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.

2017-18 Programme

13 September 2017

Roger O'Brien  

40 Years of Voyager


27 September 2017  

Damian Peach



11 October 2017  

Sue Nelson

Women in Space  

8 November 2017  

Derek Jones

The Isaac Newton Telescope: the 50th Anniversary


13 December 2017  

Colin Stuart

13 Journeys Through Time And Space  

10 January 2018  

Paul Money

Images of the Universe - Part 2

14 February 2018  

John Collins

Proxima Centauri

14 March 2018  

Nigel Henbest

Cosmic Quest


11 April 2018  

Derek McNally  

60 Years of Astronomy


9 May 2018  

Stuart Eves

The Future is out of this World



13 June 2018  

Jerry Stone  

Time for Space

Draft Minutes of 2017 AGM

Membership details:

Download Application Form

Stevenage Armillary

23 September

The Stevenage Mystery Object Explained

Bayfordbury Observatory Open Evenings

20 October - Volunteers wanted to bring scopes and man the recruitment stand - please contact Alan chair@hertsastro.org.uk

We thought that you might also be interested in this talk given by our committee member Denis O’Shea

Special event

"My Telescope Doesn’t Work!"

Sunday 29 October - Lemsford Village Hall - 7:00-9:00pm

Are you having problems with your telescope? Are you unsure which end to look in or where to plug it in?  Well, maybe things aren’t that bad, but maybe you’d like some help - either with equipment that you have or if you’re thinking of buying something.

Back by popular demand, we present another session of “My Telescope Doesn’t Work!”, where you can find out about different types of telescopes, mounts, eyepieces and other items.

This special event will take place on Sunday 29 October at Lemsford Village Hall, Brocket Road, Lemsford, Welwyn Garden City AL8 7TT.

The main part of the event, with explanations and demonstrations will run from from 7-9pm. If the sky is clear then you can stay later and if you have a scope you are welcome to bring it along for advice and help.

As before, we plan to be doing some observing as well - skies permitting.  This will be just after the Moon’s First Quarter so we’ll be able to see detail on its surface.  We also hope to show you a double star, a nebula, a star cluster, and perhaps a galaxy!

The event is free to HAG members and £5 for non-members. Payment can be made on the door.  In either case we need to know who will be attaneding.

Please contact Jerry Stone at programme@hertsastro.org.uk with the following details:

 - The names of all attendees, with HAG membership numbers if appropriate.

 - Ages of any under-16s. There is no charge for accompanied non-members under 16.

The map shows the location of the hall at the south-west of Welwyn Garden City, and also the site of Panshanger Golf Course, where we hold our regular meetings.

Click on map for larger version


Four intrepid members of HAGAS recently drove across Spain to visit an excellent astronomy hosting facility known as Entre Encinas y Estrellas (e-EyE) near Seville. Anthony Challoner, Martin Weston, Denis O'Shea and Stephen Heliczer spent a few nights under crystal-clear skies at this quite unique observing facility as well as sampling the wonderful local food, drink and picturesque scenery in this completely unspoilt part of southern Spain. Speak to Steve or anyone above for further information.  One of the benefits of joining Hertford Astronomy Group is the opportunity for extra-curricular activities such as this!

Institute of Physics Lectures University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield


  November 1


 The search for Earth’s twin planet


Stuart Clark


Lindop Building

College Lane Campus, Hatfield

Wednesday 1 November 7:00pm

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

More Details

November 8th 8:00pm

The Isaac Newton Telescope: the 50th Anniversary

Derek Jones

The talk begins with an Introduction on Astronomical Telescopes and Mountings.  The Isaac Newton Telescope was opened by HM Queen at Herstmonceux, Sussex on December 1, 1967.  It became clear that the site was badly chosen and an enthusiastic blame game broke out.  This did not prevent much interesting research taking place before it was decided to move the telescope to La Palma in the Canary Islands.  At the time of the move, the primary mirror was replaced and many other improvements were made.  Some highlights of research done with the telescope will be described, followed by plans for the future.

The speaker has spent a life-time in observational astronomy, mostly on the staff of the Royal Greenwich Observatory.  For the first half of his career he worked extensively in California, South Africa and Australia, as well as in the UK.  The second half was spent planning, building, commissioning and operating the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes on La Palma.

Other activities included supervising Ph.D. students from the University of Sussex and editing the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.  Since his retirement he has been involved in public outreach at the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge and the University of the Third Age.

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Draft Minutes last committee meeting