Beginner’s Meetings List

Brief aims

  1. To enable people who are new to astronomy to find their way around the night sky and to understand what they are looking at.
  2. To provide support and help for beginners wanting to learn how to use a telescope.


We will start at 7.30 and serve hot drinks and biscuits during the evening.

Please remember to wrap-up warmly and if you bring a torch, one with a red light (e.g. rear cycle light) is preferable. Mobile phone lights are not suitable when observing.

Admission costs £2.00 (£1.00 for children over 10 and children 10 or under FREE). Hot drink and biscuit 50p.

The programme from September 2019 to May 2020 will cover introductory subjects, double stars, galaxies and a look at how our modern understanding of the universe developed. Month by month, we will also be looking at different constellations and, weather permitting, we will go outside to find them in the night sky. We will not assume any prior knowledge, but will take some topics far enough to ensure that those who have been before can learn something new. The planets are not well positioned for observation over this period of time, but we will look at them when possible. We will also be looking at double stars and a variety of other objects in the sky; as always it will depend on the weather. Objects such as double stars can look very nice in binoculars, so if you have any, please bring them along. There are always society members present at the beginners’ meetings who are happy to give advice and help, e.g. with how to use a telescope (you can bring yours along if you have one), buying a telescope, photography etc.

Beginners' sessions contact

For further information contact beginners organiser, John –

Recommended books

There are many, many astronomy books for beginners. Choosing a suitable book depends very much on your personal preferences – don’t take our word for it!

If you just want to get more familiar with the night sky then StarFinder for Beginners published by DK is a new and beautifully illustrated book well worth looking at.

Another worth considering is Turn Left at Orion by Guy Consolmagno and Dan M. Davis (Cambridge University Press) – 31 Jan 2019 edition. This book is quite expensive and is one to grow into if you have a telescope.

Recommended software

Stellarium – free planetarium software.

Handouts and links

Links to external sites are provided for additional information. We do not endorse such websites; we are not responsible for, and cannot be held liable for their content.