Outreach and Public Engagement

Our Astronomy Outreach and Public Engagement program is managed by the Outreach Leader in Astronomy, Dr Sadie Jones. Sadie also facilitates the Soton Astrodome, our mobile planetarium program which typically visits 45 local schools every year. The Astrodome visits are presented by Astronomy Undergrads and PhD students who form #OurGreatestTeam.

Further Reading:

Find out more about booking the dome
Get more information on #OurGreatestTeam (right).
To email Dr Jones and make an enquiry click here

Outreach Staff

Dr. Sadie Jones

Dr Sadie Jones is the Outreach Leader in Astronomy at the University of Southampton. She manages the Soton Astrodome mobile planetarium school visits with her team of PhD and undergraduate students and presents talks and comedy sets on her own astrophysics research. She also organises large astronomy events, such as the SETI Cipher Challenge, Stargazing Live evenings, and #AstroAirport.

Dr. Rob Firth

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STFC Public Engagement Awards


In February 2016 we won an STFC small award of £7,100 to engage the public at Southampton Airport with exciting research from the Supernova Group. For more information on this exciting project you can watch Dr Sadie Jones give a presentation on it at the Communicating Astronomy with the Public Conference in Colombia in May 2016.

We spoke with over 450 people over 4 days at the airport and there were several prize winners.


In April 2016, a team from the Astronomy group led by John Coxon applied for an STFC Public Engagement Large Award for £36,000 to engage schools and the public with the exciting research from our Space Environment Physics group. The grant aims to do this by means of a planeterrella, an incredible artificial demonstration of the Northern Lights, which lets us bring the majesty and awe of the aurora to people in and around Southampton. If you're a teacher or event organiser who'd like to book a demonstration, or a member of the public who'd like to find out more, please visit the planeterrella's website, where you can find out about the physics behind the aurora, learn about the UK's research into the aurora and related topics, or book a show!

Engagements in 2015


Yearly Astrodome Visits


Positive Feedback



Southampton Astronomy In The News

Data from dead satellite advances understanding of superheated cosmic plasmas (20/11/17)

Cosmic explosion challenges astronomers' knowledge of exploding stars (17/11/17)

Data from dead satellite gives galactic insight (15/11/17)

Astronomers discover new type of cosmic explosion (14/11/17)

Jupiter study reveals independent pulses of X-ray auroras (06/11/17)

The independent pulse of Jupiter's X-ray auroras (31/10/17)

Scientists penetrate mystery of raging black hole beams (30/10/17)

Astronomers explore mystery of powerful black hole 'Death Star' style beams (30/10/17)

Gravitational waves produced by colliding neutron stars detected for the first time (16/10/17)

Scientists detect first gravitational waves produced by colliding neutron stars (16/10/17)

Royal Society International Exchanges scheme forges new collaboration with Argentina (13/10/17)

Cassini's end marks new beginnings for Saturn (13/09/17)

University small satellite moves one step closer to space flight (18/08/17)

Festival-goers inspired by astronomy research at Glastonbury Science Tent (13/07/17)

Southampton astronomer has asteroid named in his honour for ongoing scientific legacy (23/06/17)

Scientist works with NASA on world's first neutron star mission (09/06/17)

Star discovered in closest known orbit around likely black hole (20/03/17)

Discover PlayDoh planets and a live planetarium at Science and Engineering Day 2017 (17/03/17)

Physics and Astronomy scientists take their research to Parliament (13/03/17)

Physics and Astronomy commended for increasing the representation of women in academia (10/02/17)

Southampton researchers use high energy X-rays to peer beneath the obscuring skin of growing black holes (24/01/17)