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 7:30 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.

March 8 2017

Integral-Field Spectroscopy

Marc Sarzi

Integral field spectroscopy (IFS) has become an important sub-discipline of astronomy with the proliferation of large aperture, high-resolution telescopes where there is a need to study the spectra of extended objects as a function of position, or of clusters of many discrete stars or point sources in a small field. Such spectroscopic investigations have previously been carried out with long-slit spectrographs in which the spectrum is dispersed perpendicular to the slit, and spatial resolution is obtained in the dimension along the slit. Then by stepping the position of the slit, the spectrum of points in the imaged field can be obtained, but the process is comparatively slow, and wasteful of potentially restricted telescope time. Integral field spectrographs are used to speed up such observations by simultaneously obtaining spectra in a two-dimensional field. As the spatial resolution of telescopes in space (and also of ground-based instruments using adaptive optics) has rapidly improved in recent years, the need for such multiplexed instruments has become more and more pressing. (Wikipedia)

2016-17 Programme

14 September 2016  

Roger O'Brien  

Gravity Waves


12 October 2016  

Stephen Lewis

The perils of Landing on Mars


9 November 2016  

Mike Edmunds

“Sir Isaac Remembers ...”  

14 December 2016  

Paul Money

Images of the Universe Part 1


11 January 2017  

Dave Eagle  

Piazzi Smyth and his High Altitude Tenerife Observatory  

8 February 2017  

Cathie Clarke

Proto-Planetary Disks and Planet Formation


8 March 2017  

Marc Sarzi

Integral-Field Spectroscopy

*Please note change to previously published programme


12 April 2017  

Jerry Stone  

The Next 50 years in Space  


10 May 2017  

Sarah Hutton

Galaxy Quest



14 June 2017  

Robin Scagell  


Free Weather Widget
YoWindow.com yr.no

Bayfordbury Observatory Open Evenings

11 November 2016

9 December 2016

20 January 2017

10 February 2017

3 March 2017- Volunteers wanted to bring scopes and man the recruitment stand - please contact Alan chair@hertsastro.org.uk

Institute of Physics Lectures University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield




 Crossrail – Moving London Forward


Patrick Griffin


Lindop Building

College Lane Campus, Hatfield

Wednesday 29 March 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 2016 AGM More Details

Membership details:

Download Application Form

Marc is well known to our group having been a regular speaker at our meetings over the years as well as inviting us to attend the Bayfordbury Observatory open evenings.

Marc is based at the University of Hertfordshire Centre for Astrophysics Research. He is currently completing the demography of supermassive black holes with adaptive optics observations, through the modelling of the ionised-gas kinematics observed with the Hubble Space Telescope.

We are going to the 2017 SPA Convention - would you like to join us?

Saturday 1 April 2017, 10 am - 5.30 pm

Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge

We have reserved a space in the Meeting Room for the Hertford Astronomy Group.

You will have to request tickets if you wish to attend any lectures AND if you require any refreshments and/or Lunch Boxes. You do not have to be members.

More details can be found at the SPA website where you can book your requirements.

If you don’t want to go to the talks and will be taking your own food & drink then you don’t need to do anything.

Can you also let us know

A) if you are going to the event

B) if you can help out at some time during the day on the HAG display (perhaps with an idea of timings)

C) and if you can either offer a lift (saying how many spaces) or would like a lift

Please send this information to Jerry Stone our Programme Secretary (programme@hertsastro.org.uk) who is happy to collate it and also see what can be done about matching people up for car-sharing.

Special event - "My Telescope Doesn’t Work!"

March 4 - Wheathampstead Cricket Club

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.

In that case you should come to “My Telescope Doesn’t Work!”, where you can find out about different types of telescopes.  If you have a scope you can bring it along and get advice and help.

This special event will take place on Saturday 4 March from 7pm at Wheathampstead Cricket Club, (opposite “The Wicked Lady” pub).

We plan to be doing some observing as well.  This will be just before the Moon’s First Quarter so we’ll be able to see detail on its surface.  If the sky is clear we’ll also be able to show you a double star, a nebula, a star cluster, perhaps a galaxy, and a couple of planets!

The event is free to HAG members, but we do need to know who is coming along, so please send the names of any attendees to programme@hertsastro.org.uk

An integral field spectrograph is an optical instrument combining spectrographic and imaging capabilities, used to obtain spatially resolved spectra in astronomy.