UCL Astrophysics Group


Astro Elevenses

8 June 2023

After the hugely popular 'Astro Afternoon Tea' last academic year, another group social was on the cards again! On the 03rd of May 2023, many group members got together for "Astro Elevenses" in the beautiful Haldane Room at UCL.

Astro Elevenses Goody Bags

Amidst an informal setting, colleagues mingled, chatted and had fun over an indulgent and delectable selection of traybakes, loaves and cakes!

Below are a few photos from the day, courtesy of our very own PhD students, Pascal Förster and Sushuang Ma, alongside a few words from some of the attendees.

Sweet treats

Entering the Haldane Room

Some kind words from PhD student, Richard Brooks: "Astro Elevenses was my first taste of a summer social event at UCL and it did not disappoint! It was fantastic to catch up with so many students, postdocs, and staff in the Astro group over some wonderful cakes, juices and tea/coffee. It’s safe to say everyone enjoyed receiving a goody bag on entry; there’s certainly been a few galaxy-inspired bouncy balls flying around the NWW offices! Looking forward to next year’s event already. A big thank you to Kay and everyone else who helped to organise such a great event."

"The Astro Elevenses party was on every astro PhD students mind from the moment Kay sent the email announcing it. The thought of sweet treats and an actual excuse not to do work for an hour was very welcomed," stated PhD student, Mark Cunningham. "Colleagues gathered in the Haldane Room and enjoyed a wonderful event filled with delicious treats and thoughtful surprises in the form of space themed goodie bags, like you use to get at birthday parties when you were young. The goodie bags were filled with space themes chocolate and sweets such as ‘Galaxy’, ‘Mars bar’, and 'Haribo Starmix’. Not only could we stuff our face with chocolate, but we also got a space themed BOUNCY BALL! Turns out you’re never too old to have fun with a bouncy ball.. From cups of tea and coffee to sweet pastries and cakes, the treats were a highlight of the gathering. The cozy and inviting space made for the perfect setting, and everyone had a great time catching up with each other. Overall, the group afternoon tea event was a resounding success and a great way to bond with colleagues. I’m already excited to see what toy we get next year in the goodie bags (please let there be another toy next year!)."

The Astro themed goody bags!

Space themed bouncy ball

Group members mingling

Food and laughter

Prof. Serena Viti stated: "The Astro Elevenses event was truly a pleasure. I enjoyed everything about it: the cakes, the "take away" little bags and, of course, the company! It really brought the group together."

Prof. Richard Ellis at the Elevenses

"The Astro Elevenses event in the Haldane Room was a huge hit with everyone who attended!” commented Prof. Richard Ellis. “It was great to see a large fraction of the entire Astrophysics group enjoying the splendid spread of cakes, biscuits and other goodies. It was also a delight to see old friends including our former Group A Head Serena Viti visiting from Leiden. Enormous thanks to Kay Nakum and Giovanna Tinetti for their foresight in proposing this get together, and for their hard work in planning this highly successful event."

Enjoying the event

Generous summary by PhD student, Vinooja Thurairethinam: "The Astro Elevenses was a delightful occasion filled with delectable treats tailored to satisfy every palate. The event provided us with a valuable opportunity to connect, celebrate, and reinforce our sense of community, creating an inviting atmosphere that encouraged us to move around, mingle, and engage in conversations. The goody bags, featuring space-themed chocolate bars and bouncy balls, were a particular hit among everyone. Many thanks to all those who worked hard to make this event happen!"

Our in-house Astro photographer!



A few words from PDRA, Dr Niall Jeffrey: “The event was an excellent chance to meet fellow researchers in the Astrophysics Group, who I might not normally see day-to-day, and to find out what they have been up to and what science they are excited about right now.”

Some fun conversations

And some more serious conversations!

Some more smiles
HoD with must-have goody bag!