Beginners Course

New to astronomy? The Society holds 2 beginners courses during the winter months usually Oct/Nov and Feb/March.
Course places are limited to 20 per course. 

Next course starts on Wednesday 9th October 2019 and also on Wednesday 5th February 2020

See below for more information.

2019 Transit of Mercury

We are only just over a month from a major astronomical event - the Transit of Mercury, where the innermost planet appears to 'move' across the face of the Sun.

This will take place on Monday 11th November and from the UK it will only be visible in the late afternoon and the Sun will set whilst Mercury is still in transit.

More details can be found here......

Please note that to view Mercury as it crosses the Sun, you must use high quality filtration of sunlight to avoid eye damage. This also applies to any photographic efforts too.

If you miss this one the next ToM will be 13th November 2032!.

HAPS / HAS website

Over the past few months this website has experienced some issues. It maybe some time before this issues are resolved, however, please check out the Astronomy Society's Facebook page for regular updates until the website is up-to-date.....

Beginners Astronomy Course - update

The Beginners Astronomy Course for 2019-2020 are still being put together. Course dates are now set for 9th October to 13th November 2019 inclusive and 5th February to 11th March 2020 inclusive.

More details will be published on the Astronomy Society's Facebook page, at :

If you wish to inquire about the next course starting in Autumn 2019, please use the Contact form on the website. This can be found on the 'The Society' tab above.


Individual and Group visits to the Observatory - Important News!

The Astronomy Society no longer has access to the site formerly known as 'The Observatory'.

If you are a community group in Kirklees we can offer to bring a telescope - and provide a presentation about stargazing - to your community group, at your venue.

All we ask is for a donation to the Astronomy Society in return

If you would like to take up this offer please contact the Astronomy Society at least 4 to 6 weeks in advance. This is to allow time to check availability of personnel.

Please view our Outreach information... click on the Observatory tab above and select Outreach - for more general information about services we can offer to community groups.

2019-2020 Program of events - downloadable edition

This is the draft program of events. All events are subject to change at short notice. The list will be updated when any events is changed.

2019 - HAPS will be celebrating is 50th Birthday

Details of this event and others planned as part of our celebration will be posted here in due course

Watch this space!

Tuesday Night Meetings

In addition to our weekly Friday events the Society also meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month.

These meetings are great for astronomy newcomers as well as for the more experienced, they are less structured than the Friday meetings and have a relaxed, sociable feel to them.

We chat about astronomy and science related subjects, share information, and help each other with advice on equipment matters, astrophotography, observing etc.

There is currently a telescope building project on the go (anyone can join in), we have a Tuesday night Facebook group, and we organise observing trips, both to our Observatory and to other dark sky sites in the area.

Meteor Showers 2019 to 2021

The years of 2019, 2020 and 2021 promise the potential for some good shooting star observing.

The first major shower of the Autumn are the Draconids - these are active around the 10th October. They are the left-overs from a well known comet Goacobini-Zinner and on occasion they can have quite a good showing.

Next comes the Orionids - these are active from 16th to 27th October with a peak on the 20th/21st. There will be a nearly new Moon on this night so get ready for some hours spent tracking these down. Orion rises at around 11pm so you need to stay up late or get up very early to see this shower as they are best viewed after midnight.

The Autumn Night Sky

Autumn heralds shorter days and longer nights, so there is more opportunity in terms of longer hours of darkness during which observing can take place witrh dark skies. 

Also at this time of year we start to see familiar constellations such as Cygnus, and later in the night Orion and Taurus.

So dust off your binoculars and telescopes, give then a quick MOT and get ready to get busy observing the night sky.

More details in the enclosed notes and star charts.

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