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The Observatory Science Centre
East Sussex
BN27 1RN
Tel: 01323 832731
Fax: 01323 832741

Email Us

Themed Evenings

Looking forward to our 2016 calendar of themed evenings, we are continually exploring new avenues in order to cater for all tastes not just those with an interest in astronomy. Maybe you enjoy music or a good murder mystery but haven't even considered looking through a telescope! Well this is a perfect opportunity to enjoy a fabulous evening with the added bonus of looking through some of the largest telescopes in the country, if the weather permits.

We are again including a wonderful mix of events including different types of music, fun science, murder mystery, comedy and Christmas entertainment including a family Christmas lecture and Christmas concert. Of course astronomy is close to our hearts and with the European Space Agency's first British astronaut on the ISS during the first half of the year we want to celebrate in style and enjoy space travel as well as the usual evenings looking for meteors.

So, set among the domes of this famous observatory what better place can you think of to spend an evening? Our events are usually catered (see below for further details) and include the opportunity to look through the historic telescopes at the wonderful night sky (weather permitting).


While the Centre makes every effort to accomodate wheel chair users and others with mobility issues, by virtue of the nature of the building (grade II* listed), the telescopes are accessed by steep narrow stairs. If you require further information please do not hesitate to get in touch.
May 14th 2016

'Museums at Night; Cheese, Wine and Astronauts!'

Come and join us for a fascinating evening to celebrate the imminent return of Tim Peake from the ISS. Following the refreshments which will consist of a selection of cheeses, crackers, caramelised red onion chutney and grapes plus red and white wine we will introduce our guest speaker. The talk will last for about an hour and will be followed by viewing through the telescopes (weather permitting) or a tour of the domes. Please note that soft drnks will be available for our younger visitors (14 years and over) and those not wishing to drink wine. There will also be a small cash bar with a limited supply of beer and lager.  

We are extremely pleased to welcome back Robin Mobbs as our guest speaker this evening and would like to thank him for coming to do the talk. Robin is an Advanced Skills Physics Teacher in Hertfordshire and a Lead educator for the National Space Academy.

Title: Astronaut on the International Space Station 

On December 15th British astronaut Tim Peake launched in a Soyuz rocket to the International Space Station from the Baikanor Cosmodrome in Kazakhastan for his six month mission. This talk will explain how astronauts prepare, launch, work, live and return from the ISS.

What is it like in microgravity? How do you sleep? What do you eat? What is it like to do a spacewalk? What about the toilet? The mission will be explained with pictures, video clips and demonstrations as well as insights gained from several astronauts that have been there. It will also explain how to follow Tim’s mission and see the ISS as it orbits two hundred and fifty miles above the planet travelling at seventeen thousand miles per hour.

Because this talk is celebrating Tim Peake's imminent return from the ISS Robin will be introducing new material as he explores the trials and tribulations of re-entering the Earth's atmophere and actually landing safely.

This evening will be truly out of this world and if the weather is kind you may also get to see Jupiter and perhaps later on Mars and even Saturn if they are high enough in the sky.

SUITABLE FOR 14 years AND OVER. Please note that under 18s must be accompanied by an adult at all times while in the Centre.

Time   7.30pm - midnight 
Cost    £20 per person 


To book please phone the Centre on 01323 832731 or you can book on-line through Eventbrite. Please note that there will be a booking fee for on-line reservations.
June 18th 2016

'Midsummer Murder'

Come and join us for an eventful evening of high drama, strange happenings and delicious food.

The scene is set from the start with a cheerful cast mingling with guests over a glass of prosecco and canapes. Our "Midsummer Murder" requests that you follow clues and establish "Who Dunnit?" The trail takes you around the Centre where all is not quite as is should be!

The evening includes a delicious supper of gammon ham, sliced beef, homemade cheese and onion quiche, leafy green salad, tomato and red onion salad, homemade coleslaw and orange juice. This is then followed by carrot cake and coffee or tea.  

If the weather is good there will also be an opportunity to look through the Centre's historic telescopes at some fascinating night sky ojects.

Last year's event proved to be extremely funny and was very popular so book now to secure your place and we will see you in time for "Murder!"

Time: 7.30pm - midnight
Cost:  £40 per person
July 23rd 2016

'Soundscape - The Brighton Film Quartet' 

We are delighted to bring you a totally unique musical and film experience, in a totally unique setting. 

A cinematic journey of film and sound, Soundscape will be a concert of sheer escapism with this extraordinary piano quartet. Footage of stunning landscapes from around the world set to a live show of the Quartet’s own hauntingly beautiful music. Subtle vocals and an ambient soundtrack complete this unusual and unforgettable cinematic experience for the senses.

Prepare to be taken on a journey, immersed in a dreamworld, where piano, clarinet, cello and violin intertwine, an intoxicating mix of classical richness and modern minimalism with a wicked twist. Think Debussy meets Einaudi, they get a little tipsy, bump into Michael Nyman in a bar, and end up playing an impromptu gig!

