Hertford Astronomy Group

2015-16 Programme

Membership details:

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Past, Present and Future Events

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Bayfordbury Open Evenings

Open Evenings at Bayfordbury Observatory:

27 November 2015

22 January 2016

26 February 2016

18 March 2016

Free entry to members of HAG if you help out with recruitment stand or Back Garden Telescope Display by the domes.  Let the Programme Secretary (Alan) know if you intend to attend.

Institute of Physics Lectures University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield

Is Pluto a Planet?


Jerry Stone  

Lindop Building

College Lane Campus, Hatfield

Wednesday 2 December 2015 at 7.00pm

Free to attend but as a courtesy please email Diane to let her know of your intention to attend.


What is an Aurora?

What causes It?

What do we know about the Aurora?

Can we see any from the UK?

What happens at our meetings?

Doors open at 7:30 for the meeting due to start at 8:00 but several club members and friends gather before this to have a drink and chat in the bar.

Following welcome announcements we have a guest speaker who speaks on the subject of the evening for about 45 - 60 minutes.  This is followed by questions relating to the talk.

Announcements about forthcoming events follow.

You can then choose from the following activities:

  1. If the weather is clear telescopes and binoculars brought by members are set up outside for some observation.  Members doing so will be pleased to share their scopes with others.
  2. If you need help with some equipment then now is your chance to bring it in.  Others in our club will be more than willing to help you .  Don’t be shy, we get just as excited about a telescope bought at the charity shop for £20 as we do one costing many times more.
  3. Just socialise with others - about anything!

We look forward to seeing you.

December 9


Jim Hough

8:00 - 10:00pm

Doors open at 7:30 although the bar is open earlier for a drink or meal.


Meetings held at:

Fairway Tavern

Panshanger Golf Complex

Old Herns Lane,

Welwyn Garden City,



Tel:01707 336007

9 September 2015  

 Roger O'Brien  

 25 Years of the Hubble Space Telescope  


14 October 2015  

Elias Brinks  

Unveiling the invisible sky: the power of  radio astronomy   


11 November 2015  

 Matthew Page

 UVOT - Catching Gamma Ray Bursts on the  Fly  

 9 December 2015  

 Jim Hough  



13 January 2016  

 Dave Eagle  


10 February 2016  

 Martin Begley  

 Stellar Spectroscopy  


9 March 2016  

 Rae Walter  

 Tycho Brahe  


13 April 2016  

 Steve Fossey  

 Finding a Super Nova!  


11 May 2016  

 Bill Martin  

 Astro Biology Little Green Things-Detecting  Life on Earth and Exoplanets  


8 June 2016  

 Mark Wrigley  

 Pikonic - Disruptive Technologies  

Imaging astronomical objects can be both aesthetically pleasing and informative and of course often technically challenging.  However, in many cases photometry can provide far more information; e.g. eclipsing binaries, extrasolar planet transits.  I will discuss how photometry is best carried out and in particular some of the common problems.

About Professor James Hough

Centre for Astrophysics Research, University of Hertfordshire.

He led the astronomy research programme at the University of Hertfordshire for almost 40 years, retiring as Director of the Centre for Astrophysics in 2010. The Centre has over 60 researchers and covers a wide range of astronomy from exoplanets to high-redshift galaxies.

He has published ~200 refereed papers with a majority of these based on polarimetric observations in the optical and near-infrared using instruments designed and built by himself and used at major observatories in Australia, Hawaii and the Canary Islands.  

Professor Hough was awarded the Daiwa-Adrian prize for UK-Japan scientific collaborations in 1998, and the Royal Astronomical Society Herschel Medal in 2010.


Anyone that may be planning to visit Bayfordbury on the 27th November, that we have advance notice that St Mary’s Lane in Hertingfordbury will be closed between 16th November and 14th December 2015. This is to enable contractors to undertake essential services work.