Image credit: NASA Hubble Heritage

Welcome to Astronomy in Herefordshire

Latest News:

News and items of interest to Herefordshire Astronomical Society members

What's Next - Meeting - Thursday 11th November - Galaxies - One Gigayear at a time

For our next meeting, we are delighted to invite Dr Julian Onions back to give us another zoom talk. For our November talk, Julian will tell us all about galaxies - what are they, how are they classified, how are they formed, what do we understand about their lives. And lots of pretty pictures.

Please note - this talk is on the second Thursday in November!

Thursday 11th November 2021

7:00pm - Virtual Meeting

Galaxies - One Gigayear at a time

Dr Julian Onions, FRAS, Nottingham University Astronomy Department

FAS - latest Newsletter and other FAS events

Newsletter 123 September 2021 Final.pdf

Somerset levels Stargazers October Meeting 27th Oct 7:30pm - all welcome

Our Monthly meeting takes place on Wednesday 27th October, once again the meeting will also be available on Zoom for those of You who are unable or reluctant to join us. We do however encourage our members and the general public to come in person to our meeting if they can where every precaution will be taken to ensure your safety while enabling you to enjoy the camaraderie of like-minded people. We encourage the use of face masks during the meeting but unfortunately, we are unable to offer our usual refreshments for now though you may bring your own.

The meeting is free whether you come in person or join us via Zoom.

This Month we welcome Martin Griffiths Director of the Brecon Beacons Observatory with his presentation A planetary Nebula Marathon this is along with our night sky guide for October and the latest news from the world of Astronomy and Spaceflight.

We hope you can Join us


Paul Adamson

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 872 9617 8291

Passcode: 642488

Extreme Stellar Environments - a Zoom presentation - 1:30pm Saturday 13th November

An afternoon of “Extreme Stellar Environments” is yours on the afternoon of Saturday 13th November comprising 4 online talks on this theme from respected astronomy professionals focussing on their specific interests from supernovae, neutron stars, zombie stars to black holes. Guiding us through this journey of cataclysm and atom wrenching adventure is Dr Robert Massey, Deputy Executive Director of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Organised jointly by Bath Astronomers, Bristol Astronomical Society, and Cardiff Astronomical Society, this free Zoom event runs from 1:30pm to 5:30pm and is open to all. It just requires you to register your place in advance to avoid the disappointment of your name not being down. Simply visit to secure your spot.

The talks are as follows:

  • Supernovae by Dr Philip Wiseman, Southampton University

Supernovae are the explosive ends to stars’ lives and are some of the most powerful and energetic events in the Universe. Despite having been observed by humans at least as long ago as the 11th Century, it is only in the last few decades that we have begun to discover the true diversity of stellar deaths that pervade the night sky. In this talk I will outline the different routes to forming a supernova and how those differences change their appearance. I’ll describe the process of observing supernovae on a mass scale, and will highlight how this has led to some of the strangest and unexplained phenomena still puzzling astronomers today.

  • Stellar Black holes by Dr Vivien Raymond, Cardiff University

Black holes are some of the strangest, most puzzling objects in the Universe. They deform space and time to extremes, and for the longest time could only be observed indirectly via their effect on their environment. However, we are now capable of listening to the very space-time deformation they produce. In this talk I will present how we study those invisible objects with gravitational-wave observatories, and what we can learn from them.

  • How we study neutron stars by Dr Diego Alamarino, Southampton University

Neutron Stars are the most compact objects in the Universe where we can still see a surface. They are tiny 30km diameter spheres lost in the immense sky. So how is it that astronomers are able to study them? In this talk I will summarize some of the techniques used to study those Neutron Stars that interact with their nearby environments

  • The extreme physics of zombie stars by Professor Nils Andersson, Southampton University

A neutron star is born when a massive star runs out of nuclear fuel and dies in a supernova explosion. The object that emerges when the dust settles – effectively a zombie star – involves physics at the extremes of our understanding (and beyond). In this talk, I will explain how we are using astrophysical observations (both electromagnetic and through gravitational waves) to explore this physics and make progress on a range of challenging questions.

Observing Highlights

Observing highlights for this month: Telescope House - monthly night sky guide

Click link below for view of UK sky: Met Office Satellite image. UK Visible Light.

Member's Photos

Here are some lovely photos taken by Francis in mid-July. The night sky doesn't get astronomically dark in mid-summer, so these are great photos.


Swan Nebula is an HII region in the constellation Sagittarius


Caldwell 30 is an unbarred spiral galaxy about 40 million light-years away in the constellation Pegasus


Trifid Nebula is an H II region in the north-west of Sagittarius

Keith has been busy too - enjoying the recent clear nights to grab the Cocoon nebula after what seemed like weeks of cloud.


Cocoon Nebula is a reflection/emission nebula and Caldwell object in the constellation Cygnus.


Dumbbell Nebula is a planetary nebula (nebulosity surrounding a white dwarf) in the constellation Vulpecula


Crescent Nebula is an emission nebula in the constellation Cygnus


Eagle Nebula is a young open cluster of stars in the constellation Serpens - made famous as the "Pillars of Creation" imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope


There will be no meeting in August, so our next meeting is the kick-off meeting for the 2021/2022 session. With meetings now allowed indoors, we are delighted to be able to go back to the Kindle Centre for our first talk:

Thursday 11th November 2021

7:00pm - Virtual Talk

Galaxies - One Gigayear at a time

Dr Julian Onions, FRAS, Nottingham University Astronomy Department

Our speakers at the Virtual Talks have allowed us to record and share their talks for society members to view of they missed the meetings. We've started a HAS YouTube channel here where you can visit or subscribe to and watch these talks.

To watch recordings of previous talks, they are on the "Recordings" page here.

If you missed our last talk, here's the recording:

Thursday 7th October 2021

A talk given by Steve Richards (Sky at Night magazine)

Steve's talk is an introduction to deep sky imaging for beginners and for observational astronomers making the move to the slippery slope that is astrophotography. It covers equipment choices and techniques.

Observing Session:

We are pleased to announce that our observing sessions are resuming in the Autumn. Our first session is at the end of October. As always, look out for emails from Mark and Chris giving details and any last minute alterations.

If you are not on our emailing list, please contact Mark and Chris for the latest news - contact details here.

Remember that there are some great online observing guides - a good one is run by Telescope House. Look out for the monthly night sky emails from Mark and Chris.

Friday 29th October 2021

6:30 - 9 pm

Fownhope Recreation Field

Practical observing and advice session

More information here.

Star Party:

We hope to hold Star Parties again this session - Covid-19 allowing. Maybe we'll be able to run one at the Madley Environmental Study Centre (MESC) again.

MESC is right next door to the Madley Satellite Earth Station - a well known Herefordshire landmark. There are some location maps and directions to the MESC web site here.


Star Party with MESC

More information here.


Once or twice a year, members like to jump in cars or climb in a mini-bus and make their way to go and see something interesting outside of Herefordshire (passports not required - so far). Previous trips have been to the Spaceguard Centre, the International Astronomy Show, the National Space Centre, Jodrell Bank, the Norman Lockyer Observatory outside Sidmouth, the Herschel Museum in Bath and the Hanwell Community Observatory just outside Banbury.


Where would you like to go?

More information here.

Members pay for shared transport and any entrance fees as appropriate..