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The Astronomical Society of Glasgow is the largest Astronomical Society in Scotland, and is dedicated to promoting an interest in Astronomy.
The Society has been promoting Astronomy in Glasgow for over 100 years. Membership of the Society is open to all; and anyone, even with the vaguest interests in Astronomy, is welcome to find out what the Society is about.
We are a member of the British Association of Planetaria, affiliated to the British Astronomical Association and the Scottish Astronomers' Group. The society is a member of the Federation of Astronomical Societies, and is a registered Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (Charity Number SC049446).
The Society holds nine regular monthly lecture meetings from September through to May each year. Lectures are held in the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow city centre at 7.30pm, normally on the third Thursday of each month, however this does occasionally change to allow us to welcome some of our speakers who have busy schedules.
All topics of Astronomy are covered in the lectures from Planetary Science to Astrophotography and The Search for Life Beyond Earth. The lectures are free and are open to members and non-members alike. Prior to each meeting a Newsletter is circulated to the Membership giving details of the speaker, the lecture topic and other matters of timely interest.
We also have a number of observing evenings for our members, where we can take advantage of the 16" Meade LX200 telescope at University of Glasgow's Acre Road observatory, as well as some darker skies observing evenings at Mugdock country park just outside Glasgow.
The Society is also involved in a number of outreach events, bringing Astronomy to the people of Glasgow and further afield. At these events we provide a number of telescopes and the knowledge of the members to assist the public to look through them to see the craters on the moon, planets and distant stars. If the skies aren't clear on a particular evening, then we will share our knowledge with presentations and talks on various astronomy topics.
See you there,
Public lectures for the 2018-2019 session
The ASG's programme of free public lectures for the 2018-19 session has now been finalised, and full details may be viewed by clicking here.
We at the ASG are continually honoured to host a broad range of distinguished speakers, including Professor Clare Parnell, who gave the Leon Davies lecture in April 2018, and Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, discoverer of pulsars, who gave the Tannahill lecture in January 2017.
Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell was presented with
Photo by E Gibson
Professor Clare Parnell was presented with
Photo by E Gibson
The ASG's programme of free public lectures for the 2018-19 session may be viewed by clicking here.
Membership Privacy Statement
The ASG will process your personal information to facilitate your membership of the Society and to communicate with you in relation to matters which are essential to your continued membership. This may include (although will not be limited to);
• To process your annual membership subscriptions to the Society
• To facilitate your participation in any ASG activities, such as observing nights, other relevant Society events
• To advise you of any changes in the Society’s programme of events
• To provide you with access to the Society’s monthly newsletter
• To provide you with access to the Members’ Only section of the Society’s website
• To provide information about and to administer any Governance matters, including our AGMs, elections to the Society’s governing Council, and any changes to the Society’s Constitution
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We process this information pursuant to our membership agreement with you and in order to comply with any legal obligations.
Your information will be stored securely encrypted on computers operated by the President, Membership Secretary and the Newsletter Editor. The encryption key will be held by a fourth officer of the Society. They will not ordinarily hold a copy of the database.
We will not share your data with any third party. We may, if requested by a third party, and the Society Council considers that such a request is compatible with the Society’s rules and aims, facilitate the promotion of such a request. For example, activities being promoted by outside organisations that may be of interest to Members. This may be done by email and by promotion on the Society’s Facebook page.
We will keep your data for the duration of your membership and will retain a full record of your membership for 2 years thereafter to assist with re-applications to membership or to confirm membership status. After 2 years, we will archive your record and will only keep information after this point in order to comply with any relevant statutory requirements and to satisfy our duties as a Registered Charity.
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Should you have any issues, concerns or problems in relation to your data, or wish to notify us of data which is inaccurate, please let us know by contacting us using the contact details above. In the event that you are not satisfied with our processing of your personal data, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the relevant supervisory authority, which is the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in the UK, at any time. The ICO’s contact details are available here: https://ico.org.uk/concerns/
For the purposes of data protection legislation, the data controller is the Membership Secretary of The Astronomical Society of Glasgow.
Please note – if you do not provide consent, the ASG will be unable to contact you regarding any of the above.
1. Information held on the Society’s website is deemed accurate at the time and date of publication.
2. Information on this website is not necessarily the opinion of The ASG.
3. The ASG does not guarantee accuracy or take any responsibility for the information contained on the website.
4. The ASG does not take any liability for information contained on third party websites, accessed through www.asg.org.uk, and The ASG does not approve the contents of these sites.
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6.The website and these Terms are governed by Scottish Law and the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of Scotland.
Issued by the Council of The Astronomical Society of Glasgow
2nd May 2018
The story of Glasgow’s astronomical societies begins in 1809 when the Glasgow Society for Promoting Astronomical Science was inaugurated. Ambitious plans were prepared for an Observatory to cost £1,500 and a site was chosen on Garnethill. The Convenor, Dr Andrew Ure, went to Largs to confer with Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane and also went to London to confer with leading scientists of the day. The Observatory was built - an ornate Egyptian-style building, equipped with some excellent instruments. However, the Society ran out of funds, the Observatory was surrounded by new building and became unsuitable for its purpose. The Society was disbanded in 1822 and some of the instruments were identified as being sold off although others just ‘disappeared’. Around 1830-32 the building was demolished.
A West of Scotland Branch of the British Astronomical Society was founded in 1894 and based in Glasgow. The inaugural meeting took place on 23 November that year when members were addressed by E. W. Maunder, founder of the BAA and Editor of the Journal. His subject was ‘In Pursuit of a Shadow’ - an account of the recent eclipse expedition.
The first of the Branch visits was to the then new Observatory at Blackford Hill, Edinburgh, where they were conducted personally over the buildings by the Astronomer Royal for Scotland, and received from him much valuable information about the instruments. (The Society continues to have annual outings to places of astronomical interest and has returned on a number of occasions to the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh).
For some years the Branch continued to have a relatively small membership although the high standard of the papers read and the subjects treated was well maintained. In 1904, the Branch requested permission to enrol associated not directly connected with the BAA. The resulting increase in membership was so great that it was found necessary to seek a new meeting place. In October 1905, the Branch met for the first time in the new buildings of the Royal Technical College, Glasgow. (This association has happily been maintained and to this day the Society meets within the University of Strathclyde). Also about 1905, the Branch obtained authority to enrol members resident in any part of Scotland and eventually in 1937, the name was changed to ‘Scottish Branch’.
The Branch celebrated its silver jubilee in September 1919 and although the War was over, railway restrictions still prevailed and prevented a visit to the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh. Later on, a second World War was to affect the membership and attendance at meetings, but throughout this difficult period there was no interruption to the programme of the Branch.
Accounts of the meetings make interesting reading. For example, Professor A. D. Rowes of the University of Western Australia, while on a visit to this country, gave a paper on Star Groups; by contrast, a novelty was reading of a paper by Mr. J. R. Simpson on references to astronomy in the poems of Robert Burns! (Indeed, Mr David Sinden and his brother, Mr Frederick Sinden, presented the 1996 O'Neill lecture entitled 'The Stars o' Robert Burns').
With the close of the session 1943-44, the Branch completed fifty years of useful life and this was celebrated, amongst other things, by the re-election of Professor Smart to the Jubilee Chair. There was a civic reception in the City Chambers, and a Dinner was held. The Astronomer Royal, Sir Harold Spencer-Jones, addressed the Branch.
About ten years later, it was decided to wind up the Branch and reconstitute it as The Astronomical Society of Glasgow, affiliated to the BAA. This took effect on 30th April 1954.
Thanks to Margaret Morris
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