Cardiff Astronomical Society was founded in July 1975 by Dr. Bob Owens and Dave Powell at an 'out of London' meeting of the British Astronomical Association held at Dyffryn Gardens. Dave Powell is still a member today as the Society continues to develop its activities, ably supported by a very active and enthusiastic committee. Membership has increased steadily over the years to more than 300+ which certainly makes CAS one of the largest formally constituted amateur astronomical societies in the UK. Members are drawn from all walks of life and a wide geographical area: South and South West Wales, and into the West Country. Despite the cost of travel involved, members attending meetings usually number over 60 and on several occasions during the year over 100.
A series of talks is held on alternate Thursday evenings from September to July at Cardiff University Physics and Astronomy Department, from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Cardiff University has a world-class astronomy department and the Society receives tremendous support from everyone there, led by our own Vice President, Professor Mike Disney. The programme is varied and comprises lectures, short talks and debates. The aim is to cater for all interests, at whatever level, beginner or advanced. The Society is able to attract the very best speakers from all over the UK and beyond.
In addition, we hold regular observing sessions at one of two designated sites, including our own observatory at Dyffryn Gardens. Members are able to look up at the sky with the help of more experienced observers and use some of the telescopes owned by the Society. For those who need help there is usually a naked eye sky tour to start the night off.
A comprehensive Library is available for use by all members. In addition, members may also borrow Society telescopes by arrangement.
A Society newsletter is published four times a year and this gives information on Society events and activities, reports, forthcoming astronomical events and current phenomena, and individual members are invited to contribute by sending material to John Richards, the CAS Publications Officer. The newsletter is available online to members and a paper copy may be requested if preferred.
The Society maintains a very comprehensive website - www.cardiff-astronomical-society.co.uk - where the latest information regarding forthcoming Society activities can be found. In addition, members can access their own area where minutes of every committee meeting since 1975 can be found as well as lots of information relating to CAS matters. There are links to many other sites relevant to astronomy regarding the current skies, making this a vital resource for planning members' observation sessions. There are also links to our Twitter and Facebook accounts where members can exchange information informally. Members making purchases from Amazon can do so via the CAS website, in which case a percentage of the purchase price goes into our funds, without incurring any cost to the purchaser.
We have trips to locations of astronomical interest and other social occasions such as the summer and Christmas meals. The Observers' Club meet on the same evening as the Star Parties at Dyffryn House, irrespective of the weather, where beginners and experienced astronomers meet each other to chat about things astronomical and even, if possible, do a spot of observing.
The Society has a busy programme of astronomy outreach events, where we engage with the public, promoting an interest in astronomy with talks, demonstrations and observing in many locations around South East Wales. We currently stage about 20 such events per year and always welcome more volunteers to help this rewarding project. We would particularly welcome volunteers who are willing to give a short talk. We also participate in events such as National Science Week and the BBC's Stargazing Live and contribute to television and radio programmes.
The talks are held at Cardiff University Physics and Astronomy Department. It is easy to get to (just off Newport Road) and close to bus and train routes. Ample car parking is available nearby. If in doubt, do contact any Committee member (See List of Officers). Please make every effort to attend as it is encouraging to have a large audience and makes it easier for the Society to continue to attract the best speakers. You can find maps of the location of the CAS observatory hear at Dyffryn Gardens.
The committee is always pleased to receive suggestions from the membership as to potential improvements to our operations. Members are encouraged to use the suggestion box available at each Thursday meeting or to email any committee members - the suggestion will then be discussed at the next committee meeting.
The all-inclusive policy of the Society in recruiting members means that the annual membership subscription is kept as low as possible, to ensure membership remains affordable to all.
Subscription rates remain at:
- Adults £15.00
- Juniors £2.50
- Family £20.00
Payment can be made any time and lasts for one calendar year from the date of payment
A warm and friendly welcome is promised for all!