Recent sell-out concerts include the Brighton Fringe 2015 and the Royal Pavilion where a specially commissioned piece of work "Dragons" was performed in the famous Music Room. Having worked with award-winning film director Trevor Hughes, Penny, the pianist and composer, now brings her experience of these two genres into a multimedia concert – a sensory tour de force! Collaborating with top Brighton filmmakers and emerging new talent, SOUNDSCAPE visuals include glaciers in Iceland and a starling murmuration over Brighton Pier. The music itself morphs from the ethereal beauty of Outta Space to the lurching, powerful strains of Dark Waltz topped off by the almost club-like beat of finale Ants. Touted as the "next female Einaudi" Penny’s work has moved many audience members to tears (men included!) with its subtle but moving melodies, and the Quartet's sensitive interpretation.

The Quartet – Penny Loosemore (piano), Rosanna Schwarzacher (cello), Lisa De Simone (violin) and Emma Papper (clarinet) – are the only ensemble of their kind in the UK, sounding more like a mini orchestra than a string quartet. These glam girls combine top musicianship with genuine warmth and camaraderie on stage, with a penchant for concert banter and post-show mingling! Together for the last three years, their success has been meteoric. See the trailer on the website below for a taste of things to come... and join us for a truly magical evening.

Due to the space limitations of the beautifully acoustic Dome B, tickets are strictly limited to 60. Included in the price is canapes and prosecco reception and dinner as well as viewings through the historic telescopes, weather permitting. For this reason, early booking is essential to avoid any disappointment.   

Time: 7.00pm - midnight 
Cost:  £40 per person


To book please phone the Centre on 01323 832731 or you can book on-line through Eventbrite. Please note that there will be a booking fee for on-line reservations.
Image courtesy of Pete Lawrence August 13th 2016

'Perseids Shooting Stars'

The evening will begin with a selection of cheeses and wine. This will be followed by an informative talk by a guest speaker.

Following the talk, weather permitting, you will have the opportunity to try and spot some fast moving meteors with the naked eye and look through the telescopes at other interesting celestial objects.

The Perseids meteor shower occurs as Earth passes through the outskirts of a cloud of debris from comet Swift-Tuttle. The dust and bits of rock left behind are called meteors. As they enter the Earth's atmosphere they 'burn' up with the larger pieces producing bright streams that you can see with the naked eye before they fade away. These bright streams are also known as shooting stars and can be seen from 23rd July until 20th August. The maximum is in the wee small hours of the 13th August when you may see approximately 60-80 shooting stars per hour.

The evening aims to be both informal and informative. If the weather is unsuitable on themed evenings, the talk will go ahead regardless and a comprehensive tour of the telescopes will replace viewing. On the tour you will be taken into domes not open to the public during the day.

Alongside the staff are members of Wealden Astronomical Society (WAS) and other volunteers who are also there to help answer any questions you may have. Again, weather permitting, the smaller telescopes of the amateur astronomers will be on the lawns for you to look through.

Numbers are limited to 100, so book early to secure your place.

Time: 8pm - 12.30am (gates open at 7.45pm)
Cost: £20 per person

November 19th 2016

'Comets and Curry'

Come and enjoy a warming curry a glass of wine plus an informative talk by a guest speaker. You can also look for shooting stars associated with the Leonids meteor shower as well as the tail end of the Taurids meteor shower.

The Taurids shower marks the time when the Earth passes through the dust trail of comet Encke. The debris left behind by comet Enke is the largest in the inner solar system and it takes several weeks for the Earth to pass through it giving an extended period of activity; 20th October - 30th November. The peak activity for the Taurids is 12th November so we will only be catching a few bright streaks of light.

The second meteor shower is the Leonids which occurs as Earth passes through the deris trail left behind by comet Tempel-Tuttle. These meteors are very fast and often leave persistent trains behind them. The peak activity is the evening of the 18th November. The natural limits of the shower are over a much shorter duration than for the Taurids; 15th - 20th November.

While we don't use the telescopes to spot meteors but if the weather does permit you will get the chance to look at some other interesting celestial objects through the large telescopes. The evening aims to be both informal and informative. If the weather is unsuitable on themed evenings, the talk will go ahead regardless and a comprehensive tour of the telescopes will replace viewing.

Alongside the staff are members of Wealden Astronomical Society (WAS) and other amateur astronomers who are also there to help answer any questions you may have. They also have their own smaller, modern telescopes on the lawns for you to look through.

Numbers are limited to 80, so book early to secure your place.

There will be poppadoms, chicken curry, vegetable curry and nan bread. Please note that while there is a vegetarian option there is NO alternative menu to the curry.

Time: 7pm - 11.30pm (gates open at 6.45pm)
Cost: £28


There is the option to book on-line for this event please click here to follow the eventbrite link (a booking fee applies for on-line booking).

Alternatively phone the Centre on 01323 832731 to secure your places.

How to Book

To make a booking please telephone the Centre and reserve your place using a credit or debit card. On-line booking may be available for specific events. This will be indicated in the relevant section describing the event.

Telephone: 01323 832731

Refund policy: Any refunds will incur a £5 administration charge. Please note; we will not be able to refund any bookings within 7 days of the event taking place.
Click here to contact us
Telephone: 01323 832731