Welcome to the

West Yorkshire Astronomical Society

(For Information on Bookings and Costs Please See  The Education & Outreach Link)

Update 28/03/2020

While we are closed and social isolating due the Corona-virus it is a perfect time to try some backyeard astronomy.  If you do not have access to a telescope or binoculars there are a few items that you can still see.  The 24th March was a new moon, with tonight is a waxing cresent showing only 18% of the moon.  Details of the phases of the moon can be found on the time and date website.

The bright object near to the moon is the planet Venus.  This is the second planet from the Sun and a mere 101.41 million km (63.38 Million miles) away.  More details of Venus can be found on the NASA's website.  Unformtunately there are no other planets visible in the night sky at this time.

The International Space Station is passing over the United Kingdom for the next couple of days.  The times it can be seen are shown below weather permitting.

Finally, the clocks go forward into British Summer Time (BST) on Sunday 29th March at 01:00.  Remember to update your goto telescopes.

If the situation changes then we will provide updates both here and on our facebook site. 

Simon (Website Administrator)


Further Update 23/3/2020

Due to the escalating situation with Corona-virus (Covid 19) The West Yorkshire Astronomical Society will be remaining closed until we feel it is safe to re-open.
We have cancelled all our guest speakers and most have agreed to return at a future date and all future outreach such as the young astronomers club is also cancelled.
The decision as to when we will re-open will be made in conjunction with government advice and will be widely advertised at that time.
We are sorry that we are having to take this measure but the safety of all our members and visitors is our primary concern.
Colin Daley
West Yorkshire Astronomical Society.



Coronoavirus (Covid 19), Precautionary action statement Re temporary closure.


Due to the number of people who visit The West Yorkshire Astronomical Society (WYAS) from all parts of the country, and the current position with Coronavirus we will be closing our doors as a purely precautionary measure (I must stress that no persons are infected with Covid 19 and no one is self-isolating in respect of these measures) until the end of March to ensure the wellbeing of our visitors. 


All outreach events including the Young Astronomers Night, Guest Speakers and Club nights will not take place during this time, details will be updated onto our website and via internal email to WYAS members & visitors when new information is available regarding re-opening.


We are extremely sorry for any inconvenience this may cause but the wellbeing of our members and visitors is our primary concern.


Colin Daley


West Yorkshire Astronomical Society.





Welcome from the West Yorkshire Astronomical Society, Pontefract.

Conceptualised in 1973 a group of 20 people came together and formed the West Yorkshire Astronomical Society (WYAS).



Set within the grounds of The Carleton Community Centre, Pontefract building started in June 1977 and over a period of 6 years the initial building was completed and opened by Sir Patrick Moore on the 25th September 1983.


An extension specifically built for disabled access housing a computer room, kitchen, toilet and an equipment store were added later, along with two outdoor observing pads making up our current building.


The society aims to promote the science of astronomy to its members and general public, we are keen to promote astronomy to all ages and particularly people with special needs and disabilities.



Whether you are a complete beginner or a veteran astronomer, young or mature, male or female you will be welcomed by the society. 



We are a friendly group of people who all share a common interest in the universe and its many wonders, whatever your interest may be, and whether you are an expert or a complete beginner you will be made most welcome.


The WYAS members have worked tirelessly since its inception to bring astronomy to the wider community, their work is unpaid and together with arranged group visits, the Society regularly attract up to 2,000 people per year.


The society opens every Tuesday and most Friday nights, and the observatory also opens for arranged visits, it regularly host guest speakers from both the amateur and professional astronomical communities who are invited to talk to both Society members and the general public. 


The Society has a range of instruments, including a Celestron 14” Edge, a 14" Meade LX 200, a 10" Meade LX 90, a Televue 4" refractor with solar filters and various accessories. All primary telescopes are available for use by arrangement and smaller telescopes are available for use by members on any night of the year.


A large amount of research grade imaging equipment has been purchased and computer networking installed, we have an automated dome to provide people with disabilities a facility where they can carry out their own projects with the minimum of help by able-bodied people.


Other activities involve talks by Society members, Imaging trips to places like Kielder Forest in Northumberland and practical sessions which may be held either in the clubroom or at a venue suitable for the occasion such as Meteor Shower observing in a darker sky location.


If you are contemplating the purchase of a telescope - we can provide honest advice about the ‘Pros and Cons’ of the various types or seek advice about setting up or buying your first piece of observing equipment or new equipment such as cameras, telescopes, mounts etc. 


You can come along and ask questions about using telescopes, if you have a telescope and want to know how to use it better - we can help. 



How to take pictures of the Moon, Planets or Deep Sky Objects we have members who can help.


The Society members have a wealth of astronomical knowledge and experience, they have gained knowledge by learning and listening from other Professional/Amateur astronomers and are happy sharing this with members and visitors alike.


If you want to know more about what can be seen in the night sky, we have a very active observing/astro-photography section of the society who are always on hand to help out, so don’t just sit back on the sofa of an evening come and experience what we have to offer…


”Astronomy is looking up” 


Colin Daley



Events & News








Come and join us for a friendly evening of chat, Tea, Coffee and Cakes.


 Our esteemed editor has asked that if any member has articles for the Phobos magazine, could they please forward them to him. 


 STELLARIUM - Probably the best free planetarium program around! 




 Image result for stellarium



Do you use Amazon?
You can now ask them to donate to WYAS through their Smile Charity donation scheme.
Just click this link to see more.




Thanks to Eric Wiley for the donation to the

StarGazing Live raffle.


Fancy building a telescope from scratch?

Or how about a cardboard steam engine!

Have a go at a cardboard newtonian.





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