‘If you wish to contribute to, or find out more about the History of Astronomy, then I would strongly encourage you to join the SHA’

Dr Allan Chapman       SHA President

Acceptance Article Nov ’02

Picture Credit: Helen Fairweather

Welcome to the our Website. On the right you will find the aims of our Society.

This is achieved in a variety of ways:-

  • A range of publications both printed and electronic which provide a broad range of topics, all to do with the History of Astronomy
  • Go to the ‘Publications’ TAB at the top of this page to see more detail about each of these pubications
  • Regular Meetings throughout the year where you can listen to a range of talks from expert speakers on a wide variety of topics related to the History of Astronomy
  • Go to the ‘Meetings’ TAB at the top of this page for more information
  • Access to, and conservation of, a world-class collection of books related to the History of Astronomy
  • Undertaking a survey of astronomical history in the UK
  • Further details can be found on the ‘Survey’ TAB at the top of the page

If what you see here interests you, then please consider joining the Society by following the ‘Membership’ Tab above and you will find full details on how to join


The SHA is sad to report the death of two prominent members, David Le Conte and Eddie Carpenter.

David Le Conte, was a founder member of the SHA. He was born in Guernsey on the Channel Islands, and was a professional astronomer. Working initially at the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh, and at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, he moved to the US to participate in NASA’s space programme. Subsequently he worked at Kitt Peak National Observatory becoming department manager .
He returned to Guernsey in 1978, becoming involved with the Société Guernesiaise (the island’s local studies society), becoming Secretary of its Astronomy Section in 1985.
David regularly contributed papers and articles to The Antiquarian Astronomer and the SHA Bulletin. David took a special interest in the life of Warren de la Rue, another son of Guernsey. He will be greatly missed.

Eddie Carpenter was a regular presenter at SHA Conferences. His special interests were old astronomical instruments and lantern slides. He also had a large astronomical library and an encyclopaedic knowledge of antiquarian astronomical books.

Astronomy was his lifelong passion being a skilled observer with a thirst for knowledge which he loved to pass on. He taught outreach classes for Bristol University and introduced many people to the joys of stargazing. He was delighted when his asterism was officially recognised, becoming known as ‘Eddie’s Roller Coaster’ when published in the Saguaro Asterisms Database in 2013, and subsequently in Sky at Night Magazine in 2014. Located in Cassiopeia, it lies about 3° north of Navi (gamma Cassiopeiae), and runs about 2½° across the sky. Eddie featured in the 2007 BBC TV Time Shift series, from which the screenshot (left) is taken.



The SHA Bulletin 33 Spring 2020

is being made freely available to all who wish to download it.

This is because of the unprecedented Global Coronacrisis we are all in.

The SHA Council hope you find it interesting and that it leads to you wanting to know more about Astronomy and its fascinating History



Dear Members and friends of the SHA.

The Society will suspend all meetings and BMI Library openings until further notice. This is  due to the current situation and the need for containment of the C-19 virus outbreak. We will keep members informed and council officers will be in contact with those members, in the next few days, who have paid for meetings attendance and associated refreshments already. Venues, Invited speakers and visitors are being contacted separately by members of council.

While we realise that the cancellation and postponement of events and meetings will cause some inconvenience and disappointment, the health and wellbeing of our society members, venue staff and visitors is our highest priority.

We hope to re-arrange some events/meetings later in the year.

I wish you good health at this time, and please follow the official advice:

NHS/Public Health Service advice.

Gerard Gilligan

Chairman The Society for the History of Astronomy.

14th March 2020.


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