The FAS is delighted to announce that we will be holding an in-person convention on Saturday 13 November at the National Space Centre in Leicester.

Doors will open at 9:15am and the event will run from 10:15am to 4pm, giving visitors some time afterwards to view the NSC galleries (at no extra charge) and visit the NSC shop.

For those able to arrive by 9:30am there will be an exclusive and free planetarium show, which will last about 25 minutes.

Sponsored by

We have a major line-up of speakers:

Ann Bonell from Leicester Astronomical Society – “The Astronomers Royal”
Suzie Imber from the University of Leicester – “The BepiColombo Mission to Mercury”
Matt Nicholl from the University of Birmingham – “Gravitational Waves”
Julian Onions from the University of Nottingham – “Dark Matter: Is It Dark and Is It Matter?”

The Convention Running Order

Time Description Duration
09:15Doors Open
09:30Planetarium show25
10:15Welcome and safety notices5
10:20Suzie Imber, University of Leicester -
The Bepi-Colombo Mission to Mercury
50 + 10 Q&A
11:20Matt Nicholl, University of Birmingham -
Gravitational Waves
50 + 10 Q&A
12:20Presentation by our Gold Sponsor,
The British Astronomical Association
13:45Ann Bonell, Leicester Astronomical Society -
The Astronomers Royal
50 + 10 Q&A
14:45Julian Onions, University of Nottingham -
Dark Matter – Is it dark, and is it matter?
50 + 10 Q&A
15:45Raffle Draw and Closing remarks10


Please go to Eventbrite for tickets – here

We expect a maximum of just 90 places available, and tickets must be booked in advance – No tickets will be available on the door. This is because the event capacity is limited, and to avoid an unknown number of people arriving on the day and finding we have reached the event limit.

The tickets are just £10 for adults. Under-16s (£5) must be accompanied by an adult.

Family tickets are £20 (Please enquire here or ( regarding details of family tickets. We need to know the names of all attendees, and which are children.)

These prices are for members of FAS affiliated organisations. Public tickets are also available at £15 / £7.50 / £30.

TicketMember of FAS SocietyPublic

FAS member societies will be sent a discount code so that their members can obtain tickets at the reduced rate.

The ticket price includes a snack lunch, though you can of course bring your own. The aim is to avoid overloading the NSC café.

Please select a sandwich choice as an option with your ticket on the ticketing website. (Eventbrite).

We aim to supply the following:-



Other Items

There will also be a raffle, and we will be running a fun quiz during the lunch break.

We are arranging for displays from professional organisations, and there will also be a few spaces for societies to have a display to promote their activities.
The society spaces are free, and available on a first-come-first-served basis.

Important notes regarding COVID-19

The Government stated that from July 19 there is no longer a legal requirement to wear face coverings in indoor settings.
In addition, from July 19 the Government removed restrictions on the number of people who can gather indoors and outdoors in England.

As a result, the NSC has said that they will allow the rooms to be used at full capacity, so social distancing will not be required.

However we ask that you wear a mask on arrival and when moving around, though you may remove this when seated, as in restaurants.

By November, most people will have received their second vaccination, and some may have also had a booster.

In order to maximise everyone’s safety, we prefer that adults who have not received any vaccination and who do not have medical exemption do not attend the event.

The card given with your vaccinations or a medical certification of exemption will be sufficient proof.
It also goes without saying that anyone exhibiting any symptoms of potential infectious illness should not attend the event. If such symptoms develop after booking tickets we will refund the ticket cost.

If COVID restrictions should change, or other circumstances outside of our control mean that we are unable to hold the event, a refund will be made for tickets purchased.
Unfortunately we cannot refund travel or accommodation costs.

Reaching the NSC

If travelling by car – perhaps you can arrange to car-share – the ticket also includes free parking (normally £3).

If you are going by train, a bus from Leicester station will cost approx £5.

Buses run from the Prebend Street stop – about 100m south of the station – to the Byford Road stop, which is between Lidl and Asda and is just a 7-minute walk from the NSC (See map).

A taxi door-to-door will cost about £10.


This will probably be the first national astronomy event since 2019, so we hope you will join us to enjoy the following:

  • Hear from a great line-up of speakers
  • Visit astronomy suppliers and other organisations
  • Meet with other astronomy enthusiasts
  • Visit a terrific location
  • Enjoy a fun quiz during the lunch break, and a raffle

with these additional benefits

  • Ticket price includes parking and a snack lunch
  • Plus a planetarium show and lunchtime quiz

The event will not be live-streamed, so if you are interested, then you need to be there!

If you have any questions, or wish to reserve a display space for your society, please contact the FAS Meetings Organiser,

Jerry Stone, at or here

Contact Jerry for information about opportunities for sponsorship, exhibiting, and advertising in the convention programme and on the website.

Please note the following:

  1. The NSC has said that they cannot guarantee access to the galleries after our programme finishes, as this will depend on the number of paying visitors still on-site at that time.
    If you wish to be sure of access, they recommend buying a ticket, which must be done in advance.
  2. The snack lunch will consist of sandwiches and crisps, and we will provide fruit juice.
    Of course you can bring your own lunch, though we prefer that you do not use the NSC café, to avoid them being overwhelmed by over 100 people.
    As an alternative, there is a Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Greggs close to Leicester station, (see the maps), and an Asda superstore a few minutes walk from the NSC.
  3. The National Space Centre – Essential information (including Covid-19) on their website

website – National Space Centre