1 December 2022 – BBC Sky at Night Magazine Masterclass – planetary observing – online webinar & Q&A. [More details]
28 April 2022 – BBC Sky at Night Magazine Masterclass – ‘Delving deeper into stargazing’ – online webinar & Q&A. [More details]
23 July 2022 – Goonhilly 60 music festival. Talk/Q&A ‘The Mysteries of the Solar System’, main stage, 15:00BST. Book signing afterwards at author tent – Goonhilly Earth Station, Cornwall. [More details]
If you’re interested in where I’ve spoken at or appeared in recent years, please see this page.
Live theatre shows
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, touring of The Story of the Solar System has been put on hold indefinitely. Please keep an eye on the website for updates on future theatre shows.
If you’re coming to one of my public talks, the synopses below will hopefully give a flavour of what I’ll be speaking about.
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
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 & 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 & 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.
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.