Hertford Astronomy Group

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Meetings held at:

Fairway Tavern

Panshanger Golf Complex

Old Herns Lane,

Welwyn Garden City,



Tel:01707 336007

What happens at our meetings?

Doors open at 7:00 for the pre meeting show of astro photographs taken by group members followed by main meeting arrival from 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.  No need to book - just turn up.

September 13 8:00pm

40 Years of Voyager

Roger O’Brien

Voyager 1 is a space probe launched by NASA on September 5, 1977. Part of the Voyager program to study the outer Solar System, Voyager 1 launched 16 days after its twin, Voyager 2. Having operated for 39 years, 9 months and 9 days as of today (June 14, 2017), the spacecraft still communicates with the Deep Space Network to receive routine commands and return data. At a distance of 138 AU (2.06×1010 km) from the Sun as of March 2017, it is the farthest spacecraft from Earth as well as the farthest man-made object. It is also the most distant object in the solar system whose specific location is known, even farther than Eris (96 AU) and V774104 (~103 AU).

The probe's primary mission objectives included flybys of Jupiter, Saturn, and Saturn's large moon, Titan. While the spacecraft's course could have been altered to include a Pluto encounter by forgoing the Titan flyby, exploration of the moon, which was known to have a substantial atmosphere, took priority. It studied the weather, magnetic fields, and rings of the two planets and was the first probe to provide detailed images of their moons.

After completing its primary mission with the flyby of Saturn on November 20, 1980, Voyager 1 began an extended mission to explore the regions and boundaries of the outer heliosphere. On August 25, 2012, Voyager 1 crossed the heliopause to become the first spacecraft to enter interstellar space and study the interstellar medium. Voyager 1's extended mission is expected to continue until around 2025, when its radioisotope thermoelectric generators will no longer supply enough electric power to operate any of its scientific instruments.

Roger O’Brien

Roger has been an amateur astronomer since 1957. He

worked in a bank for 26 years, then went to university

and got a degree in astronomy. Now he is a tutor (in

astronomy and planetary science) for the Open University

and lectures in astronomy for other institutions.  He is the President of our club.

2017-18 Programme

13 September 2017

Roger O'Brien  

40 Years of Voyager


27 September 2017  

Damien Peach



11 October 2017  

Sue Nelson

Women in Space  

8 November 2017  


Pulsars: The 50th Anniversary


13 December 2017  

Colin Stuart

13 Journeys Through Time And Space  

10 January 2018  

John Collins

Proxima Centauri

14 February 2018  

Paul Money

Images of the Universe - Part 2

14 March 2018  


Juno & Jupiter


11 April 2018  

Derek McNally  

60 Years of Astronomy


9 May 2018  

Stuart Eves

The World of Small Satellites



13 June 2018  

Jerry Stone  

Time for Space

Free Weather Widget
YoWindow.com yr.no

Institute of Physics Lectures University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield


 28 June 2017


 Gaia revolutionising Astronomy


Richard Smart  


Lindop Building

College Lane Campus, Hatfield

Wednesday 28 June 2017 at 7.00pm

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

Draft Minutes of 2017 AGM More Details

Membership details:

Download Application Form

Observing the Sun Safely

Extra - Solar Observing Session

Following the very successful meeting about how to observe the sun safely we will be running another demonstration prior to our meeting on the 14th June starting at 7:00pm at the fariway Tavern.  So, if you missed the previous session here is your chance to have a go.

Keep your fingers crossed that the sun will be visibly shining.  Any of you who also own solar observing kit are welcome to bring it along and share it with our visitors.


British-born NASA Astronaut Mike Foale visits Milton Keynes on Saturday 24th June 2017 for a special event on the 20th anniversary of the Mir Space Station collision.

Standard Tickets only £25.00 with discount code "MIR23".

Student & VIP ticket options also available.

Mike Foale flew in space on 6 Space Shuttle missions including extended stays aboard the Russian Mir Space Station and taking command of the International Space Station.

He performed a spacewalk to fix the Hubble Space Telescope making him the first British citizen to walk in space.

Mike Foale was resident on Mir at the time when a spacecraft collided with the station, puncturing the hull, damaging the solar arrays and putting the station in a life threatening spin. It was his calculations that rescued both the Space Station and its crew.

Meet and greet with Mike, hear about his career in NASA and as a record-holding astronaut during a live lecture presentation, participate in an audience Q&A and witness a live on-stage interview with Mike regarding his new book and upcoming Hollywood movie about his astronaut career.... and leave with both a photograph and autograph to preserve the memories.

Everyone will receive a limited edition signed montage itself worth £25.00 each at no extra charge!

Further details about the event can be found here https://AstroMikeFoaleLive.eventbrite.co.uk?discount=MIR23.

Please contact me if you are interested in a large group booking.

I will send this email again nearer to the event as a reminder.

I look forward to hearing from you and welcoming you to the event.


Rowland Lindill

The Armchair Astronaut ™




Fancy a bit of learning?

Postgraduate Diploma in Astronomy at the University of York


The programme is taught wholly online, for maximum flexibility of learning, with optional residential weekends in York for the opportunity to meet your fellow students and staff, engage in discussion and share your knowledge of railway studies.


This programme will offer home astronomers, who may have graduated in subjects other than physics, the opportunity to gain a formal postgraduate qualification in Astronomy and Astrophysics, and is designed to give students a robust and up-to-date background in these areas. Over the course of two years, we will explore the solar system, stellar physics, infra-red, radio and high energy astronomy, as well as discussing the foundations of cosmology.


The Centre for Lifelong Learning has provided high-quality distance learning opportunities for almost a decade. Aimed at anyone wishing to learn in a flexible fashion, and requiring only basic IT skills to engage, our provision has attracted students from across the globe. We’d very much like to welcome you to our growing community of learners.


For further information about the course and how to apply please see our website. Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.


Thank you.

Best wishes


Emily Limb

Courses Administrator

Centre for Lifelong Learning

University of York



Tel: 01904 328482

email: emily.limb@york.ac.uk

website: https://www.york.ac.uk/lifelonglearning/

(Please note that we are merely passing the message on and not endorsing it in any form, but we would be interested to hear from anyone who does sign up.

Alan - Chairman HAG)

June 4th 2017 - Wheathampstead

Stevenage Armillary

26th August

If you have visited Stevenage Town Centre you may have noticed this sculpture.  To find out what it is, does and why it is there Jerry Stone has arranged with Stevenage Town Centre Management for us to go along and let the public (and us) know its purpose.

Why not come along and wave the flag for the club?

More details to follow!