About our observing activities
Volunteers from the Society arrange field meetings at which members can view or photograph astronomical objects using their own telescopes or those belonging to the society or ROG. These are held at a number of sites in S.E. London and Kent, and also with the 28-inch Great Equatorial refractor in the Royal Observatory.
Observing Sites — We use several sites in SE London and Kent:
For the next session dates please refer to our upcoming events.
For our meetings on Blackheath we will be announcing separate dates, on the one hand for stargazing sessions on the Heath, and on the other for social meetings in a local pub.
Blackheath — Stargazing sessions.
Blackheath is easy for most members to get to, but does have significant light pollution. Nevertheless, it is a popular location to observe bright objects like the Moon, planets etc. For details of our scheduled Blackheath Stargazing events, please click here. Further unscheduled events may take place throughout the year if there are particular astronomical events to view, or based on demand. We meet on Blackheath, in an area just north of Talbot Place. Click here for directions, and click here for a zoomable map. These sessions are weather-permitting only.
There is no need to book. Non-members and potential members are most welcome to attend these sessions. If you do not know anyone in the Society it is advisable to contact us in advance so we can identify ourselves. Contact us for questions, directions, etc.
Blackheath — Pub meetings.
The Society meets at a local pub, as a social gathering and to discuss future activities. Non-members and potential members are most welcome to attend these gatherings. They are usually on the third Monday or Thursday of each month (alternating). Details can be found here. If you do not know anyone in the Society it is advisable to contact us in advance so we can identify ourselves. No need to book. Contact us for questions, directions, etc.
Cudham is near Biggin Hill in Kent. The recreation ground at Cudham is good for spur-of-the-moment events, being a public space with loads of parking. Click here for a zoomable map. Non-members and guests are very welcome. No need to book.
We are privileged to have regular use of a well-equipped observatory belonging to one of our members situated on Romney Marsh. Here we enjoy much darker skies and good seeing conditions, as well as a permanently mounted 14” Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. Excellent views of nebulae, as well as faint objects such as the outer planets, have been seen over the last few years and the visits to Romney have become the mainstay of our observing activities. For meetings at Romney we need to know who is coming, so there is a very informal booking system. It is necessary to confirm your attendance in advance and for directions and car-sharing.
We have use of a private site at Hazelwood near Orpington by prior arrangement with the owner. This site is much darker than Blackheath and is relatively easy for members and guests to reach from S.E. London but does still suffer from a degree of light pollution. Being a private site we do not post maps or directions on the web. Please contact us for directions & car sharing.
Viewing with the 28-inch Great Equatorial at the Royal Observatory Greenwich
We hold sessions with the ROG 28-inch Great Equatorial telescope for Flamsteed members only. Places are limited and advance booking is essential. Watch the Home Page for details and dates — sessions are usually on some Tuesdays during term-time from November to March. If we are unable to observe due to weather conditions, we have a briefing about the telescope or go into the Peter Harrison Planetarium for a ‘sky tonight’ review — ‘Go/no-go’ notices are no longer issued.