An Introduction to Radio Astronomy

On the 10th October this year Norman Pomfret will be delivering his talk to us.


An introduction to Radio Astronomy begins by contrasting this modern day science with the classics, then discovery of Radio Waves and the personalities involved are acknowledged. This is followed by the accidental discovery of a new science that is now referred to as Radio Astronomy.   To set the scene for later topics several several examples of modern day physics are considered then, a few very important discoveries are introduced.  One of those is at the fore front of modern day medical science.


Now retired from project engineering of electronic systems, he has focused his widespread interests in Astronomy, Earth Science and Radio Communication under the umbrella of Radio Astronomy.  He is a Trustee of the UK Radio Astronomy Association.  Currently he is developing with friends a Schumann Resonance Sensor for the amateur observer.

This presentation supports the outreach aims of the UK Radio Astronomy Association.



The latest Mercury, Nov / Dec 2019, is now available

The latest Mercury newsletter is now available and members can download the Nov / Dec 2019 issue from the Downloads page.

Highlights of this issue are:

  • Committee meeting minutes
  • The Antiques Road Trip
  • The 8-Year Cycle of Venus and Earth
  • Andromeda
  • History: From Hipparchus to Newton
  • Speaking at Gloucester Cathedral as part of the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing
  • Bepi Columbo
  • Capturing Meteors Easily

Viewing event for the Transit of Mercury – 11th November 2019

On Monday 11th November there is a Transit of Mercury.  This begins at about 12.35 pm and is still in progress at Sunset.

Neil Havard is planning to observe this from the playing fields off Sappercombe Lane and would welcome any members and their friends who would like to come along to view the event – weather permitting. Sappercombe Lane is a narrow lane (just before Beeches Rd) off Little Herberts Rd that runs up from the church in Charlton Kings.  There is parking at the end of this short lane.  More telescopes would be welcomed of course, but ensure the correct filter is in place.

From the Editor of Mercury

Editorial to appear in this month’s edition of Mercury, the newsletter of the Cotswold Astronomical Society.

It has become apparent that the number of people reading Mercury is not as high as  expected. The number of people who have registered on the website so far, which is required in order to view or download Mercury, is only about one third of the membership, so it really begs the question, are the majority of members really that interested? If you are reading this you are one of the minority who obviously are interested, so the committee will be promoting the availability of Mercury to everyone else. The use of email to reach members also doesn’t appear to be fully effective either. Statistics from the mailing system show that at best 80% of the emails are opened, the minimum being about 58%.

A lot of time and effort goes into creating Mercury, both from the people who contribute articles and then editing and publishing. It would therefore be more appreciated if the majority of members actually read it.

I have plans to help promote Mercury, to be implemented over the coming months. However, if you have any ideas you would like to share on what would make other members more interested in making the effort to read it, please let me know.


From Herschel to Hawkwind

A talk at CAS by Pete Williamson.

On the club meeting night of the 12th October Pete gave his very interesting talk about the connections between astronomy and music. A prolific speaker at astronomy clubs the length and breadth of the country, Pete also runs SolarSphere, an astronomical and music festival, the next event being on the 14th to 17th August 2020 –

Museum of The Moon talk by Peter Cadogan

Celebrating 50 years since the first Moon landings

WHEN:  Thurs 17th October 2019 7pm—8.30pm

WHERE: Gloucester Cathedral Nave

SPEAKER • Dr Peter Cadogan

Dr Peter Cadogan, lunar scientist and author of The Moon – Our Sister Planet, developing computer software for counting craters in images returned from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter satellite. The talk will not be too technical!


£15—Friends Of Gloucester Cathedral members £17.50—Non Members
Ticket price includes a ‘glass of fizz’

Lecture followed by drinks in the Cathedral Nave




11a College Green, Gloucester (Tues/Thurs 0930-1230) 01452 522419 (voicemail)
On the door


Thurs 3rd October


Membership access

As all members should now know, the website has been reconfigured to make accessing all membership restricted areas simpler, with one password. To read Mercury and access the forums it will now be necessary to create an account. Your access request will be checked against the list of paid-up members and then confirmed. Please allow between 24 and 48 hours for this to be done as it is a manual process. However, it can usually be done within a few hours.