealis is the light of their cities, shining out through a hole at the North Pole.

These and many more strange ideas will be described by Geoff in an hour of light-hearted exploration of the quirkier side of the universe.

Sir William Herschel

17th January 2018 - Sean Walls


During the summer of 2010 Dr Sean Walls completed a pilot study on radio-tracking male Emperor Dragonflies (Anax imperator) on Dorset Heathland. This is believed to be the first Dragonfly radio-tracking project in Europe and the first radio-tracking study to examine Dragonfly behaviour on a home range scale. Radio tracking gives unique insights by allowing the operator to locate the dragonflies when they would otherwise be difficult to sight.

21st February 2018 - John Lillington

Nuclear Power: Past, Present and Future

[Details to follow]