Loughton Astronomical Society

Loughton Astronomical Society

Full Programme AstroKyds Sky Camp External links Gallery Contact us
About us
Discover the wonders of the universe with the LAS - West Essex's community for astronomy enthusiasts and sky watchers of all levels. Our society is dedicated to exploring the night sky, sharing knowledge, and igniting a passion for the cosmos. We offer a welcoming space for both novice stargazers and experienced astronomers to connect and grow. Dive into our rich programme of events, including educational talks, observation nights, and special workshops designed to enhance your understanding of astronomy. Our extensive gallery of astrophotography showcases the beauty of space, capturing the imagination of all who visit. The LAS is more than just a society; it's a place where friendships are formed under the stars.
We invite you to join our regular meetings, or our junior AstroKyds section, to engage with captivating topics and observe the sky's splendour.

Contact us to get involved and find out more about your astronomical adventure with the LAS. The universe awaits.

What's coming up
Thursday night meetings are held in Scout Hall, Theydon Bois, starting at 8pm. Entrance fees: £3 for internal speaker, £4 for external speaker (*).
Click here for full Programme

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30/05/2024  Elliss Sharpe and Malcolm Zack
The Transit of Venus 2004: 20 Years On

06/06/2024  Jonathan Daniels and Steve Ringwood
Imaging the Sun and Astronomy during the War

13/06/2024  LAS Eclipse Chasing Members
Eclipse Trip reports - USA 2024

14/06/2024  AstroKyds Junior Section
AstroKyds is the Junior section of the LAS. 6:30pm at St Mary's Church Hall

20/06/2024  LAS Members leading Solar Observing
Celebrate the Summer Solstice - safe viewing of the sun in white light and Hydrogen alpha. Titbits & Miscellany evening if cloudy.

27/06/2024  LAS Members leading Solar Observing
Another chance for safe viewing of the sun in white light and Hydrogen alpha. Titbits & Miscellany evening if cloudy.

04/07/2024  Malcolm Zack and Jonathan Daniels
Summer Skies - A view of what can be seen in the night sky with binoculars and telescopes.

11/07/2024* Dr Radmila Topalovic
Going Back to the Moon. The Artemis Mission

12/07/2024  AstroKyds Junior Section
AstroKyds is the Junior section of the LAS. 6:30pm at St Mary's Church Hall

18/07/2024*  Mazin Younis
Searching for Clear, Dark Skies

25/07/2024*  Dr Ingrid Pelisoli
Fantastic Binary Stars and How to Find Them

01/08/2024*  Professor Allan Chapman
Sir John Herschel, the Astronomer who Surveyed Two Hemispheres

08/08/2024  LAS Members and guests
BBQ at Cricket Club and Perseid Watch if clear

22/08/2024*  Professor Nicholas Evans
Dark Matter

05/09/2024*  Dr Chris Crowe
The Hubble Space Telescope - 25 years of Discoveries

12/09/2024  LAS Members leading Public Observing
Join the LAS looking at the night sky through telescopes and binoculars. Scope doctor: bring your own scope to get the best out of it. Alternative programme if cloudy.

13/09/2024  AstroKyds Junior Section
AstroKyds is the Junior section of the LAS. 6:30pm at St Mary's Church Hall

26/09/2024*  Dr Alfredo Carpineti
Cosmic Cocktails

03/10/2024  LAS Members leading Public Observing
Join the LAS looking at the night sky through telescopes and binoculars. Scope doctor: bring your own scope to get the best out of it. Alternative programme if cloudy.

11/11/2024  AstroKyds Junior Section
AstroKyds is the Junior section of the LAS. 6:30pm at St Mary's Church Hall

17/10/2024  Malcolm Zack and Jonathan Daniels
Autumn Skies - A view of what can be seen in the night sky with binoculars and telescopes.

31/10/2024  LAS Members leading Public Observing
Join the LAS looking at the night sky through telescopes and binoculars. Scope doctor: bring your own scope to get the best out of it. Alternative programme if cloudy.

07/11/2024  LAS Members and guests
Fireworks evening

08/11/2024  AstroKyds Junior Section
AstroKyds is the Junior section of the LAS. 6:30pm at St Mary's Church Hall

14/11/2024*  Professor Ruth Gregory
Beyond Einstein and Modifying Gravity

28/11/2024  LAS Members leading Public Observing
Join the LAS looking at the night sky through telescopes and binoculars. Scope doctor: bring your own scope to get the best out of it. Alternative programme if cloudy.

05/12/2024  Ken Harrison
Christmas Quiz with hot food

12/12/2024  Malcolm Zack and Jonathan Daniels
Winter Skies - A view of what can be seen in the night sky with binoculars and telescopes.

13/11/2024  AstroKyds Junior Section
AstroKyds is the Junior section of the LAS - a gentle Christmas Quiz. 6:30pm at St Mary's Church Hall

19/12/2024  No meeting
Christmas social in the Theydon Bois Cricket Club

26/12/2024  No meeting
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

02/01/2025  LAS Members leading Public Observing
Join the LAS looking at the night sky through binoculars and telescopes. Scope Doctor: bring your scope to get the best out of it. Alternative programme if cloudy.

