About us

What we do

HCO comprises a group of amateur astronomers and volunteers 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.

About the Observatory

The permanent site at Hanwell, Oxfordshire, was chosen for this project for various reasons. We have access to a dark site in a rural setting, in grounds covering about 20 acres. The regular use here of the McIver Paton telescope since 1992 has proven the suitability of the site. Group and educational star parties for Oxford University Department for Continuing Education began in 1996. An observing club (Ad HOC) was started in 1998 and the following year, HCO was launched. The site is now home to a set of permanently mounted telescopes, all designed to be weatherproof. The instruments are designed to be used entirely in the open air with no observatory building.

History of Astronomy at Hanwell

Please see the following article for a detailed history of astronomy at the Hanwell site: History of Astronomy at Hanwell.


About this website

This website is continually being developed. Feedback is much appreciated, so please let us know if you experience any problems with the site or if there is something you would like to see here.