Manchester Astronomical Society
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|Formation||1903 (114 years ago)|
|Purpose||To promote and encourage an educational and popular interest in the science of astronomy.|
|Dr. Barry Henshall|
|Affiliations||British Astronomical Association, Society for the History of Astronomy, Federation of Astronomical Societies, Northwest Group of Astronomical Societies|
The Manchester Astronomical Society is an organisation that promotes amateur and popular astronomy in North West England. It is one of the oldest provincial astronomical societies in England. The Society is based in the Godlee Observatory located in Manchester city centre. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in astronomy.
The society's origins lay in the North Western Branch of the British Astronomical Association, which was established in the Northwest of England in 1892, soon after the Association's formation in 1890. However, a number of members gradually became dissatisfied with the treatment of the branch by the Association, particularly with the funding available to the branch. The members of the North Western Branch consequently decided to dissolve the branch in 1903, and the Manchester Astronomical Society was formed in its place in September 1903 at a meeting at the Godlee Observatory. Thomas H. Core served as its first president.
The society held regular lectures. The membership numbered 98 by the end of the first session.
The society was able to attract some prominent scientists to give lectures, including Arthur Rambaut, Ralph Sampson and Sir Arthur Eddington. The Stonyhurst College astronomer Aloysius Cortie served as president from 1911 until his death. Notable members included the telescope maker John Hindle and the proponent of spacefight Eric Burgess.
The society meets regularly on Thursday evenings in the Godlee Observatory. These meetings consist of observing using the telescopes (weather permitting), informal talks and discussion sessions.
The Society hosts public lectures on astronomy on the third Thursday of the month between October and March. These lectures are currently being held in the John Dalton Building, Oxford Road, Manchester. They are generally given by invited speakers although the December lecture is traditionally given by the current president and held in the Godlee Observatory.
The society holds its Annual General Meeting on the third Thursday of April in the Godlee Observatory. 
- 2009 – Present Dr. Barry Henshall
- 2003 - 2009 G. Hodson
- 2000 - 2003 G.D. Duckworth
- 1997 - 2000 R. Brierley
- 1993 - 1997 A.W. Cross
- 1991 - 1993 K.J. Kilburn
- 1989 - 1991 R. Brierley
- 1986 - 1989 J.K. Bolton
- 1985 - 1986 K. Davis
- 1982 - 1985 S.J. Hodgkinson
- 1981 - 1982 K.J. Kilburn
- 1980 - 1981 P. Mack
- 1978 - 1980 K.J. Kilburn
- 1976 - 1978 K. Brierley
- 1973 - 1976 M. Duckworth
- 1970 - 1973 T. Hill
- 1967 - 1970 A. Whittaker
- 1964 - 1966 K. Bispham
- 1958 - 1964 S.W.R. Mottram
- 1948 - 1958 J.C. Farrer
- 1945 - 1948 E.D. Sherlock
- 1937 - 1945 H.L. Dilks
- 1935 - 1937 Rev. Fr. J.P. Rowland
- 1931 - 1935 L.H.A.Carr
- 1928 - 1931 W. Porthouse
- 1925 - 1928 A.A. Buss
- 1911 - 1925 Rev. Fr. A.L. Cortie
- 1910 - 1911 W.T. Hesketh
- 1907 - 1910 J. Watson
- 1904 - 1907 E.T. Whitelow
- 1903 - 1904 Rev. T.H. Core
- "Manchester Astronomical Society". Manastro.org. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- "North-Western Branch. Manchester". Journal of the British Astronomical Association. British Astronomical Association. 2 (5): 248–252. 1892. Bibcode:1892JBAA....2..248. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
- Kilburn, Kevin J. (2004). "A Brief History of Manchester Astronomical Society". The Antiquarian Astronomer. Society for the History of Astronomy. 1: 13–18. Bibcode:2004AntAs...1...13K.
- Duckworth, M. "Manchester Astronomical Society 1903 – 1978". Manchester Astronomical Society. Retrieved 30 April 2015.