North Essex Astronomical Society
Promoting Astronomy in Essex
North Essex Astronomical Society
Solar Gazing
North Essex Astronomical Society
The friendly astronomy society
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About Us



Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

Our regular events fall into three groups – our monthly public lectures, our star gazing (solar in the summer) events at Great Notley Country Park and Abberton Reservoir and members-only events. We also run a Young Astronomers Club and occasional online Live Astronomy events.

All our events are listed on our calendar. Links to events at individual locations can be found by following the above links.


Date Time Event
8:00pm - 11:30pm
Thursday Club Night at The Observatory (Members Only) neas club nights
8:00pm - 11:30pm
Thursday Club Night at The Observatory (Members Only) neas club nights
8:00pm - 11:30pm
Friday Club Night at The Observatory (Members Only.) night
6:00pm - 9:00pm
Star Gazing at Great Notley - 7 March 2020 Star Gazing at Great Notley
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Young Astronomers Club
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10



Cancelled – Star Gazing at Great Notley 9 Nov 2019

Unfortunately due to the cloud cover we have had to cancel tonight’s event.

Fingers crossed for next time.

Cancelled – Star Gazing at Great Notley 5 Oct 2019

Unfortunately due to the cloud cover we have had to cancel tonight’s event.

Young Astronomers Club recognised in volunteering awards

Young Astronomers Club AwardWe are honoured that our Young Astronomers Club was recognised in the 2019 Braintree District Volunteers Awards in the Group Award category.

Many thanks to Cheryl for organising the Young Astronomers Club and to all our volunteers who give up a lot of time for both YAC and at our other outreach activities across the county.

Cancelled – Solar Gazing at Great Notley 22 June 2019

Unfortunately we are unable to run this event and instead we will be at Planet Essex at Cressing Temple. More details here.

Cancelled – Young Astronomers Club – 11 June 2019

We are really sorry but tonight’s (11 June 2019) Young Astronomers Club is cancelled due to reasons beyond our control.

We apologise for the late notice and hope to see you next time.

CANCELLED – Stargazing at Great Notley Country Park (16th February 2019)

Tonight’s stargazing event (16th February) at Great Notley Country Park is cancelled due to the poor weather forecast. Sorry for any disappointment, and we hope to see you at the next one in March.

If you can’t wait that long, on Tuesday (19th Feb), Great Notley Country Park are running their Sky Ropes Under The Stars Event, to coincide with the Super Moon. Weather permitting, we will be there with a few telescopes so you can take a look at the Moon after your adventure on the ropes. Booking is essential, details here:…/sky-ropes-under-the-stars/

Comet Gif

In the January 2019 edition of Pulsar we included a gif.

Alas not all email programs like them, so here’s Paul’s gif for everyone to enjoy.

It’s 46P and was taken by Paul Blakesley just before Christmas, over a period of 1.5 hours

UPDATE – Stargazing on 19 Jan 2019 at Great Notley

The stargazing event at Great Notley Country Park tonight (Saturday 19th January) will be going ahead at 6:00PM. The weather forecast is for a lot of cloud, so we expect views to be limited if we see anything at all. The event is due to finish at 9:00PM but we may end it sooner if there are no breaks in the cloud.

CANCELLED – Stargazing on 15 Dec 2018 at Great Notley & Abberton

Saturday’s stargazing events (15th December) at Great Notley Discovery Park and Abberton Reservoir are cancelled due to the poor weather forecast. Sorry for any disappointment, and we hope to see you at the next ones in January.

The Perfect Christmas Present

Looking for the perfect Christmas present for the astronomer in your family?

Why not give them membership to North Essex Astronomical Society?

Membership is just £25 for an indivudial or £35 for a family. We even do a junior membership at £10

Membership entitles you to:

  • access to and full use of our observatory dark site and telescopes
  • our monthly Pulsar e-magazine and other email updates about activities and events
  • reduced door charge for public meetings
  • observing sessions and workshops
  • helping out at our many public and private outreach events
  • members-only events, meetings, activities, informal trips to the pub and organised meals and curry nights
  • affiliate membership of the Society for the History of Astronomy

It’s easy to join too. You can do it all online and pay via Paypal or BACs.

Do it now and cross one thing off your to-do list.

And if you want to drop a subtle hint to someone in your family that this would be a good present, why not send them a link to this page or even print the page and put it on the fridge!


