Other worlds: the search for a perfect home

ALVA is arranging a talk by Prof. Melvyn Davies about the search for Earth-like planets around other stars. The abstract of the talk is as follows:

Today we know of over one thousand planetary systems around other stars. Most planets found so far are either very massive (like our own Jupiter) or much closer to their host star than Mercury in our own Solar System. Earth-like planets on Earth-like orbits are hard to find but we can figure out which planetary systems could contain one by studying the other planets within a system which we do observe. For example, Earth-like planets will be ejected is there is a Jupiter-mass planet close by. Planets found on eccentric orbits provide us with evidence of a violent past when planets scattered off each other with some being ejected and others left on eccentric orbits. One would not choose to live in such a system: a unstable past could have led to the demise of civilisations throughout the Galaxy.

Thursday 13 February, 2020, 18:00

Astronomihuset, Sölvegatan 27


Astronomy Day and Night- Gaia the billion star surveyor: five years done, five more to go

ALVA, is happy to announce that Prof. Lennart Lindegren hold a talk about the Gaia satellite on the astronomy day and night. The abstract of the talk is as follows:

ESA's astrometry misson Gaia recently completed its first five years in its operational phase. In terms of science produced, Gaia may be one of the most successful astronomy missions ever. What is the secret behind its success? In this talk I will explain some of the design principles of the mission, which I think are part of the key to its success, and give a few examples of the unexpected science that resulted from the second release of Gaia data in April last year.

Saturday 28 September, 2019, 19:00

Astronomihuset, Sölvegatan 27

Gallactic Crash Tests

ALVA is arranging a talk by Dr. Florent Renaud about galactic collisions. The abstract of the talk is as follows:

The most widely accepted theory of galaxy formation claims that a major aspect of the assembly of galaxies is the interaction adn mergers with their neighbours. Such interactions are commonly observed as distorted galaxies which host violent bursts of star formation. However, the physical explanation of their peculiar shapes came relatively recently, thanks to computer simulations, and we are still working on theoris to explain the observed starbursts. During this talk, I will take you on a journey around the most beautiful galaxies and I will present how state-of-the-art simulations help us to understand the physics at stake. I will conclude on a warning note about the forthcoming collision between our galaxy tje Milky Way and its neighbour Andromeda ... Take shelter!

Thursday 28 February, 2019, 19:00

Astronomihuset, Sölvegatan 27

International Day for Women and Girls in Science

ALVA, Tycho Brahe Astronomical Society and Astronomisk Ungdom are arranging an inspirational event for the Un International Day for Women and Girls in Science. Talks will be held by students in astronomi at Lund Observatory and by astronomers wokring in Lund and at other institutes in Sweden.

Saturday 11 February, 2019, 18:30

Astronomihuset, Sölvegatan 27

ALVA and Nova Stella celebrates the Astronomy Day and Night!

To celebrate the Astronomy Day and Night (Astronomins dag och natt), ALVA colaborates with Nova Stella to hosts talks, childrens activities, posters and an art exhibition by Frida Åstrand. The theme of this event is Red Planet, Blue Planet and everyone is welcome!

Saturday 29 September, 2018, 17:00

Astronomihuset, Sölvegatan 27

Talks (given in English)

(17:00 - 17:30) - Short presentation and discussion about studying astronomy (presentation by Eric Andersson).

(17:30 - 18:15) - Talk by Sanna Alwmark from the Geology department about cratering on Mars as part of NASA:s Mars research.

(18:30 - 19:15) - Talk by Giorgi Kokaia from the Astronomy department about how our galaxy impacts life on Earth.

(19:30 - 20:15) - Talk by Matthäus Schulik from the Astronomy department about past water on Mars.

Other activites

(17:00 - 20:00) - Children activities where younger people can learn about astronomy by doing different experiments.

(17:00 - 22:30) - Art exhibition by Frida Åstrand with astronomy motives using acrylic colours (see below for more info).

(20:15 - 22:00) - Observations using the astronomy department telescope, provided the weather allows it.

The children activities will be in the Andromeda lecture hall, details of how to get there can be found in the foyer of the astronomy building. Posters and art will also be located in the foyer. Furthermore, we are very excited about hosting the art exhibition by Frida Åstrand. Visit her web page (www.konst.se/fridastrano) to see some of her artwork beforehand and come admire her beautiful paintings.

You are all very welcome! Looking forward to seeing you there!

