freeFriday CLUB

Special notes about planning for the opening up post-pandemic.

We recognize the outreach activities have thrived for those who are happy to meet and progress online through zoom meetings. We soon have to consider restarting physical meetings. Here is an oportunity to reconsider many aspects of the meetings. Such basic items, for example, as which day of the month – currently 4th Fridays – to meet.

There is no point in attempting to restart the outreach meetings until the main meetings are in place and running succeesfuly. I am sure problems will be revealed or the rules about the hall’s use relaxed. Therefore we will hold off decisions about physically restarting the freeFriday CLUB. When things prove to be OK restarting could be immediate.

The text below is a historical record of pre-pandemic activities which we hope to recover.

All Friday Club meetings are listed on the Programme Menu
Astrobasics Faces

Friday Club – all welcome

  Open and free sessions of the Reading Astronomical Society.

Membership or booking not required.


All meetings start at 7.30pm but doors open at 7pm for setting up and chatting.

The Friday meetings start with a talk on a particular astronomical topic delivered in a basic way in unspecialised language. Every opportunity is taken to explain the subject in everyday terms and informal questioning and discussion is encouraged. All ages attend and we encourage the younger ones to think about the universe rather than rote-learn facts. As with all science, we try to emphasise how we gain knowledge of the universe and how that knowledge can change over time as science improves.

After the refreshment break we have talks and slide shows of the activities of members in the local area. It is common these days for amateur astronomers to develop highly refined techniques for making amazing images of celestial objects. In addition there is news of current astronomical events and what to see in the sky for the next month. Often this does not require any more than the unaided-eye or binoculars. A brilliant example of this philosophy is a recent talk by Marc Charron on how to take astronomical images with nothing but a camera and tripod.

PLEASE NOTE: practical observing is very limited at the hall but sufficient to demonstrate telescopes and look at the brighter objects in the sky. However the main hall is very spacious and accessible and if you have problems or need advice, we welcome you to bring your own telescopes and astronomical instruments to the Friday meetings.

No public meetings June-August But members will continue to meet at our out-of-town location.

The programme is always provisional so if anyone who can attend wants to suggest anything astronomical for inclusion in the programme we will be happy to include it.

Informal public viewing The site in Earley is very constricted and remember that from April to September the daylight lasts until quite late. Ad hoc viewing can be arranged although the weather and bright moonlight can present a problem.  Contact us on and we can discuss it.

Remember also there are other astronomy societies in the area who organize viewing sessions and their websites are listed on the resources page.