Foredown Tower Astronomers are a friendly, social group of amateur astronomers that meet once a month to listen to a guest speaker and then enjoy conversation over light refreshments. If the skies are clear members are asked to bring their telescopes for some observing which guests can also join.

Meetings are held at the Emmaus Community Café on the 3rd Thursday of each month. Free parking is available on site.

Guests are welcome to all evenings at a cost of £5 (includes refreshments) and should they then wish to join membership costs £20 per 6 months.

Next Meeting: Looking for life on Mars with the ExoMars 2020 rover

Date: 18th October at 7:30pm

Speaker: Professor Andrew Coates - Deputy Director (Solar System), Mullard Space Science Laboratory

Mars is one of our closest targets in the search for life beyond Earth, with other possibilities being Europa at Jupiter and Enceladus and Saturn. Mars has changed significantly in the 4.6 billion years since its formation. About 3.8 billion years ago, Mars had significant volcanism, a magnetic field, water on the surface and a thick atmosphere – at a time when life was starting on its closest planetary neighbour, the Earth. Mars now is cold and dry, and has a thin carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere, with a harsh surface environment unprotected by a global magnetic field. Using results from recent Mars missions, including NASA’s current Curiosity rover, we will look at the difference between Mars 3.8 billion years ago and now, and the prospects for life there. We discuss current and future missions to Mars, and in particular ESA’s ExoMars 2020 rover. This will drill up to 2m under the harsh Martian surface for the first time, to search for signs of past or even present life.


If clear skies are forecast please bring your telescope and there will be some observing after the talk.

Future Meetings

Future meeting & events include;

November 15th 2018


December 20th 2018

Christmas Social & Quiz

January 17th 2019

James Fradgely (Wimbourne Astronomical Society) - Life in the Universe

©Foredown Tower Astronomers

Federation of Atronomical Societies
Southern Area Group of Astronomical Societies