First meeting after the pandemic

Saturday 18th September 2021

With about 30 members in the hall this was a hybrid meeting watching a remote presentation by Paul Fellows and a further 26 participants on zoom.

Snowball Earth– A look at the evidence that around 600 million years ago the Earth became entirely covered in thick ice in a super-glaciation event that saw global

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Annual Day Meeting

The last such meeting was Feb 2020. If more are held this will be updated with the details.

Reading Astronomical Society

An annual roundup of our activities.

St. Peter’s Church Hall, Church Road, Earley.

Saturday 29th Feb. 2020 1pm-5pm.

An open day to show all aspects of the society and our enthusiasm for the night sky.

Prospective members, or enthusiastic people of all ages to view displays of our amateur astronomy hobby.
WE are aiming to include…
Display of society work. Members’ images.
Telescopes. Display of scopes and other equipment.
Book buy or exchange: Old? Unloved? We have a number of astronomy volumes that don’t deserve to be scrapped. Come and see what’s available.
Computer and smartphone programmes. For example Starry Night Pro we will be on hand to show the capabilities of these amazing learning and experimental computing tools.
Have an astro-drawing lesson from Sally Russell
Coffee, tea and soft drinks supplied.
Location Map

A gallery of photographs and drawings from our locally based observers and image makers.

Try out the display of various members’ telescopes.

Drawing the Moon and other objects.
Sally Russell, contributing author of ‘Sketching The Moon’ will be on hand to conduct an astronomical artist’s workshop. Materials, techniques and equipment.

Sally at the telescope

Sally at the telescope

Eratosthenes Crater drawing

Eratosthenes Crater drawing

Astro instruments developed by members. Here is a home-made spectroscope.

Email enquiries to:

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Woodcote rally site

The area flagged out in the pic will be our stand.

It certainly has clear lines to the horizon in all directions (even the tree line to the north is not obtrusive).  Bring sunscreen and water – it will be hot and the only shade will be the RAS gazebos.  Gerry has asked for volunteers to slot themselves into a schedule via him.  I currently have 6 exhibitors wristbands available (free entry and good for both days), I can probably get more if needed.

For those bringing equipment, the exhibitors entrance to the site in directly off the A4074.  I have 4 exhibitors vehicle passes available.  Call me on 07518151121 with your ETA and I will arrange that you are met at the exhibitors gate with your pass and exhibitors wristband.  Offloading times are 10 am to 6 pm on Friday and 8 am to 10 am on Saturday. I expect the same time applies Sunday.   After offloading, you will need to move your vehicle to the Exhibitor parking area (the organiser do have an interesting array of steam rollers available to enforce parking violations if they so choose!).  I plan to be on site from Friday afternoon. (3 or 4 ish).
If you are not bringing kit but are volunteering, then use the public car park (free). The public entrance is off the first road signposted into Woodcote village off the A4074 travelling from Reading to Wallingford (2nd in other direction).  Once again call me on 07518151121 so you can be met at the public gate with your wristband.
As the whole event is a charity fundraiser, unless you are planning to spend a significant stretch of time helping on our stand, please consider being a paying visitor to the show – I think it is only £10 for adults.  You may even get a chance to ride on or even drive a steam engine if you are lucky.
Rob Peeling
Text below is a copy of members’ message
On Mon, Jul 9, 2018 at 9:55 PM Gerry Bond <> wrote:

55th Woodcote Rally

The Reading Astronomical Society has acquired a stand at the above event
next weekend. It is a bit experimental for us so it is necessary to ask
if any enthusiasts on this list can let us know if you can attend to
help demonstrate the hobby. As the event is over two days there is an
opportunity on Saturday evening to actually do some observing with the

You can of course visit the event as a normal day-out but if you wish to
lend a hand with the astronomy reply to this address with times you
might be available. The Rally is open at 10:00 am both days and closes

at 11:00 pm on Saturday, and 6:00 pm on Sunday.

Gerry Bond

Reading Astronomical Society
07510 444 630


PS: For those who are not familiar with this type of event you can get a
flavour from the images here….





