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About us

Hanwell Community Observatory comprises a group of volunteers 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...

 

Skynotes

Get ideas of things to see in the night sky, and find out what what HCO members have been observing, with Skynotes - excerpts from HCO member's own observing notes.

M10

It was a warn evening and seeing was average about III but lots of thin clouds drifting around so difficult to get cloud free images. In the end out of 20 images only a couple were completely clear. Unfortunately the cloud cover more...

Jupiter

With the light summer nights looming on us so quickly and here in Cornwall such unpredictable weather it was time put aside the deep sky objects and look at the brightest planet that is well positioned in our skies at the moment, Jupiter. more...

The Moon

First-quarter Moon, taken on 5th Jan. 2017 by Harry Tate of Banbury. Harry had only begun observing the Moon two nights before, and took this excellent photo (a single shot) using the simplest possible equipment, a mobile-phone camera pointed through the eyepiece more...

See more Skynotes »

 

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!
Find out how to get involved with HCO »

 

History at Hanwell

Archaeologist Stephen Wass embarked on a five year project to uncover the lost gardens of Hanwell Castle in January 2013. There have been substantial diggings all over the grounds and significant artefacts have been found.  Emerging is a picture of a very carfeully constructed and elaborate layout of walled walks and terraces. The gardens were visited in the seventeenth century by King James I and Charles I. The scientific interests of Sir Anthony Cope (d.1675) provide an interesting historic link for HCO. There is a sense of continuing in the spirit of a man, described by the Oxford Chemist, Sir Robert Plot,  as a 'great virtuoso', for his boring of cannons, polishing of stones and grinding of corn in these grounds which Plot called 'A New Atlantis'.
To find out more about the project, click here to visit the Polyolbion website »

 

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