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

(Click for Flash presentation of slides)

14 March 2018  

Nigel Henbest

Cosmic Quest


11 April 2018  

Stuart Eves

The Future is out of this World


9 May 2018  

Derek McNally  

60 Years of Astronomy



13 June 2018  

Jerry Stone  

Time for Space

Draft Minutes of 2017 AGM

Membership details:

Download Application Form

9th May 8:00pm

60 Years of Astronomy

Derek McNally

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°
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Draft Minutes last committee meeting

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 Martin 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


 Arcturus  (a Boo -) - a red giant. Spec. type: K0 III  

  RA 14h 15.4m  Dec +19ᵒ 11'.   

  110 x brighter than the Sun.     76.7 ly away   


Regulus  (a Leo) - is actually a 4 star system of two orbiting pairs.

 RA 10h 08m Dec +11ᵒ 58'         79.3 ly away

 Pair 1 - Regulus A is a  spectroscopic binary comprising a blue-  white    main sequence star Spec. type : B7 which has a close                         white dwarf companion.

                       Pair 2 - Regulus B  Spec. type: M4 V  and  Regulus C  Spec. Type:                         K2 V

Spica  (a Vir) - - a binary system of blue-white sub-giants .   

 RA 13h 25m  Dec  -11ᵒ 09'      250 ly away       

Spica A: Spec.type B1 III-IV and Spica B: Spec.type B2V    

Thanks Terry

My talk is about the change in astronomy from my time from post grad with Bill McCrea at Royal Holloway College to teaching Astronomy at UCL while based at the University of London Observatory from assistant lecturer to director of same - now the University College Observatory London - retiring in 1999. I started my PhD studies with Bill in the same week as the first sputnik was launched.

My research interests were in star formation and I was the second person to try to compute collapse under gravity - the first was a Russian who used a Brunsviga type calculator - I had the advantage of one of the first digital 'large computers' of the University of London when I went to ULO. But in those happy days the uncertainties lurking were not recognised and after about 10 years I went back to spectroscopy and had a great interest in the diffuse interstellar bands - still unidentified ( though there could be just a chance now) from their recognition over a century ago.

In retirement - now at UH - I have been looking at protection of Observatory sites both from the point of view of man made interference and climate change.

I have served the RAS as a Secretary and Treasurer and the IAU as General Secretary ( a 9 year sentence - 3 years as Assistant GS, 3 years as GS and 3 years Advisor to the next GS).

The talk is to look at the changes in astronomy over the last 60 years from computers where you had to crank a handle to the vast changes that have taken place in detectability over that period and in particular in the last 10 years.

We live in exciting times and just now a nearby star with a planet that may share a temperature regime with the Earth!

Institute of Physics Lectures University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield


 Wednesday 25th April


  'Mathematicians at War'

June Barrow-Green


Lindop Building

College Lane Campus, Hatfield

Wednesday 25 April 7:00pm

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

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