Making sense of exoplanets

A talk by Michiel Lambrechts

Wednesday 31 Jan, 2018, 19:00

Lundmarksalen, Astronomihuset, Sölvegatan 27

We now have about two decades of observations of planets around other stars. We'll review the known exoplanet distribution. Some surprising findings, such as the fact that about half the exoplanet systems have larger-than-Earth-size planets on shorter-than-Mercury orbits, challenge the way we think planets form.

Long-baseline Interferometry: Thousand Times Sharper than Hubble!

A talk by Dainis Dravins

Monday 29 May, 2017, 19:00

Lundmarksalen, Astronomihuset, Sölvegatan 27

Much of the progress in astronomy is driven by improved imaging. To resolve details on stellar surfaces will require telescopes connected over scales of kilometers. For avoiding atmospheric turbulence, a quantum-optical technique – intensity interferometry – can be used to electronically connect distant telescopes in software. Cherenkov telescope arrays are now being built (primarily for gamma-ray studies) with telescopes spread over a few km, enabling an interferometer for visual light, somewhat analogous to that of ALMA in radio.

Planetarium show

Wednesday, May 3, 2017, 19:00

ALVA invites you to a planetarium show in Vattenhallen Science Center!

The show is called Phantom of the Universe (given in English):

The Phantom of the Universe is an exciting exploration of dark matter, from the Big Bang to its anticipated discovery at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The first hints of dark matter were found by Fritz Zwicky, the scientist who coined the term. We get to see the astral choreography witnessed by Vera Rubin in the Andromeda galaxy and then plummet deep underground to see the most sensitive dark matter detector on Earth, housed in a former gold mine. From there, we journey across space and time to the LHC at CERN, speeding alongside particles before they collide in visually stunning explosions of light and sound, while learning how scientists around the world are collaborating to track down the constituents of dark matter.

The astronomer will give a brief introduction before starting the show and welcomes questions from the audience after the show.

Recommended for ages 9 and up.

Interstellar communication; a not-so-simple, interdisciplinary response

A talk by Paul Quast

Monday 24 April, 2017, 19:00

Lundmarksalen, Sölvegatan 27

On 10th October 2016, the ‘A Simple Response to an Elemental Message’ interstellar transmission was broadcast from the European Space Agency Cebreros ground station towards the Pole Star as part of an interdisciplinary collaboration with ESA, UK Astronomy Technology Centre, University of Edinburgh and numerous other partners. While this publicly-generated signal was predominately ecological and cultural in nature, the transmission also reflected some of the profound difficulties and concerns often associated with the field of Interstellar Radio Messages (IRM) or ‘Messaging Extra-terrestrial Intelligence’ (METI).

In this lecture, Paul Quast, an independent researcher and contemporary artist who pioneered this initiative, will discuss some of the known ethical and practical challenges associated with this field and how interdisciplinary research has come to provide some of the best resolutions to these issues; be it for scientific, cultural or altruistic purposes. In this lecture, he will discuss the who’s, what’s, where’s, why’s and how’s behind A Simple Response… while relating this initiative to other IRM projects and some of the most prevailing questions apparent within interstellar communication.

The Extremely Large Telescope

A talk on the future of European ground-based astronomy by Michele Cirasuolo

Monday 3 April, 2017, 19:00

Café Athen, AF-borgen, Sandgatan 2

Note that the talk is not in Astronomihuset!

In Michele's own words:
The Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) is a revolutionary scientific facility that will allow the ESO astronomical community to address many of the most pressing unsolved questions about our Universe. The ELT is now under construction and with its 39-metre primary mirror it will be the largest optical/near-IR telescope in the world. I will present an overview of the ELT Programme, focusing on the latest status of the telescope and its instrumentation, and highlight the key science drivers.

Stargazing evening

Wednesday 14 Dec, 2016, 18:00

This Wednesday, ALVA will have another stargazing evening on the rooftop of Astronomihuset (Sölvegatan 27). Starting at 18:00, we will have a telescope out ready to show you the wonders of the night sky!


Keep a look out on the Facebook event for updates. If you are a member, you will receive a confirmation via email.

Due to the popularity of the last stargazing event, we will have a parallel activity for those who are waiting to go to the telescope! ALVA's Kristiina will hold a short tutorial, titled "Stories of the Night Sky", on how to find the main constellations in Lund's winter night sky and tell some of the stories behind them.

Cookies and tea/coffee will be provided as well!

We meet at the entrance of Astronomihuset at 18:00. Don't forget to dress extra warm!

