Newbury Astronomical Society

Interested in astronomy and looking for meetings and events in the Newbury area?


What's Up?

The April "What's Up" with the latest update on what to see in the skies this month is now available at the link below.....

Forthcoming Meetings

Because of Easter, the recent Total Solar Eclipse in North America and then the April BAA Winchester weekend, there is a bit of a gap before the next speaker meeting of the 2023-2024 session, which will be held on Friday 3rd May 2024 starting at 7.30pm. The speaker will be Dr Steve Fossey of UCL whose talk will be Exoplanetary Ramblings: Detection and Characterisation of Extrasolar Planets..

The talk will be at the usual location of The Fair Close Centre, Newtown Road, Newbury: RG14 7BH. (click here for a map and further details of the session's meetings).

The last beginners meeting of the 2023-2024 session is the May meeting, to be held on Wednesday the 15th of May 2024 starting at 7:00pm. With the summer solstice approaching, it seems appropriate that the the topics to be covered will include The Summer Solstice as well as a primer on Our Tilted View of the Sky. As usual, weather permitting we'll try to do some observing in the second half of the evening.

The meeting is at the usual location of Stockcross Village Hall (Sutton Hall): RG20 8LN. (click here for a map and further details of the session's meetings).

If you wish to be a member of the society for this season and haven't completed your membership form yet, please complete a copy and bring it with you to the meeting.

We also offer an ICS Calendar file of all the meetings (main & beginners) of the session to add to your phone or email client:

Recent meetings:

For slides and other details from recent meetings, head to the Meeting Presentations page. Latest additions are details from Dr Tim Haymes about forthcoming occultations including one scheduled to pass over western Newbury, and the slide deck from Stephen Mullaly's recent second-half talk on Radio Astronomy.


15 minute Seestar image of M51, taken by Steve Knight

Nice one, SiriL

(UPDATE! Due to the high levels of interest in the first session, a second session is now planned in the coming weeks. We'll confirm the date as soon as possible)

On the evening of Tuesday 2nd April, NAS Outreach Lead and expert astro-imager George Sallit will be conducting an image processing ‘teach-in’ using the SiriL software package. This software is powerful and can process images from the Seestar S50 telescope to help you get the best possible results. It can also process images taken with other astro CMOS cameras. With so many software packages around it is difficult to choose a good one but a lot are for terrestrial imaging as well as astro imaging.  SiriL is designed for astro image processing and best of all it is free! 

The plan is to process a simple image from the Seestar S50, process a high-resolution image from the Seestar S50 and then process an image taken with a larger dedicated astro-telescope. What attendees will learn will then allow them to process images from a wide range of telescopes. There will be a ‘cheat sheet’ so you do not have to remember the steps to get great images.

We have already had plenty of interest in the event, and may even end up holding a second session as a result, so if you are a NAS member, are interested, but have not yet signed up, please let the Communications Lead know at 

NAS trip to the Herschel Museum, Bath

Val Russell is kindly organising a society trip to the Herschel Museum of Astronomy in Bath, scheduled for Saturday 22nd June (please note revised date from the original May proposed).  Members will travel by coach, leaving from Newbury Coach Station at 9.30am, with the cost estimated at £25 per head plus museum entrance fee. Friends and family of members are welcome too! Those who have already been to the Museum confirm it's a great place to visit, so if members are interested, please get in touch with the Communications Lead for more details at  

Ann Davies receives Honorary Membership at 2/2 NAS meeting

At the NAS meeting on 2nd February, NAS Chair Paul Gibson presented longstanding NAS (and BAA) member Ann Davies with an Honorary Membership in recognition of her many years of service to the society, and to Amateur Astronomy in the UK as a whole. Paul writes:

Since the Newbury Astronomical Society’s formation, some 43 years ago, Ann Davies has been a constant and major contributor to its development and organisation, both as a long standing Chair and a Committee member. Just as importantly, she has been, and remains, an extraordinary example of a friendly and most approachable source of knowledge for members to call on, be they beginners or experts. Her organisational work with and for the British Astronomical Association has also significantly enhanced the astronomical community in the UK, and reflected well on the NAS.


It is with great pleasure that the Society has awarded Ann the status of Honorary Member, in recognition of her contributions, at our February, 2024 Main Meeting 

Stargazing 2024 at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

Last month, intrepid members of Newbury AS turned out en masse to support the Stargazing event at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Harwell, Oxfordshire, providing views of Saturn, Jupiter, the Moon and (until cloud threw a spanner in the works) the Orion Nebula for attendees through a host of telescopes from small SCTs to homebuilt Dobsonians to the latest robotic scopes. Despite cold temperatures, large crowds kept the observers busy over a three hour stretch and it was great to hear so many gasps of amazement and delight from young and old alike.

Last week, members again turned out at The Earth Trust at Little Wittenham, Oxfordshire for a Stargazing event in support of the charity. Unfortunately, this time the clouds did not oblige, but members gave a series of talks and feedback suggested the event went really well - there is likely to be a follow-up later this year. Our thanks to all members who helped out at both events.  

(RAL Image courtesy the STFC) )and