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2018 – ReadingAstroday

Saturday 24th Feb – Open day

A day for anything!


We will be in attendance from 10am – 5pm at St Peters hall  to show, discuss, demonstrate, display all aspects of the society and our enthusiasm for the universe.

Members who would like to consider their material for display, please print them out with a written description. Anything considered, images, drawings or observation diaries.

The usual refreshments available and bringing you own lunch welcome.

Open to the public. We are happy for members to invite others to pop in. Here is an opportunity to showcase the society to other local organisations, schools etc.

♠NEW♥ Amateur radio freaks welcome!




12 march 2016








Location Map



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Summer Meeting in Bath

We will be holding a special summer meeting in the Elwin Room,early-herschels
Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution,
16-18 Queen Square, Bath BA1 2HN

Saturday June 24th 2017 at 2pm.

Talk on Caroline and William Herschel by Mona Evans which will last approximately one hour.

Travel to Bath will be under your own steam. Outside of the time of the talk you may obviously want to visit the Herschel Museum of Astronomy which is a short walk away. Or you are free to visit any other of the Georgian attractions in the city.
Details can be found by clicking on these various links on this page.
The meeting is free to members and their guests. Coffee and biscuits of course, and wheelchair accessible (email for details).

There is plenty of time before and after to visit the museum and the many other sites in the city.

Travel by road, check park-and-ride schemes.

Travel by train.

Any questions?
There is currently an exhibition on the ground floor at BRLSI
CaptureRiches of the Earth; the Beauty of Minerals


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British Science Week 2017

Join the Reading Astronomical Society at

London Road Campus of University of Reading
With the British Science Association

Sat 11th March

6.30pm ’til 9pm.

Moon observing – weather permitting.RAS observing session

In the main quad garden.

An Evening of astronomy talks.

In room L22


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Annual Imaging Day

On a Saturday in spring 2018 10am-5pm.


A day of seminars by local experts, on astronopmical imaging.

Past comments: Thank you for yesterday’s imaging session. It was extremely helpful and interesting and I’m sure all present are appreciative of you giving up so much of your time and secrets.

Seconded. The whole day was full of useful information. Some confirmed I am doing the right things, and some was new and eye opening. Thanks to all that presented, and all who contributed.

A day devoted to….

Imaging instruction and demonstrations

The whole day will be devoted to imaging and processing. We will be running it in the same format as our first imaging summer school. We will be covering the acquisition of the images,not necessarily talking of specific kit but basically DSLR and CCD then going into all the aspects of processing the images.

Bring along any hardware that you have questions about or computer imaging software on your own computers that might be a problem

The 2017 event will be repeated early next year in the same format.
Processing sessions cover DSLR stacking in Deepskystacker and quick process demo in Photoshop and possibly show a quick star fix using StarTools. Understanding processing packages such as Corel Paint shop Pro, Maxim DL, Registax and PixinSight.

Q&A session to end the day


Location Map
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ERF 2016

ERF16_Charron (12) ERF16_Charron (11) ERF16_Charron (10) ERF16_Charron (9) ERF16_Charron (8) ERF16_Charron (7) ERF16_Charron (6) ERF16_Charron (5) ERF16_Charron (4) ERF16_Charron (3) ERF16_Charron (2) ERF16_Charron (1) ERF16_Charron (18) ERF16_Charron (17) ERF16_Charron (16) ERF16_Charron (15) ERF16_Charron (14) East Reading Fest 2016

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We are having a clearout

Here’s the contents of the cupboards and these telescopes have to go.

Come along tonight (19/11/2016) and make your bid and if that means you get it free we won’t object.

NB: Not all OTAs have tripods.

20161119_101625_resize 20161119_112448_resize 20161119_112452_resize 20161119_112457_resize

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Adult Learning Courses


Course fee: £86

Centre: Waingels Adult Centre

Start date: 3 Nov 2016 – End date: 8 Dec 2016 – Start time: 19:00 – End time: 21:00

Day(s): Thurs – Duration: 6 Weeks


The course provides an introduction to the main objects in the solar system and explains how they were formed. The course uses some of the latest images and data available from planetary spacecraft and uses the images to show what the conditions are like on the planets. The three main chances for life (apart from the Earth) in the Solar System are discussed.

