Space Lates – The Next Frontiers in Astronomy

18 January 2020

Space Lates is an evening created for people who want to know more


Book Online for this fantastic event!

mascot Telescope Right

A perfect night for those who have an interest in astronomy, space missions, and the exciting research happening here in the UK, around the world, and out in space.

For this Space Lates, we’re celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Royal Astronomical Society, and looking to the future of the next big space missions.

The Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) was founded in January 1820, and encourages and promotes the study of astronomy, Solar System science, and geophysics.

We’ve teamed up with RAS to curate a special evening packed with guest speakers, interactive workshops, planetarium shows, stargazing, and live demos.

Explore our galleries after-hours and finish your evening with a live astronomy session with Leicester Astronomical Society (weather permitting).


We’ve curated a special evening packed with guest speakers, planetarium shows, stargazing and live demos.


Explore our galleries after-hours* and close your evening with an immersive planetarium show.

You are free to explore the National Space Centre’s galleries throughout the night. Please note that the Rocket Tower and Tranquillity Base will not be open.


Our café will be serving hot and cold drinks, snacks and sandwiches throughout the evening and our shop will be open from 18:00 – 21:00.

Guest Talks

200 years of the Royal Astronomical Society


– Dr Robert Massey
Deputy Executive Director of the Royal Astronomical Society

For two centuries, the Royal Astronomical Society has been home to the UK’s leading astronomers and geophysicists, and plays a seminal role in astronomy and space science. In 2020, the Society’s bicentennial year, find out how they shaped the discovery of the Universe around us, and what lies in store in the years to come.


Exploring Jupiter’s Icy Moons

Naomi Rowe-Gurney

– Professor Emma Bunce
Professor of Planetary Plasma Physics, University of Leicester.

Join Emma Bunce, President-elect of the Royal Astronomical Society, for a focus on the next big Solar System missions – a voyage to the worlds of ice and fire around Jupiter.


Chasing Cosmic Explosions


– Dr Rhaana Starling
Associate Professor and X-ray astronomer, University of Leicester.

Violent astrophysical events, like stellar deaths and neutron star mergers, are short-lived. The Universe is constantly monitored from Space and from Earth to pick up the initial signal from an event. After that, it’s up to on-call astronomers to act fast to capture further data on the fading embers. Find out about the quest to reveal the nature, physics and environments of many of these transient events, focusing particularly on chasing both gamma-ray bursts and gravitational waves.



Awesome Aurora and the Planeterrella

See the northern lights created before your very eyes in this interactive display of plasma, magnetism, and the power of the Sun.



Ever touched a rock from space? Explore a collection of meteorites and find out how we use these rocks to explore the Solar System.



Join the night sky experts from the Leicester Astronomical Society for a session of star gazing*.

*Weather permitting


Create a Nebula

Join our Design team to create your own nebula, combining elements from space.


Senses of Space

Ever wondered what space smells or sounds like? Come and find out for yourself in our immersive senses of space.


Geophysics in a Box

Get hands on in an initiative with the National Youth Agency and the Royal Astronomical Society to explore gravity, earthquakes and waves here on Earth and on other worlds.



Tour of the Winter Night Sky

A curated tour of the winter night sky with Pete Lawrence, from BBC’s Sky at Night. This live planetarium show will feature Pete’s favourite astronomical objects, based on his decades of award-winning astrophotography experience.

Pete Lawrence has presented an observing section on the long running BBC Sky at Night television programme since 2004. Pete is highly regarded in the world of astrophotography and is one of eighteen recipients of the Davies Medal awarded by the Royal Photographic Society for significant contribution in the digital field of imaging science. Pete is a Physics with Astrophysics alumni from the University of Leicester.

18:45 and 19:45 – pre-booked


Are there ID requirements or an age limit to enter the event?
This event is suitable for adults and engaged families.

What are my transport/parking options getting to the event?
There are 400 free car parking spaces available on site. We are happy to call taxis for people and there is a bus stop to the 54 route within a few minutes walk of the Centre.

What can/can’t I bring to the event?
Food and drink will not be allowed to be brought onto the premises.

Where can I contact the organiser with any questions?
The National Space Centre – 0116 261 0261.

Is my registration/ticket transferrable?
No, tickets are non transferable or refundable.

Can I update my registration information?
No, once a ticket is purchased no changes can be made.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?
Either a printed ticket, or a ticket on your phone or tablet (we like the non-printing option, it is better for the planet).

What is the refund policy?
All tickets are non-refundable.