The Bath Astronomers are a group of local Somerset amateur astronomers sharing a passion for observing the night and daytime sky. Our desire to share manifests itself in organising observing evenings:
- for the group;
- for a wider group that have expressed an interest in astronomy and observing;
- for schools/youth groups such as beavers, brownies, scouts, guides;
- for the general public.
As well as talks and workshops for these communities, special sessions for Bath Royal Literature and Scientific Institution and their Young Astronomers using the Faulkes Telescopes in Hawaii and Siding Spring are organised. The group meets up every month in Bath for lectures, workshops or to informally chat and plan.
Bath Astronomers is the observing arm of the William Herschel Society and doesn’t have its own committee and infrastructure associated with astronomical societies. Individuals in the Bath Astronomers are encouraged to join the WHS and benefit from the reduced cost of the extensive range of lectures on astrophysics and similar topics. The Bath Astronomers group benefits from Federation of Astronomical Society membership and public liability insurance in this symbiotic relationship.
The Bath Astronomers’ logo is a tongue in cheek reference to the year William Herschel discovered Uranus from a garden in Bath with his sister Caroline in 1781. The history of the society and group is a little more recent. The original Bath Astronomical Society was inaugurated around 1976 by its founding members Bob Newman and Dave Ollis. The Society thrived with several dozen members at its peak. As with many societies, they are led by a small team of dedicated individuals giving huge amounts of time and effort. When they move on, the society reduces its scope and, in this case, closes its doors. In 2010, the Bath Astronomers were reborn as the observing arm of the William Herschel Society under the guidance of Dick Phillips and focused on sharing and that passion for observing.