Stargazing evening

Friday 2 Dec, 2016, 18:00

This Friday ALVA will have a stargazing evening on the rooftop of Astronomihuset (Sölvegatan 27). We will have a telescope out ready to show you the wonders of the night sky! We will meet at the entrance of Astronomihuset at 18:00.

For more information and updates about the weather etc., see our Facebook event.

Join us, bring your friends and family! And don't forget to dress extra warm!

Hunting for black holes in the galaxy

A talk by Melvyn B. Davies

Monday 17 Oct, 2016, 19:00 (coffe/tea at 18:45)

Lundmarksalen, Sölvegatan 27

In Melvyn's own words:
Black holes are in fact spread throughout our Galaxy. A supermassive one sits at the very heart of the Galactic Centre. Many others orbit stars similar to our own sun within binary systems. Beyond our Galaxy, at huge distances, black-hole binaries spiral together and merge emitting vast amounts of energy. In this talk, I will review all of these objects and explain three ways to hunt for black holes making use of motion, heat and gravitational waves.


Monday, April 25, 2016, 18:00

On Monday, April 25 at 18:00 there will be a free planetarium show at Vattenhallen for ALVA members. The show is called "Kosmiskt ljus" (more info here) and is given in Swedish.

Due to limited seating (30) we ask you to sign up for this event, which you can do by sending an email to alva.astro.lu@gmail.com with the names of everyone that are coming. If a lot of people sign up, it is possible that we do a second show later the same evening.

We hope to see you there!


On April 11 weather conditions were great and we had an awesome observation night with many cool objects visible. A big thank you to Daniel Michalik, Petter Thorén and Brian Thorsbro for leading the observation and setting up the telescopes. And thank you to the 50 people that showed up!

Full list of objects observed:

The Moon
M42/M43 (Orion Nebula)
M45 (Pleiades)
NGC 884 + NGC 869 (Double Cluster)
M81 + M82 (Bode and Cigar galaxies)
M13 (Hercules Globular Cluster)


A talk by Alexey Bobrick.
On Tuesday the 15th of March Nova Stella and ALVA organize a talk on the topic of the newly detected gravitational waves.
The talk is scheduled to be in Lundmarkssalen, at 18.00. As always there will be fika a few minutes beforehand.

For more past events, see our old website.


ALVA is an astronomy club for students in Lund. The purpose of the club is to provide a place for science students and other people interested in astronomy to get inspiration and to experience how exciting the Universe can be. ALVA arranges astronomy-related activities like public lectures, stargazing nights, planetarium shows and workshops. We arrange an event roughly once a month, usually in the Lund Observatory building (Astronomihuset, Sölvegatan 27)

ALVA is primarily for students at Lund University or LTH who studies (or has studied) physics, but anyone with an interest in astronomy is welcome to join us! No background in astronomy is necessary and joining is completely free. Most of our communication and activities are conducted in English, but we reply to e-mails or questions in Swedish as well.

ALVA also has a Facebook page which is updated regularly with information about our events and other interesting facts about astronomy.

We also cooperate as much as possible with the Tycho Brahe Astronomical Society and Nova Stella. In addition to this, we work closely with and are hosted by the Department of Astronomy and Theoretical Physics at Lund Observatory and if you have any questions about courses in astronomy there, we are happy to help.

If you have any further questions, feel free to send an email to alva.astro.lu@gmail.com.


Kaltrina Kajtazi

Kaltrina Kajtazi


Ivalu Christensen

Ivalu Christensen


Viktor Jónsson

Viktor Jónsson


Johan Appelgren

Johan Appelgren


Martin Montelius

Martin Montelius

Board member

Jonathan Petersson

Jonathan Petersson

Board member

Alvaro Segovia

Alvaro Segovia

Board member

Megan Pochler

Megan Pochler

Board member

Rebecca Forsberg

Rebecca Forsberg

Board member

Oscar Andersson

Oscar Andersson

Board member

Hyerin Jang

Hyerin Jang

Board member


ALVA is a member of Akademiska Föreningen (AF), which means that we have two membership classes: member and public. The membership class "member" requires you to be a member of AF and gives you voting rights in the board meetings, while "public" is for non-students interested in our public events.

AF logo

To join ALVA, you can fill in the registration form below and mail it to alva.astro.lu@gmail.com, or print it out and hand it in to any of our board members at one of our events.

Registration form (PDF)

Registration form (Word)

After registration, you will receieve our newsletter informing you about upcoming events etc.

You are also welcome to show up at any of our events unannounced, unless the event specifically calls for registration beforehand. The events are typically held at Astronomihuset, Sölvegatan 27, Lund.

Join up to not miss any events!