Speaking from experience
David's presentations have been appreciated by audiences over many years - whether on cruise ships or with Warner Leisure Hotels, Astronomy clubs, Physics conferences...
The latest space images, remarkable video footage, amazing achievements... Talks on board are always backed up by viewing sessions up on deck. At night at sea - what better place to see the night sky. Wherever the cruise takes you there is always something new...
Help is at hand while on board or when you get home.
I meant to ask - What was that app? - Which telescope?
No problem - David is always available to ask or find out at starlearner.com...
What to see in the Night Sky - Tips to help you see more. Star hopping to find the constellations. Where and when to see the planets. How best to view comets, meteor showers and special events. Free software available to you. Check out what you can see in viewing sessions with David whilst on board. Might be a late night!
The Wonder of the Northern Lights - What causes the Northern Lights? The best times for viewing. Advice for a viewing session - from what to wear through to your photography.
The Light of the Arctic North - Find out how white snow and ice becomes a highly colourful region of breathtaking beauty. The myths and legends of the Arctic people linked with the Aurora. Inuit using snow blink and water sky to navigate. How we get to see Sun Dogs, Sun Pillars, Haloes...
Eclipses - Have a look at how eclipses of the Moon and Sun take place and the cycles that allow the accurate prediction of location and time. See some of the photos that David has taken - and how to plan to see an eclipse. Hear about the recent Great American Eclipse.
Kitt Peak National Observatory, Arizona - Kitt Peak is the largest group of major telescopes in the world. How it came into being and the wonderful array of telescopes that have been built. Tremendous discoveries in the past to new developments for the future. A look around a very special observatory.
Mauna Kea Observatory, Hawaii - A tour around a spectacular observatory with an incredible array of telescopes, including the world’s most powerful telescope. The conditions at 4,000 metres high and how astronomers operate the wonderful instruments. Future telescopes on the mountain top.
James Cook’s expedition to Tahiti in 1769 - A famous adventure to the other side of the world that transformed Astronomy. The importance of timing the transit of Venus that allowed astronomers to find out the size of our Solar System.
A look back at the history of telescopes - From Galileo and Newton’s time to Hubble. The history of telescopes and how they have been used to extend our understanding of the Universe.
Constellations - From teapots to saucepans, clocks to weighing scales - the way constellations in our night skies have been viewed by different civilizations.
All aboard for a tour of our Solar System! - Our Solar System is full of amazing sights. We fly towards the Sun on the same journey that comets make from beyond Pluto. The talk includes some of the most amazing images ever taken in space.
Our Moon - The Moon gives us our tides, protection from meteorites... Find out how and when the Moon was formed. Man’s visits to the Moon. Seas and craters, even marshes and lakes!
You are made from Stardust : over 4 billion years in the making - A look back to when the Universe began and how we came into being all these years later. A lot has been happening!
Is there anybody there? - Life on Mars? Exoplanets… What are the chances of life out there? How can you be involved in the search? Much is planned for future missions.
Near Earth Objects : the danger to our planet from meteorites - Our planet has been the target of meteorite hits since its formation 4.5 billion years ago. What happened to cause the dinosaurs to die out suddenly? Some special impact craters around the globe in Australia, Germany and the United States. Are we safe from future hits?
Space rocks : making an impact - Asteroids, meteorites, comets... Looking at their effect on other planets and moons in our Solar System. The Deep Impact mission and its findings - and yes, David was on board! Find out how!!
The Life Cycle of Stars - Stars have life cycles that make them behave in mind-boggling ways. From an average star like our own to supergiants, white dwarfs, binary stars... There are so many different types. How stars work and what will become of them - from supernovae to plain just fizzling out. What will happen to our Sun?
Telescopes of the future : Astronomy tricks of the trade - The new James Webb telescope to replace Hubble. The Square Kilometre Array. Satellites the size of shoeboxes! Have a look at the clever tricks of the trade that astronomers use to make telescopes extra special so that they can see even more detail. Find out how you can see night sky objects even when you don’t know where to look!
What has the Space Programme given us? - Have a look at some of the incredible spinoffs that we benefit from as a result of man travelling into space (and no, WD-40 was not one of them)!
Equinoxes - Astronomy and sailing come together as we look at the importance of positioning the Sun at noon. The changing lengths of days around the globe. How we can use the Equinox to measure the size of planet Earth from on board.
The Summer Solstice - Time for celebrations and how different countries celebrate the Summer Solstice. A look at Stonehenge and the theories about its purpose. The changing lengths of days around the globe. How we can use the Solstice to measure the size of planet Earth - with the help of the Captain!
Time : it may not be what it seems! - A look at sundials, clocks and other timepieces. Our calendar and how it came into being. The famous Harrison clocks to help solve the problem of longitude for sailors. A day, a year and what happens when you are on different planets. What is happening to our days on Earth and the atomic clock.
Following the Christmas Star - Just what did the wise men see in the night sky that led them to Bethlehem? Was it a star, a group of the bright planets, a comet or an asteroid maybe? Let’s look at the possibilities.
Astronomy Selection Boxes - Talks of a different style given each week on longer cruises (there is a box for every week of the cruise). Each talk follows a similar line being split into 4 sections. These were talks given on a recent cruise to Australia:-
Southern Hemisphere night sky treats - looking at one object visible from on board
Astronomy practical of the day - a practical carried out live in the auditorium (for example - astronomers can tell what chemicals are in a star light years away : passengers can use a CD to find what chemicals are in the light bulbs in the auditorium!)
Observatory of the week - a look around an observatory near to our route
Astronomer of the week - someone special, linked with one or all of the above items