Talks & Courses

Meet the Astronaut!

Join us for this special guest appearance of European Space Agency Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti under the stars in the planetarium. Samantha will be giving a talk on what it’s like to be an astronaut and her time spent on the International Space Station. She will also be available to answer questions at the end of her presentation, so if you’ve always had a burning question to ask an astronaut now is your chance!

Please note: all children must be accompanied by a paying adult.


Two Experiments: Breadfruit and Quinine workshops

Sunday 21 May – Breadfruit

From Joseph Banks to Captain Cook, Polynesian cultures to enslavement and emancipation in the Caribbean, the journey of the breadfruit is a history of Empire in one edible package.

By working together to create breadfruit punch – with or without rum! – participants will trace connections between the contentious and violent history of these encounters, learning how breadfruit became a staple food far from its place of origin.

This workshop is free but booking is essential. There are 10 places are available for this workshop. 

Distorting the line: Globes, Maps and Movement workshop

Have you ever wondered how maps are made? Fascinated by stories of voyages, maps and globes? Explore the various forms of mapping on display at the Queen’s House, and learn more about their social history, and effect on shaping our world.

Make your own kinetic device to animate your depictions of the globe, and explore the works on display at the Queen’s House, in this hands-on workshop.

Participants will use materials including wood, wire and paper to create hand propelled devices, whilst sharing knowledge about how maps help to create our worldview.

Observatory Unlocked sessions

Please note that Observatory Unlocked will not take place on Sunday July 2nd.

Enjoy a range of public talks and activities delivered by our Observatory Explainers, ranging from short talks on the hidden stories of the Royal Observatory Greenwich to Solar observing and hands on science demonstrations.

Young Astronomers Workshop

Get hands-on in these short drop in family workshops themed around space science and exploration, from the most recent discoveries about the Solar System to our latest understanding of the wider universe.

Our team of Observatory Explainers include those who are studying astronomy at degree or postgraduate level and can answer your burning space questions such as: how big is the Universe and why is Pluto not a planet anymore? Also if you've always wondered what it takes to become an astronomer - they are the people to ask!

The Glass Universe talk

Dava will be in conversation with our Public Astronomer, Dr. Marek Kukula to discuss her latest book, The Glass Universe, and the role of women of the era in science.

Dava will also perform a reading of an excerpt from the book, which will be available to purchase after the event and Dava will be available for book signing.

Age: 11+

Find out about the campaign for gender balance in science, technology and engineering on the WISE website.

Visit the WISE website


Our Sun: Friend or Foe

The Sun, our star, provides everything needed to sustain life here on Earth. However,  the Sun is also very dynamic, with periods of intense activity, and other times when it  is quieter.

During active times, the Sun produces solar flares and Coronal Mass Ejections, which can impinge on the Earth's environment, causing beautiful aurorae and/or harmful effects for astronauts and modern technology.

This talk will cover observations of the Sun from space (SoHO, SDO, Hinode and IRIS) which give us a deeper insight into what is happening in the solar atmosphere.

Travelling the Universe Course

We offer a wide range of adult courses related to astronomy, from short six-week introductory via one year intermediate courses to modular two year advanced courses.

This short six-week course led by an engaging tutor explores different forms of travel throughout our universe, from navigating the globe using the stars to the possibilities of travelling through time. Please click the link below to find out more about the course.

Age: 16+

Introduction to Astronomy Course

We offer a wide range of adult courses related to astronomy, from short six-week introductory via one year intermediate courses to modular two year advanced courses.

This six week course is for people with no prior knowledge of astronomy. It offers a basic introduction to the subject from historical, scientific and practical perspective.

Age: 16+


GCSE Astronomy for Adults - Exam Course

GCSE astronomy offers a firm grounding in the study of the Sun-Earth-Moon system, the Solar System, the Milky Way Galaxy and the wider Universe.

Some of our students just want to learn more about the universe in the company of like-minded individuals and have no interest in a formal GCSE qualification. If this is you, just book the core course. The core course consists of 28 Tuesday evening classes focusing on key astronomy topics.

Visit the Core Course page


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