Experience and/or Qualifications Required:

None, just a curiosity to understand what is out there in our local backyard.

Course Objectives:

Know the main astronomical objects in the solar system.

Understand how the sun is powered and how the solar system was formed.

Discuss the latest images of the planets and why our understanding of the planets has changed in the last decade.


Look at the original images on the web.


Notebook and pen.

Teaching Methods:

Audio visual. Discussion. Formal instruction. Practical demonstration if clear sky.

Assessment Method:

Ongoing Monitoring of Learner’s Work/Progress

Progression on Completion:

Join the follow on course Astronomy – To the Stars and Back GI/M/PX022

Areas of Study:

What are the main objects in the Solar System and how were they formed?

What is the sun and why is it essential to everything in the solar system including our well-being and weather on Earth?

What are the inner planets and why are they all made of rock? Do the recent space missions answer the question: Is there life on Mars? Is Venus a close analogue of Earth and what does it teach us about the greenhouse effect?

Why are the outer planets gaseous? Is Jupiter a failed star and why are its satellites so important to Earth?

Why does Saturn have rings and what life is likely on its satellite Titan?

Is Pluto a planet and why did the Europeans change its status? What is the new mission telling us about Pluto?

What are comets and where did they come from and did they give us all our water and start life?

What are meteors, meteorites and asteroids and can I see them?

What can I see with a small telescope of the planets? Why do some planets show phases like the moon and others don’t?

Contact Name: Waingels Adult Centre

Contact No: 0118 969 5301

Contact Email:

Bracknell and Wokingham College Church Road, Bracknell, RG12 1 DJ – Tel:01344 868600 – Fax: 01344 766698




Course fee: £86

Centre: Waingels Adult Centre

Start date: 2 Feb 2017 – End date: 16 Mar 2017 – Start time: 19:00 – End time: 21:00

Day(s): Thurs- Duration: 6 Weeks


Explore the stars, our galaxy and the universe. How stars are formed, their lives and how they eventually die. What are the main objects in our and other galaxies and how did these objects evolve from the Big Bang and how will the Universe end? We will examine what typical amateurs can see from their gardens by discussing different telescopes and what can be done with the naked eye. If clear we will identify at least 10 constellations. We will discuss all the different types of astronomical objects than can be seen with binoculars including double stars, star clusters, globular cluster, nebula and galaxies.

Experience and/or Qualifications Required:

None, just a curiosity to understand what is out there.

Course Objectives:

Know the full life cycle of stars, galaxies and the universe.

Identify different types of telescopes and the best suited to your needs.

Know all the objects in our galaxy: what can be seen and what they look like.

If the sky is clear observe some of these objects.


Find the constellations discussed.


Notebook and pen.

Teaching Methods:

Audio visual. Formal instruction. Practical demonstration.

Assessment Method:

Ongoing Monitoring of Learner’s Work/Progress

Areas of Study:

Where did the universe come from, what was the Big Bang, how was everything formed, how will the universe evolve and how will it end? How big is the universe and how old is it?

What is beyond the Solar system? What are stars, what are the different objects in our galaxy, how do we know what they are made of? Why are the stars different colours, why do some last a few million years yet others last billions of years like our sun? Are there any other planets out there and is there life in space?

What binoculars/telescope do I need to see some of these objects? What size and power of telescope do I need? What will I see of the different types of stars, star clusters and galaxies?

If it is clear we will identify the main constellations visible and the main objects using a small telescope (come well wrapped up).

If the universe is so big can we ever hope to travel to nearby stars? How? How can we travel through time? Really? Is there other intelligent life in the universe? What makes you so certain?

Contact Name: Waingels Adult Centre

Contact No: 0118 969 5301

Contact Email:

Bracknell and Wokingham College Church Road, Bracknell, RG12 1 DJ – Tel:01344 868600 – Fax: 01344 766698

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