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About us

Hanwell Community Observatory comprises a group of amateur astronomers based in Hanwell (near Banbury, North Oxfordshire) promoting astronomy in the community. Whether you have private or educational interests in the subject, our aim is to make astronomy accessible to you. We welcome public and school groups to star parties and other events that will open up the Heavens and share with you the wonders of the cosmos. If you are a student or teacher at a local school or university, please see the Education section for details of our current activities and how you can get involved. more...



Target Jupiter stargazing evening a resounding success!

8th March 2014
Over 400 visitors enjoyed "amazing views" of the Moon and Jupiter at HCO's most successful free stargazing event yet. The Target Jupiter stargazing evening, run as part of the Oxfordshire Science Festival and National Astronomy Week 2014, gave members of the public the chance to see the best views of Jupiter for years. more...

Stars & Snowdrops 2014 cancelled due to record rainfall

31st January 2014
With great regret, we were forced to cancel Stars & Snowdrops 2014 due to the state of the woodland walk. January’s record rainfall meant that the snowdrop paths were unsafe for the number of visitors that Stars & Snowdrops generates. more...

Altitude drive fitted to 30" telescope

20th October 2013
The altitude drive has been attached to the 30" telescope. It will enable the telescope to be tilted up and down with precision, making it easier to operate in public stargazing evenings. more...


Would you like to join HCO?

Do you enjoy sharing the fascination of astronomy with others? Or feel you would like to?? In that case, the Hanwell Community Observatory team would love to welcome you as a member, especially if you live within a half-hour drive of Banbury. Click here to find out how to get involved with HCO...



Click here to see an album of astrophotography by HCO members on our facebook page (you can view the photos without a facebook account).

M65 and M66 Double Star


History at Hanwell

Archaeologist Stephen Wass is studying Hanwell Castle and it's grounds, where HCO is based. Hanwell Castle, the area's oldest brick building, was built by Henry VII's treasurer, and the park's 16th and 17th century water gardens were visited by royalty.

To find out more about the project, click here to visit the Polyolbion website.