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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.

NGC 6992 - Eastern Veil Nebula

The Veil Nebula is a large faint supernova remnant in the Constellation Cygnus around 2,100 light-hears away and was discovered in 1784 by William Herschel. It is one of the best known supernova more...

M16 - Eagle Nebula

M16 can be found low in the Serpens-Clauda spiral arm of our Galaxy. It is estimated to be 7,000 light years away. This is a large star cluster surrounded by giant cloud of interstellar gas and dust  more...

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...

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