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Society History

Lots to come soon, still lots in the [old site]

In this section we will be taking a look back at the Society's history. The society is believed to have formed back in the 1920s but not in the current format. The University is believed to have had a strong amateur astronomy group since the University formed but we do not have any detailed records about this. This is something that we are going to try and investigate. In terms of Astrosoc as it is now it was believed to have started in the 1950s and we have records that go back to about then. This section will have a collection of items from then to the present, with most of the recent documents existing in other forms on the website.

Previous Member? Are you are previous member of the society? Fancy knowing about whats going on with the society, why not join our alumni email list. Just email us at and we will add you. Also do you have any stories or pictures of the society in the past - we would love to hear off you.

Currently the subsections will link to the old site, this will eventually be changed.

Leonids Observations - Nov 17th 1963


Eleven members of the Birmingham University Astronomical Society Observed the Leonid Meteor shower on the night of the 16th - 17th November 1963. Working in shifts 4 observers lay with their feet pointing N, S, E and W. They were each equipped with a 13" diameter whole sky chart which were changed every 2 hours because of the Earth's rotation. Red torches, clocks and ball point pens were also provided. Observers were asked to sketch meteor trails on the maps, give each meteor a number and mark down the estimated colour and speed of the meteor in a separate table. They were also asked to note down the percentage cloud cover. The observation were made at Wightwick Bank Observatory (2 miles west of Wolverhampton). The observations were submitted to the British Astronomical Association and were used to extract more information from the data. They did note in correspondence though that they believed that four observers wold not be good enough to observer all meteors. This might, however, be the case down to 2nd magnitude objects but not fainter. It is noted that they believe that 32 observers are need to cover the whole sky to the naked-eye limit! The results were presented at a meeting of the BAA.

For more including the full report and lots of interesting pictures see: [Leonids 1963]

Perseids Observations - Aug 11th 1964

Observations of the Perseid meteors shower on the night of August 11 - 12 1964 were done by vacation course students at the Royal Greenwich Observatory, Herstmonceux. The observers were from multiple different Universities across the country with only one from Birmingham. The results suggest hat 6.5 meteors were seen every 5 minutes.

For more see: [Perseids 1964]

Leonids Observations - Nov 16th 1964

In this observation only the Chairperson observed for a period of an hour seeing 8 meteors. Obviously one person can not survey the whole sky at once.

For more see: [Leonids 1964]