Frequently Asked Questions

If you don’t see the answer to your question below, please feel free to contact us.


  • I would like to buy a telescope for myself or as a gift, but I don’t know where to start?
    Please download our free telescope guide which covers telescope basics and provides suggestions for different types of use across a range of budgets.  A telescope can be an expensive purchase, and we’d strongly recommend joining an astronomical society first so that you can ‘try before you buy’.
  • I have a telescope but I don’t know how to use it, can I pay you to help me set it up or provide lessons?
    We don’t provide individual lessons. We run an annual ‘telescope help’ session in January which is open to the public; bring your telescope along and we’ll do our best to help. Please see our events page for details. Our stargazing events are usually too busy for us to be able to assist you.  We’d strongly recommend joining NEAS as you’ll quickly learn the ropes from other friendly members at our weekly club night.
  • I have a telescope I’d like to sell, will you buy it or advertise it to your members?
    We don’t advertise equipment for sale to our members, and generally don’t buy used equipment from the public.  We cannot advise you on pricing equipment for sale.  UK Astronomy Buy & Sell is a good place to advertise used equipment for free and the ‘sold’ ads will give you an idea of current prices.
  • I have a telescope that I no longer use and would like to donate, would you be interested?
    Please contact us with details of any unwanted items, as we may be able to use them for our outreach events or for loan to newer members.


  • I’m thinking about becoming a member, can I see what your observatory is like before deciding?
    Access to our observatory is for members only for insurance and security reasons.  We’d recommend coming along to one of our public lectures or stargazing events to speak to us if you are unsure about joining. Our observatory has a variety of telescopes, an outdoor observing area and limited indoor space including a lavatory and tea-making facilities.  To set your expectations, it is a building in an agricultural field rather than a NASA facility!


  • Is membership suitable for children?
    There is no age limit on becoming a member of NEAS; we have junior and family memberships available and we welcome children at our public events and (age-appropriate) members-only events provided they are supervised by an adult.  We’d strongly advise bringing your children to at least one of our public stargazing events to gauge their level of interest before joining.  Whilst it very much depends on the child, younger children are unlikely to find the observatory a fun playground.
  • Do you cater for people with disabilities?
    We do our best to be a friendly and welcoming society for everyone. Our Abberton ReservoirGreat Notley and Public Lecture pages contain specific disability access information, and our Members-Only events page contains access information about our Observatory.
    Members with limited mobility may find it difficult or impossible to access our Observatory dome due to six narrow steps. The outside observing area can be accessed directly from the field if your mobility aids are able to cross it.  We can usually arrange for members with limited mobility to park in the field directly adjacent to the observatory, though on occasions this may not be possible if the ground conditions or operational needs of the farm prevent it.
    Many people with limited mobility can observe through our portable telescopes, although it may be difficult or impossible for some. We have a portable camera and viewing screen which can be used in these circumstances. If you would like to discuss your specific needs please do not hesitate to contact us.

Outreach & Events

  • Can you run an event for my school, cubs/scout/brownies/guides or other organisation?
    We run many evening events for schools, community and volunteer organisations each year.  Please see our Outreach page for more information. We also run solar gazing stands at country fairs and similar public events.  If you would be interested in having us attend such an event, please contact us for more information.

Media Enquiries

  • I’m a member of the media, can you assist me?
    We have members who can comment knowledgeably on spaceflight and astronomical news items, as well as providing general information on astronomy and space.  Our members have appeared on television, radio and can provide quotes or more detailed commentary for newspapers, magazines and journalistic web sites.
    Please contact us for assistance; we will do our best to respond quickly as we know you often have tight deadlines to meet, but please bear in mind we are volunteers with day jobs.
  • I am reporting on a UFO sighting, will you comment?
    We are more than happy to comment on genuine atmospheric, astronomical and spaceflight phenomena where you can provide sufficient information for us to identify the cause and provide a rational, scientific explanation. We do not comment on ‘Flying Saucer’, ‘Alien Encounter’ or ‘Flat Earth’ or similar pieces where you intend present pseudo-scientific nonsense and genuine science as having equal weight or validity.  Whilst we appreciate your job is to fill column inches and increase your readership, our job is to educate and inform the public based on facts and well-founded scientific theories.
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