How UK Astronomy started

From failure to success!

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again...

UK Astronomy started as one man in a field. His name was Ross Hockham and all he was looking for was some friends to share his passion of the skies with. The field Ross would frequent belonged to Emberton Sports & Social Club. One night Ross was spotted and invited in to the club for coffee and cake. As the conversation progressed, Ross was asked "Why not do a presentation here?".

As the only attendee, Ross's first event was a huge flop! His second event was no different being alone again. The third and fourth events were both planned as weekend event, however, there was torrential rain storms at both and again, not one person turned up. But this didn't deter Ross. On his fifth event, at last, people turned up to enjoy the skies with him. His wife, Frankie, asked, "Why not just make a Facebook group?". So he did. Ross created a group called UK Astronomy and invited 30 of his unlucky friends to join.

Six years on, the Facebook group has over 22,500 members and is still increasing in numbers and popularity. Wanting to inspire and educate others, Ross registered UK Astronomy as a charity. UK Astronomy now holds events all over Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire. Ross is regularly joined by his newfound astro buddies who all give up their time freely to help teach at schools, community groups, kids clubs, and anywhere else that would like to take advantage of the educational benefits of looking up at the sky.

Ross wanted UK Astronomy to be about people like him. He wanted someone who was a complete beginner and knew nothing about the sky to be able to come along, see and learn about the great sights in our night sky, within a safe and friendly atmosphere for all ages. UK Astronomy is a place for everyone to get together and find local people in their communities to go stargazing with. It is for total beginners and pros alike.

Our charity's Facebook group is full of astronomers from all over the UK who are willing to chat, help and advise you on pretty much any subject. We post monthly guides about what’s happening in the sky that people may enjoy seeing either with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope. There’s something for everyone! We also run a free monthly photo competition which you can find more details of on this website. UK Astronomy offers public outreach astronomy talks and private stargazing events throughout three counties from self-taught astronomer Ross.

If you would be interested in us visiting your school or group please contact us for more details or see the 'what we do' page. We will even just pop round to your house for a cup of tea and help you with any scope setting up or general interest with your star gazing needs. Because we want to share this amazing hobby with everyone.....

Discover More...

Check out these other areas of our website

Meet the Team
Meet the founders and dedicated team of volunteers that make up our fantastic organisation.

Discover how they got started in astronomy, their passion for the stars and their achievements.
What we do
UK Astronomy provide educational workshops that excite and inspire others to learn about space.

We work with schools, community groups like scouts, guides, rotary groups and WI, other charities, and businesses. We can tailor a workshop session to suit your needs.
How you can support us
As with all charities, we are always in need of help and support. There are many ways that you can help us to ensure we can continue to offer events and to secure the future of our outreach program.