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 - Virtual Meeting - Thursday 6th October 2022

It was great to get together again at the Kindle Centre for our opening talk of the season. Roger Pickard's follow-up talk on Stellar Evolution gave us a pretty comprehensive overview on how stars of all shapes and sizes (in multiple systems or alone!) are born, live and die. Great stuff and beautifully illustrated.

Our next meeting is a zoom talk by Steve Barrett.

Steve gave us a very entertaining talk last season on the "controversial" faked Apollo moon landings of the late 1960s and early 1970s. This time Steve takes a long term look at the Universe - "The End of Everything".

Dr Steve Barrett is a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Physics at the University of Liverpool. His research interests have centred around the applications of imaging and spectroscopy to fields such as nanoscience, geomaterials, biomedical imaging and infrared spectroscopy.

His interest in astronomy predates his professional career as a physicist. He has given hundreds of astronomy-related talks to astronomical societies, special interest groups and schools to an audience totalling over 20,000 people. As a result of giving these outreach talks he was awarded the Sir Patrick Moore Prize in 2019 by the British Astronomical Association.

As always, look out for emails from Mark and Chris with details of what HAS is doing next. If you are not on our emailing list, please contact Mark and Chris for the latest news - contact details here.

Thursday 6th October 2022

7 pm - Virtual Talk

The End of Everything

Dr Steve Barrett (University of Liverpool)

Observing Highlights

At our last talk Chris mentioned some highlights to look out for this month:

  • Lunar Occultation of Uranus - Wednesday 14th September, beginning at approximately 22:28

  • Partial Solar Eclipse - Tuesday 25th. October, 1st contact approximately 10:08 (still BST, just) ending ca. 11:46

  • Lunar Occultation of Mars - Thursday 8th December, Lunar Occultation of Mars at approximately 04:57 (GMT). Note: Moon is full for this one but, this same night, Mars reaches opposition. Nowhere near the greatest angular size we have seen but at approximately -1,6 mag. bright enough not to be 'drowned out' - maybe even to the naked eye

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.

FAS News

Look out for emails from Keith with the regular FAS Newsletter and news and information about other events and talks that you may be interested in attending at FAS and other Astronomical Societies

Member's Photos

Taken any astronomy photos over the last few months? Share them here with HAS members!

Take a look at what HAS members have managed to do over the years on our Images page (here).

Keith was busy leading up to the summer break processing some image data from earlier in the year. It's amazing what image processing software can do - Keith's done a great bit of processing on the Veil Nebula to give two identical views - but one has all the stars removed!

Cygnus Veil Complex

The Veil Nebula - an emission nebulae in Cygnus

A Naked Veil

A dramatic interpretation of the nebula with all the stars removed.

Markarian's Chain

Markarian's Chain is a stretch of galaxies that forms part of the Virgo Cluster. When viewed from Earth, the galaxies lie along a smoothly curved line. Charles Messier first discovered two of the galaxies, M84 and M86, in 1781. The other galaxies seen in the chain were discovered by William Herschel. It was ultimately named after the Soviet astrophysicist, Benjamin Markarian, who discovered their common motion in the early 1960s. (Wikipedia)


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

(It's great to see how members can improve their skills at (and spend lots of money on...) astrophotography. Here's a photo of M27 that Keith took ten years ago!


With meetings now allowed indoors, we are delighted to be able to have a mix of virtual Zoom talks and talks back at the Kindle Centre. Our next meeting will be at the Kindle Centre - we look forward to seeing you!

Thursday 6th October 2022

7 pm - Virtual Talk

The End of Everything

Steve Barrett

Many of our speakers at the Virtual Talks have allowed us to record and share their talks for society members to view if they missed the meeting. 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.

The last recorded meeting was in July - here's the recording:

Thursday 7th July 2022

A talk given by Bill Barton on the 7th July 2022.

Bill is a FRAS, a member of the SHA and Deputy Director of the BAA Historical Section. Bill is a prolific researcher and writer on the history of astronomy - just take a look through the profiles of the many astronomers he's unearthed in East Anglia!

Bill's talk tells the intriguing tale of Mary Ward and her accidental death.

Observing Session:

We are pleased to announce that our observing sessions are resuming in the Autumn. As always, look out for emails from Mark and Chris giving details and any last minute alterations. We will endeavour to stick to these dates unless weather means 'sliding' it, in which case it will likely be a few days earlier or later and members will of course be advised. Each date is centred on the first Thursday after Third Quarter.

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.

We'll be holding our first observing session before the clocks go back - so look out for emails to confirm timings as we'll need to have a dark sky!

Thursday 20th October 2022

6:30 - 9 pm

Lugg Meadows TBC

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..