About us

The Society aims to promote public interest in astronomy and the related sciences in southern and western Oxfordshire and surrounding areas in the United Kingdom. The Society organises a varied programme of meetings and observing evenings throughout most of the year and tries to cater for all levels of experience, from absolute beginners to experienced astronomers. Our closeness to both the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (Oxfordshire’s “Space Centre”) and to the University of Oxford ensures a steady stream of high-quality lectures. These, together with our more informal Beginners’ Meetings and monthly observing evenings, must make us the most active amateur astronomical society in the county.

The Society enables you to make contact with other people interested in the night sky. Whether you are a complete beginner or an active observer there is always someone worth meeting to share knowledge and experiences.

If you are interested in joining the Society, you are very welcome to come along to a meeting to see the Society in action. Your first meeting is free so you get a chance to try us out. Our current fees are:

Standard membership £21.00 per annum
Students £13.00 per annum
Senior Citizens (60+ *) £13.00 per annum
Family £36.00 per annum
* At the time of joining the society.

This entitles you to attend all our meetings at no extra cost and access to our library.

For non members, after your first free meeting, the cost is £4.00 per meeting.

The society meets at All Saint’s Methodist Church Hall, Dochester Crescent, Abingdon, OX14 2AQ, which you can find here:

You can find our current programme here.

History
The Society was formed in 1979 by a small group of keen amateur astronomers, with the principal aim of promoting public interest in astronomy and the related sciences. The Society first met in Fitzharry’s School in Abingdon and named itself Fitzharry’s Astronomical Society. In 1996, long after the connection with the school had ceased, the Society changed its name to Abingdon Astronomical Society – a name which shows more clearly the area which the Society serves.

Monthly hall meetings
These take place in the Main Hall of All Saint’s Methodist Church Hall. At these meetings we have a lecture presented by a professional or amateur astronomer. After a short tea break members give short talks about anything astronomical that they fancy. We have laptops and projection equipment for society members to use at the meetings. If the skies are clear then we will have a telescope or two (or more!) to look at whatever is visible from Abingdon that night.

Members may borrow books from our library and read the latest magazines and circulars. Tea, coffee, soft drinks and biscuits are available for purchase during the tea break.

Beginners meetings

These additional hall meetings were first introduced for the 1998/99 programme. They take place in the Perry Room of All Saint’s Methodist Church Hall. Two or three presentations are given by the more experienced members of the society. These are particularly aimed at beginners and novice astronomers, and allow the basics of amateur astronomy to be covered in more detail than is possible during the main hall meetings. Tea, coffee, soft drinks and biscuits are available for purchase during the tea break.

Observing evenings

Regular observing evenings are organised so members get the chance to look through a telescope. Usually several telescopes are there so you do not need to own a telescope to take part. Locations and dates of these evenings vary and can be found here.

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