About Us? ... Actually it's about you.
HantsAstro.org was a Group concept founded by two Amateur astronomers, David Woods and Graham Green - who started this site and group back in March 2008, because we wanted to do more 'Modern Astronomy'. We wanted to learn using our own telescopes.We wanted change.
To date over 400 people have joined (and the same again on facebbok), so we have become the largest observing/imaging group in Hampshire, and one of the largest in the UK. Our exploits are also followed by over 100 countries via this site, our publications and social media.
How did we do so well then? Simple. No stuffy constitutions. No overbearing committees. No cliques. Seroiusly, we tore up the rulebook and started from scratch. It's your Astronomy. We only have three rules, all of them based around you spending time discovering, not volunteering.
Joining is easy: no waiting lists, no interviews, skills surveys or upfront fees.
It's your hobby, and your time, so why make it like a job?
Our easy-going ethos speaks for itself.
a) Everyone was a beginner once, and we're still eager to learn and we still don't know everything. New to stargazing? Hello, we're not a Billion Years old either. :)
b) Astronomy can be done solo, but is more fun, safer with others plus you can learn more by sharing the experience.
c) We believe that people treat others the same as they would want to be treated themselves, with respect and courtesy. Do as you would be done by, as the saying goes.
d) We lead by example. Always.
We are a much younger Group, with a brighter outlook.
43 is the average age of a HantsAstro member and over generation (or two!) younger than traditional astonomy societies in the UK. We have the widest spectrum of members possible from 11 to 90!
One in three members in are group are women, up to fifeteen times more than most other astronomy groups. Astronomy is for everyone, and not just for beardy physicists.
No committee either, but a 'CoreTeam' of volunteers, who help shape and support the group. We often meet in a Pub. It's more fun and we speak openly and throw around ideas. Then we make them happen.
Ususally, most months one of our members is published in one of the leading UK's Astronomy Magazine's. Not to mention or own of course. We have some passionate and enthusiastic imagers, and photographers. We are creative and geeky. :)
We run Public Outreach (we so hate that phrase!) Events that are always free to attend, to show people what is up there in the night sky .
Other groups have sprung up across the UK since we started and share elements of this fun DNA. Budding Astronomers now have an alternative way of getting together.
HantsAstro really is a new kind of group and years after launch still strives to push ahead with positive change. It is all the best of the Hampshire Astronomy scene in one place. An easy way of getting more out of this multi-faceted past-time in your own way and as you like it. You can be as casual or as hard-core as you like. Learn as much as you can, or dip in when you get the time...
It's your astronomy, not ours.
That's the point, this is truly Astronomy without the boundaries.
David Woods & Graham Green