Gerard Gilligan is acting meetings secretary.

If you wish to contact Gerard please use


SHA Summer Picnic 2022

A Visit to the City of Bath & Herschel Museum of Astronomy on Saturday 25th June

Picnic Flyer

Numbers are restricted for the picnic. Members should contact the meetings secretary using the email above for further details


The SHA – Birthday Webinar from 7pm  June 29, 2022

Members Presentations 20 – 30 minutes


Title: Animistic Constellations in Ancient Greece                  Presenter: Bernie Taylor

The historical record of western astronomy almost exclusively attributes the constellations in Claudius Ptolemy’s Almagest to earlier Greek and Mesopotamian sources. The theme of post Mesopotamian constellations in the Almagest also revolves around wild animals and mythical creatures that are more typically associated with hunter-gatherer and animistic cultures while the Mesopotamian constellations are more agricultural-oriented. This is culturally counter-intuitive as the ancient Greeks developed mathematical principles, built mechanical devices and were more sedentary than their Mesopotamian predecessors. This research compares constellation images in Upper Paleolithic Iberian caves from more than 30,000 years ago with constellations in the Almagest to source Pre-Mesopotamian origins of Greek constellations and partly explainwhy Ptolemy added hunter-gatherer animistic themed constellations in a time of great scientific achievement


Title – Eclipse of the Sun Wednesday 29th June 1927.     Presenter: Graham Mcloughin

The Highly anticipated Total Eclipse of the Sun 29th June 1927, the first Total eclipse to be viewed from the U.K. in 203 years. The eclipse occurred early morning across North Wales heading east over Lancashire North Yorkshire and North east of England then departing over the North Sea. At the Time it was the largest mass movement of people in the U.K. to view the eclipse in a narrow path of totality 32 miles wide. In this short presentation I will share some rare stories and photographs of the time.


Title – “David Gill & the Dunecht Observatory – the forgotten past of a world class observatory”.             Presenter: Neville Browne

Aberdonian David Gill was a watchmaker but his real love was astronomy – and he became the first director of the Dunecht observatory in 1872. Where, you may ask? In its time one of the world’s great observatories, now demolished, and the forerunner of the Royal Observatory Edinburgh. Quite a story!”


Title: Did Philolaus influence Aristarchus: A reconsideration of the evidence  Presenter: Hilary Forbes

Philolaus (c. 470 – c. 385 BCE) was a Greek Pythagorean and pre-Socratic philosopher. Philolaus discussed a Central Fire as the centre of the universe and that spheres (including the Sun) revolved around it. Scholarship is divided as to whether his Pyrocentric model was based on religious ideas or was a radical new science of his time based on observations and what was known. There is no direct evidence that Aristarchus was influenced by his Pyrocentric Universe yet there is plenty of indirect evidence to suggest that he was, including Copernicus’ own thinking in his associating Aristarchus with Philolaus.

 Each presentation will be followed by Q&A.

Followed by your own refreshments, Birthday Cake etc.

General discussion etc. Members seeking advice or help with research problems find a book, future of SHA, suggest places to visit etc.

Contact Gerard using the email above if you wish to attend.

He will send you the Zoom joining instructions in due course.


A video recording of the last talk by Brother Guy Consolmagno on Why does the Pope have an Observatory? can be viewed here via YouTube for a limited time period.