Heads of the Valleys Astronomical Society : Who we are and what we do.
The Heads of the Valleys Astronomical Society was formed in September of 2000. It has an active membership, strongly affiliated to the Usk and Abergaveny Astronomical Societies.
It's intentions are to provide members of the public, with an interest in astronomy, a means by which they can talk to people having similar interests, to offer them library facilities and the opportunity to use good telescopic equipment.
The society also host talks and lectures by noted acedemics and members of the wider astronomical community. they also arrange outngs to various places of interest, and to various astronomical festivals acros the country.
pictured left : Members visit the Herschel Museum in Bath.
The outcome of our close ties with the Usk and Abergavenny societies means the groups share a common Public Awareness Programme designed to take the science of astronomy out of the club rooms and into the local schools and into local often non-scientific organisations. All services being provided free of charge. HOVAS and Usk have run many external exhibitions and lectures (usually alongside slide shows and utilising Usk's own Planetarium).
The following year the secretary of the society applied to Awards for All Wales for a £5,000 grant siting the need to purchase various items of equipment including a number of telescopes and offering to run an exhibition in conjunction with the Local Education Authority entitled "Travellers in Time and Space".
They were successful in obtaining the grant, purchased a computer, four telescopes and a number of astronomy related text books.
Originally Usk Astronomical Society had run exhibitions at the central library in Cwmbran but the "Travellers in Time and Space" exhibition was to be the most ambitious yet, with both societies, Usk and HOVAS contributing toward the provision of exhibits.
The Local Education Authority (LEA) intended to bus almost 1000 children into the show over the three days that it was due to run and HOVAS had taken steps to hire a portable planetarium from Glamorgan University using monies from the grant to pay for the hire.
The children were to be shown, using models (often made by society members them-selves) how the solar system formed and how life developed upon the Earth. Diora-mas were produced describing the various types of creatures that lived during the evo-lutionary eras.
pictured above : Members gratefully recieve the Awards for All Wales Grant.
e.g. Cambrian, Triassic, Cre-taceous etc and how mankind eventually evolved into a space faring species.
In 2007 HOVAS applied for a second grant from Awards For All Wales and was turned down due to lack of available monies and a policy to invest only in groups that had not previously received a grant but by pure cha nce the HOVAS secretary heard that the Co-operative Society was running a grant scheme of their own and he applied for a second £5,000 grant.
The Society meets on the third Friday of each month (except August) at the Adult Learning Centre in Ebbw Vale. Meeting times are from 7PM to 9PM.
We hope this website will encourage prospective new members, who are always welcome to come along and try us out.
You are always assured of a friendly welcome, and your presence will help to secure the future of the Club well into the future.