Hertford  Astronomy Group

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Meetings held at:

The View (Formally 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.

2018-19 Programme

Draft Minutes of 2017 AGM

Membership details:

Download Application Form

12 September 8:00pm

After 'oumuamua and other things out there, will "interstellar" ever be the same? again?

H: +14°
L: +11°
Welwyn Garden City
Friday, 06 October
See 7-Day Forecast
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Sat
+17° +15° +16° +15° +15° +18°
+14° +12° + + +12° +15°

Have you ever wanted to try photography with your telescope?

Maybe, but not quite sure where to start?

Our club has a section that goes by the grand name of Hertford Astronomy Group Astrophotography Section (HAGAS for short).  This is a group of people who also wondered how to go about taking photos with their gear and through trial and error have come up with some stunning photos.

The point to get across is that they also didn’t know how to do it once and now get together to share experiences and techniques.  Moreover, they are delighted to help anyone who wants to make a start in this fascinating area.  So, what are you waiting for?  Send Denis a message and come along to one of their meetings and have a go at shooting the stars.

Remember two things:

  1. They were all beginners once.
  2. There is no such thing as a daft question - only the one you don’t ask.

Have a look at these photos that have been taken by the people who attend this group:

More photos on the HAGAS Imaging Group page

Terry’s Sky Notes

Here are the dates for our programme

September 12, 2018

October 10, 2018

November 14, 2018

December 12, 2018

January 9, 2019

February 13, 2019

March 13, 2019

April 10, 2019

May 8, 2019

June 12, 2019

Our current plan includes the following topics. In alphabetical order:

Apollo 11 - 50 Years on the Moon

Artificial Gravity

Bayfordbury Observatory

Images of the Universe - Part 3

InSight - Exploring the Interior of Mars

Lives of Galaxies

News from Space

Radio Astronomy

The Sun

ʻOumuamua is the first known interstellar object to pass through the Solar System. Formally designated 1I/2017 U1, it was discovered by Robert Weryk using the Pan-STARRS telescope at Haleakala Observatory, Hawaii, on 19 October 2017, 40 days after it passed its closest point to the Sun. When first seen, it was about 33,000,000 km (21,000,000 mi; 0.22 AU) from Earth (about 85 times as far away as the Moon), and already heading away from the Sun. Initially assumed to be a comet, it was reclassified as an asteroid a week later, and finally (6 November 2017) as the first of the new class of interstellar objects.

After six decades, Roger O’Brien is still an amateur astronomer.  Whilst working for 26 years in a bank in the City, he “survived” to earn a BSc in Astronomy and began teaching.

One course was held at the Sele School and it was students from that course, who founded the Hertford Astronomy Group.

He says that one of his proudest moments was to be elected President of HAG.

Beat the Queues

Membership for 2018-19

We are gathering membership fees for the year 2018-19 .

Registering at the first meeting, you will experience inevitable queues, so beat the rush by registering today.

Existing members (2017-18)

If you are an existing member for 2017-18 then just send your badge and cheque for £20 to the:


Membership Secretary

95 London Road

Hertford Heath

SG13 7RJ

Cheques should be made payable to  "Hertford Astronomy Group"

New Members 

If you are a New Member please send your application form and cheque to the: 

Membership Secretary New Member

95 London Road

Hertford Heath

SG13 7RJ

If you want to join us then click below where you should be directed to an application form that you can download, complete and post along with your remittance.

Cheques should be made payable to  "Hertford Astronomy Group"

MARS NOTE – Aug 2018

If you look up at the sky after sunset, weather permitting, you will see a bright, star-like object low, 7ᵒ - 12ᵒ above the horizon, in the south to south-west, between 23:00 and 03:00. This is the red planet Mars.

It is currently in opposition with the Sun and Earth’s orbital position places these three bodies in a straight line. This means that the Earth and Mars are at their closest, at around 60m km (37m miles) and it can be viewed for most of the night.

The effect is that Mars appears much larger and brighter even than Jupiter but not quite as bright as Venus and may be observed over several weeks. This closeness will not occur again until 2287, although in 2020 it will only be 62m km (38m km) away.

Recent observations of Mars have indicated that there may be a liquid water lake beneath the south polar cap. It was detected by the European Martian Express orbiter’s MARIS radar instrument in July.

Confirmation of this could substantially increase the chances for long term human colonisation.


Thanks Terry

Roger O’Brien