Here you’ll find details of where I’m appearing next, including information on my upcoming public talks & live shows, as well as other events I’m involved in.
My live theatre show, The Story of the Solar System, also has its own dedicated page.
If you’re interested in where I’ve spoken at or appeared in recent years, please see this page.
Plymouth Astronomical Society – Dynamic Skies – the story of our changing Cosmos & a new revolution in astronomy (public talk) – 11 January 2019. [More details]
The Story of the Solar System – LIVE THEATRE SHOW – Exeter Phoenix (main auditorium), Exeter – 27 Jan 2019. [Show details] [SOLD OUT]
European AstroFest 2019 – Taking your first steps in nightscape astrophotography (public talk) – 8-9 February 2019, Kensington Conference and Events Centre, London. [More details]
Launch of the Cotswolds Dark Skies Initiative – ‘Chasing Darkness’ (keynote talk) – 16 March 2019 – Guiting Power, Gloucestershire. [More details]
The South West Astronomy Fair 2019 – Dynamic Skies – the story of our changing Cosmos & a new revolution in astronomy (public talk) – Norman Lockyer Observatory, Sidmouth – 10 August 2019. [More details]
The Story of the Solar System – LIVE THEATRE SHOW – The Bacon Theatre, Cheltenham – 17 August 2019. [Show details]
West Buckland School – Dynamic Skies – the story of our changing Cosmos & a new revolution in astronomy (evening public talk & dinner – booking required) – 13 September 2019 [More details]
Crewkerne & District Astronomical Society – Dynamic Skies – the story of our changing Cosmos & a new revolution in astronomy – 16 October 2019 [More details]
Malvern Hills AONB Partnership ‘Discovering Dark Skies’ event – ‘Chasing Darkness’ (public talk) – 29 November 2019 – Castlemorton, Malvern Hills. [SOLD OUT]
Bristol Astronomical Society – Dynamic Skies – the story of our changing Cosmos & a new revolution in astronomy –
20 March 2020 POSTPONED – NEW DATE TBA. [More details]
Solarsphere music festival 2020 – Taking your first steps in nightscape astrophotography (public talk) –
August 2020, Penmaenau Farm, Builth Wells, Wales. POSTPONED TO 2022. [More details]
I’ve been giving astronomy talks to societies, travel groups, star parties and even music festivals across the UK and Europe for over fifteen years. In that time my talks have touched on a wide variety of celestial subjects, from solar eclipses and space telescopes to the Northern Lights and the search for planets orbiting distant stars.
Below you’ll find short synopses for the talks I currently give. For booking enquiries please use the contact details here.
Shadow Fall – the mechanics, mystery & magic of nature’s greatest celestial show
In this special hour long talk, written and tailored for audiences about to embark on an eclipse viewing trip, Will explores the science behind the incredible phenomenon that is a total solar eclipse, from the celestial mechanics that precipitates these remarkable events to the spectacular and truly breath-taking sights and sensations they can produce.
Chasing darkness – adventures of an astrophotographer under starry skies
In this personal talk, Will speaks about his work as an astrophotographer seeking to capture detailed pictures of the night sky’s greatest treasures. Richly illustrated with Will’s celestial photography [examples of which can be seen at willgaterastrophotography.com], the talk explores the wonderous sights that dark skies can reveal to visual observers and astrophotographers. It also highlights how such views are becoming a rarity around the globe, with the ever-increasing scourge of light pollution, and what we can do about preserving these awe-inspiring vistas.
The science and spectacle of the Northern Lights
The Northern Lights have captivated humans for centuries, inspiring countless folklore legends with their shifting, glowing forms and otherworldly behaviour. Yet the story of what actually happens to generate this stunning celestial show is every bit as extraordinary as those great mythic tales. In this talk Will reveals the science behind the magic of the aurora, from the Sun and the violent events that rock its surface to the interplay between our star and the Earth’s magnetic field. He’ll explore the physics of what’s happening in Earth’s upper atmosphere to create this ethereal glow and the colourful, swirling curtains of light as well as show you how you can see them for yourself.
Dynamic Skies – the story of our changing Cosmos & a new revolution in astronomy
Across our human lifetimes the night sky can often feel like something of a constant. Familiar stars come and go with the seasons, but their arrangement within the vast tableau of the firmament never varies. Nebulae appear today just as they were decades ago and the galaxies that we marvel at through our telescopes seem frozen within a static, obsidian, void. Yet the heavens are anything but still. We live in a whirl of celestial activity alive with the movement of billions of stars and swirling gas clouds, while all throughout the Universe countless different inhabitants perform varied and complex gravitational dances. In this talk Will explores the remarkable story of this cosmic drama and delves into the thrilling new revolution that has both amateur and professional astronomers working together to monitor and understand our dynamic night skies.
Taking your first steps in nightscape astrophotography
Nightscape imaging is an area of wide-field astrophotography that focuses on shooting celestial targets over landscapes and earthly scenes. Because this technique requires only, relatively, basic camera equipment it can be a great way to start out in imaging the night sky. In this talk, Will will explore the science and art of capturing nightscapes, from what kit you’ll need to how to create the sharpest, most eye-catching, shots. He’ll examine the pitfalls to avoid and highlight the diverse array of astronomical subjects there are for nightscape photography – something that makes this style of imaging enticing for both beginners and experts alike.
Secrets of celestial light
The story of astronomy is the story of our fascination with the light that streams from every corner of the cosmos.
This ancient radiation holds clues to how the Universe works, what it’s made of and how it was born. In this wide-ranging talk, Will explores the physics of celestial light and how we came to realise that, when it comes to the starry night sky, there’s far more than meets the eye.
Alien worlds: the extraordinary inhabitants of the Milky Way
Since the discovery of the first handful of planets around other stars, roughly twenty years ago, we’ve come to realise that our Galaxy is probably teeming with billions of other worlds. Some bear a resemblance to planets in our own Solar System, but a great many are far more bizarre and far more intriguing than scientists ever dared to imagine. In this talk, Will examines the incredible story of how astronomers found these alien planets, what we now know about them and what the future may hold for the hunt for a planet just like the Earth.