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 9th July 2020

    Many thanks to Jeremy Shears for his talk on variable stars and cataclysmic variables. We recorded the Zoom talk and if you missed it you can view it on YouTube here.

    We hope to hold further Virtual Meetings for members to chat and share problems and experience on anything astronomical. As before, we'll be using the Zoom video conferencing app for this. We will send you an email with a web link which will take you to the Zoom conference session for the talk. If you've not used Zoom before, we've got some information 

    If you are not on our emailing list and do not currently receive emails from us, please contact Mark or Chris to be added to our mailing list - their contact details are here.

    On the 9th, Rob and Martin will share some thoughts and experiences around astro imaging. Rob's got some photos taken at our Fownhope observing site and addresses the puzzle "The Horsehead....Often discussed but seldom seen....but why?". Martin's responding to a couple of queries from our last informal meeting - "what's the magnification" and "focusing". Do join us to share your experiences or challenges to see if anyone else has managed to solve them!

    Thursday 9th July 2020
    7:00pm - Virtual Meeting
    HAS Informal Meeting
    Virtual meeting for Society members to chat and share experiences, thoughts and stories on anything under the skies 

  • Next talk -  Thursday 23rd July
The next monthly talk will be given by Julian Onions, Nottingham University Astronomy department
Monday 23rd July 2020
7:00pm - Virtual Talk
Cold Dark Matter 
Julian Onions, Nottingham University Astronomy department

More information here.

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

  • Society trip to Hanwell Community Observatory and Oxford 
Another marvellous society trip organised by Paul. Here are some piccies taken by Francis and Martin. On Friday we visited Hanwell Community Observatory where we were given a tour by Chris Archer of the quite remarkable and historic telescopes before we retreated to Hanwell Castle's Coach House where Chris had laid out many more historic books, manuscripts and equipment for us to peruse. Rounded off by a visit for some grub at the aptly named "Moon & Sixpence" in Hanwell village.

Hanwell Observatory Hanwell Castle

The following day we headed off to Oxford where we met 
Dr Lee Macdonald who gave us a private behind the scenes tour of Oxford's History of Science Museum. What a privilege - ranging from a small blackboard with Albert Einstein's chalked equations written in Einstein's own hand on 16th May 1931 while giving a series of three lectures on his theory of relativity; to Islamic astrolabes beautifully engraved in brass dating from 9th and 10th centuries; to an ancient specimen closely examining an original first edition of the first printed astronomy book and a first edition of our very own Rev T W Webb's "Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes:

Einstein's blackboard Islamic astrolabe

Astronomy book Rev Webb

In the afternoon we were joined by Chris again who took us on a walking tour around Oxford's many many astronomically linked historical sites. Thanks Paul - another excellent society trip enjoyed by all.


    Our speakers at the Virtual Meetings have allowed us to record and share their talks for society members to view of they missed the meetings. Here are the first two talks

    • Thursday 28th May - Gerard Gilligan - 12th Annual Webb Lecture - William Lassell - here
    • Monday 22nd June - Jeemy Shears - An introduction to variable star astronomy and cataclysmic variables - here
    Our next meetings:
    Thursday 9th July 2020
    7:00pm - Virtual Meeting
    HAS Informal Meeting
    Virtual meeting for Society members to chat and share experiences, thoughts and stories on anything under the skies.

    Thursday 23rd July 2020
    7:00pm - Virtual Talk
    Cold Dark Matter
    Julian Onions, Nottingham University Astronomy department
    More information here.

    Observing Session:

    We start our observing sessions in October and after the clocks change we'll be able to start the sessions a bit earlier - look out for emails from Mark with timings and details.

    We plan to continue to use the Fownhope Recreation Field site and are also exploring a location in Bartestree for our observing evenings.

    So come and talk to new or more experienced society members - hopefully have a look through some telescopes and binoculars at the night sky. Share your thoughts, pick up some observing tips and recommendations, discuss your astronomical problems and projects, bring your own equipment for advice on how best to use it. We may change the observing meeting to another evening if the weather forecast indicates it would be better. Members can bring their own refreshments although we don't expect to have access to The Pavilion if we need cover (there's always The Greenman or The New Inn if needs must!). Look out for the latest news on this website and we'll email out any change to arrangements to members.

    Thursday 19th March 2020
    6:30 - 9:00pm
    Fownhope Recreation Field / Bartestree Village Hall CANCELLED 
    Practical observing and advice session.
    More information here. 

    Star Party:

    Our next event is the Star Party at Madley Environmental Study Centre (MESC).

    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 and the Herschel Museum in Bath.

    This session we are planning a visit to the Hanwell Community Observatory just outside Banbury and the following day we have a guided tour around Oxford. This will require an overnight stay - details and recommended accommodation to be advised.

    Friday 28th - Saturday 29th February 2020

    Hanwell Community Observatory and Oxford.
    More information here. 

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