What we are and what we do

About Us

The Cardiff Astronomical Society (CAS) 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, near Cardiff. Over forty years later, the Society continues to develop its activities, ably supported by an active and enthusiastic Committee. Society membership has increased steadily over the years to more than 200 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.

In 2016. after obtaining consent from Society members, the Society sought approval from the Charity Commission for England and Wales to become a registered charity (a "Charitable Incorporated Organisation") - this was formally approved on 31st October 2016 and led the Society to appoint a Board of Trustees which proceeded to delegate a large number of its powers and functions to the CAS Committee in order that the latter can undertake the operational work of the Society. More information about the implications of the Society's conversion to a CIO can be read here

About Us

Prof. Jim Al-Khalili talking to us in September 2017

Fortnightly Talks
A series of talks is held at Cardiff University on alternate Thursday evenings from September through to July, from 7.30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Attendances at the fortnightly talks are usually in excess of 70 and on some occasions during the year will reach 80 to 100. The talks programme is varied and comprises informal lectures, visual presentations and short talks. 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.

The talks are held at Cardiff University's 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 Who We Are). Please make every effort to attend as it is encouraging to have a large audience and this makes it easier for the Society to continue to attract the best speakers.

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, a frequent speaker at the Society's talks.

Observing sessions and other events
CAS holds regular observing sessions at our own Observatory at Dyffryn Gardens. Society 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. Star Parties are occasionally held at Dyffryn Gardens, irrespective of the weather. They are used to introduce astronomy to new Society members or to prospective members who are encouraged to attend a Star Party prior to joining the Society. Anyone interested in attending a Star Party should first send an email to Membership.Secretary@cardiff-astronomical-society.co.uk.

The Society also has a 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 several events each year and always welcome more volunteers to help with this rewarding project. We would particularly welcome volunteers who are willing to give a short talk. We also participate in events such as the BBC's Stargazing Live and contribute to local television and radio programmes.

We also sometimes organise trips to locations of astronomical interest and other events.

A comprehensive Library is available for use by all members attending the fortnightly talks. In addition, members may also borrow Society telescopes by arrangement with the Society. CAS Library Catalogue

The Society maintains a very comprehensive website where the latest information regarding forthcoming Society activities can be found. In addition, members can access their own area where they can access the minutes of meetings of the Society's Trustees and Committee as well as lots of information on CAS matters. There are links to many other sites relevant to astronomy regarding the current night 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. If members make online purchases using the easyfundraising scheme for which they have designated CAS as their chosen good cause, a percentage of the purchase price goes into our funds, without incurring any cost to the purchaser. The scheme operates with some 2,700 retailers (including AmazonSmile, John Lewis, Next and Argos) - you can find more information here

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 £18.00
  • Juniors £3.00
  • Family £24.00

A subscription can be paid at any time and lasts for one calendar year from the date of payment.

The Committee is always pleased to receive suggestions from members about possible improvements to our operations. Members are encouraged to speak to any Committee member or use our ContactUsForm. The suggestion will then be discussed at the next Committee meeting.