16/01/2025*  Dr Claudia de Rahm
The Beauty of Falling

Solar eclipse, Texas, 8th April 2024 by Nick Williams.
A number of LAS members are skilled in capturing images of the night sky; sketching or astrophotography. They are always ready to share ideas and techniques. Here is a selection of some of their latest images.
Please go to our Gallery page for a full display.

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Attending a meeting
The LAS meets 8 - 10pm every Thursday evening. If you would like to join us, please complete an email from the Contact us page. If after a few visits you would like to become a Member, then our Secretary will be delighted to help.
Our programme covers a varied range of topics: scientists and astronomers presenting their latest research, cosmology, observing, the history of astronomy, equipment and software functionality, and much more. We always continue our discussions after the main talk in the bar of the local cricket club.
We use digital media such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Zoom to hear from astronomers across the world, give weather updates for observing, what is happening in the sky, or the latest developments in space flight and astronomy.

Everyone is welcome to join us on one of our public family Open Observing evenings, to look through Society telescopes with the help of an experienced astronomer. Bring your own telescope to gain some hints and tips to get the most out of your instrument. If cloudy there is always an alternative programme.

The LAS meets 8 - 10pm every Thursday evening. If you would like to join us for a Thursday evening, complete an email from the Contact us page. If after a few visits you would like to become a Member, then our Secretary will be delighted to help.
Our programme covers a varied range of topics: scientists and astronomers presenting their latest research, cosmology, observing, the history of astronomy, equipment and software functionality, and much more. We always continue our discussions after the main talk in the bar of the local cricket club (currently virtual).
We use digital media such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Zoom to hear from astronomers across the world, give weather updates for observing, what is happening in the sky, or the latest developments in space flight and astronomy.

Everyone is welcome to join us on one of our public family Open Observing evenings, to look through Society telescopes with the help of an experienced astronomer. Bring your own telescope to gain some hints and tips to get the most out of your instrument. If cloudy there is always an alternative programme.

Benefits of Membership
A varied programme of Thursday meetings and a library of past talks provides for all interests. Being part of an active group means experience is shared and help or support is always available.
We also have affiliated membership of the FAS, the BAA, the SHA and the SPA and their newsletters are distributed to members.
The Society owns a number of telescopes and mounts for use by members; a 16 inch Dobsonian plus a number of smaller telescopes including a specialised Solar Scope.
If you want to be with like-minded astronomers in a friendly environment, if you are looking for some observing or imaging tips, an appreciative audience for your astronomical photographs or just some company while observing then why not join us.

Membership is on a sliding scale, up to £30 per annum. Please email us on the Contact us page.

A varied programme of Thursday meetings and a library of past talks provides for all interests. Being part of an active group means experience is shared and help or support is always available.
We also have affiliated membership of the FAS, the BAA, the SHA and the SPA and their newsletters are distributed to members.
The Society owns a number of telescopes and mounts for use by members; a 16 inch Dobsonian plus a number of smaller telescopes including a specialised Solar Scope.
If you want to be with like-minded astronomers in a friendly environment, if you are looking for some observing or imaging tips, an appreciative audience for your astronomical photographs or just some company while observing then why not join us.

Membership is on a sliding scale, up to £30 per annum. Please email us on the Contact us page.

Autumn Equinox Sky Camp
A major event in the LAS calendar is the Autumn Equinox Sky Camp. This takes place every September or October (depending on the new moon) at Kelling Heath, a dark site in North Norfolk. The Saturday includes visiting lecturers, trade stands, tour of the telescopes as well as the usual observing all week. There are bars and restaurants if the weather is cloudy. For more information visit Equinox Sky Camp.
Other Events
As well as the Equinox Sky Camp, we also organise weekend observing trips, solstice meals and visits to astronomical sites. Orion over UoH Bayfordbury
Autumn Equinox Sky Camp
A major event in the LAS calendar is the Autumn Equinox Sky Camp. This takes place every September or October (depending on the new moon) at Kelling Heath, a dark site in North Norfolk. The Saturday includes visiting lecturers, trade stands, tour of the telescopes as well as the usual observing all week. There are bars and restaurants if the weather is cloudy. For more information visit Equinox Sky Camp.
Other Events
As well as the Equinox Sky Camp, we also organise weekend observing trips, solstice meals and visits to astronomical sites. Orion over UoH Bayfordbury
AstroKyds
For our younger observers (6-14 years) we have a junior section that meets on the second Friday of each month.
We ask that a responsible adult or carer stays with the child.
Visit AstroKyds for full details or email us on the Contact us page for more information.
For our younger observers (6-14 years) we have a junior section that meets on the second Friday of each month.
We ask that a responsible adult or carer stays with the child.
Visit AstroKyds for full details or email us on the Contact us page for more information.
History of the Society
The Society was formed in 1968 from a telescope mirror making class at Loughton Hall in Debden. Since then it has grown into a thriving Society and is one of the few in the UK to hold weekly meetings.
The best way to see the night sky is from a dark site. Theydon Bois has been our venue for meeting and observing for many years. It retains its village charm but importantly, it is a reasonably dark sky.
The Society was formed in 1968 from a telescope mirror making class at Loughton Hall in Debden. Since then it has grown into a thriving Society and is one of the few in the UK to hold weekly meetings.
The best way to see the night sky is from a dark site. Theydon Bois has been our venue for meeting and observing for many years. It retains its village charm but importantly, it is a reasonably dark sky.