Image credit: NASA  Hubble Heritage

Welcome to Astronomy in Herefordshire.

Latest News:

News and new items of interest to Herefordshire Astronomical Society members

  • Observing evening to see the Lunar Eclipse and Mars at Opposition - 27th July

    Oh fickle weather.
    We stood with baited breath betwixt fiery orb and ghostly neighbour
    awaiting the rise of the ghost,
    bloodied and dimmed by our passage through the heavens.
    But, oh, you vengeful gods, what is this you do to us mortals.
    One day scorch the earth with breathless fire from the orb,
    the next day the same. 
    But this day, as we stand awaiting the bloodied ghost to rise in the East,
    you fill the skies with thick blankets of waterless cloud
    such that the ground gets no succour
    yet we stand blind to the wonders of the heavens.

  • What's Next - Monthly talk at the Kindle Centre - Thursday 6th September 2018

    We've come to the end of the 2017/2018 Season of talks and visits at HAS. Your committee will be putting together the 2018/2019 programme over the summer so look out for emails and updates on this website. As always, we'll meet on the first Thursday each month from September through to July - so put the dates in your diary now.

    Thursday 6th September 2018
    7-9 pm

                            • Member's photo
                              Here's a rare photo of noctilucent clouds. Ken took this photo on 26th June from Preston Wynne:
                              Noctilucent Clouds

                            • Society Visit to Madley BT Communication Centre and Earth Station - 5th April 
                              We were very lucky with our April meeting visit the Madley BT Communication Centre and Earth Station - no rain! Ian Collins kindly showed us round the site and facilities and did a grand job and thanks to Bob Bowden for organising the visit for us. The big dishes are impressive close up - although size doesn't seem to matter so much with more sensitive receivers and more powerful satellites.

                              There's some information about the site and services supported at Madley here.


                            • Visit to Norman Lockyer Observatory and Herschel Museum, Bath - 10-11th March
                              Members who were able to go on the society trip to the Norman Lockyer Observatory outside Sidmouth and the Herschel Museum in Bath had a great weekend. As David put it "a really enjoyable and stimulating time away. Thanks for organising it Paul.".

                              Here's a photo of the intrepid party taken by Ken's wife in the garden where Sir William Herschel discovered Uranus in 1781:

                              Uranus garden

                              Next Meeting:

                              That's the end of the 2017/2018 season - look out for emails with details of the new programme for 2018/2019 and we'll put them here as soon as they're confirmed.

                              Thursday 6th September 2018
                              7 - 9 pm

                              at the Kindle Centre Belmont Road Hereford HR2 7JE  (Next to ASDA - more information here

                              Next Observing Session:

                              Well, we're near enough at mid-summer's day - which is good news for astronomers - the days are getting shorter and the days are getting longer !

                              We are proposing to use Fownhope Recreation Field for our observing sessions later this year. There is hard standing by the Pavillion at the end of the drive for us to park and set up equipment. Chris and Mark have checked out the facility and it looks to be a good dark site with excellent 360 degree visibility. We will also have more flexibility with timings - so we can stay later than 9pm if we have some clear skies. We will also have a bit more flexibility on the days - so if the Thursday is forecast to be cloudy but Wednesday or Friday look better we should be able to switch our observing evening.

                              We start our observing sessions in October and after the clocks change on 28th October we'll be able to start the sessions a bit earlier - look out for emails from Mark with timings and details.

                              We still want to keep in contact with Berrington Hall (The National Trustas they've been very good to us over the last few years. Hopefully we can continue to run Star Parties for them.

                              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 the 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 Pavillion of 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.

                              11th October 2018
                              6:30 - 9 pm
                              Fownhope Recreation Field
                              Practical observing and advice session.
                              More information here. 

                              Next Star Party:

                              We had a great Star Party with the Madley Environmental Study Centre (MESC) on 22nd February. The clouds managed to clear out of the way in the evening so we were able to give a mix of talks by Mark and observing through half a dozen or so telescopes and binoculars brought along by society members. For some grown ups and children attending it was the first time they'd looked through a telescope and seen the moon close up or looked at stars, clusters and nebulae - much to their delight. For pretty much all of us, it was the first time we'd heard of and seen the "Lunar X" - only visible for a couple of hours each month (here).

                              Next Star Party TBD.

                              TBD Star Party
                              More information here. 

                              Next Visit:

                              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 and this year a weekend trip that took in the Norman Lockyer Observatory outside Sidmouth and the Herschel Museum in Bath.

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

                              Next visit TBD.


                              Where would you like to go ?
                              This year the society visited the Norman Lockyer Observatory, the Lockyer Technology Centre (radio astronomy) and the Planetarium in Sidmouth, Devon. It was a great weekend.

                              If there's somewhere you'd like us to organise a trip to - drop a member of the committee a line with your suggestion (contact details here).