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Blackett Observatory Dome
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SpaceWeather | More weather... Coordinates: 51.25.25 N and 1.44.24 W
Marlborough College
Oxford Astrophysics
Green Templeton College

Observing Neptune and Uranus. Monday 22nd September (Friends). Dome open 8pm (weather permitting)


NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day
Saturn at Equinox

What's Up - Week of 22nd September

  • Astronomical Twilight ends at 20.59 BST at the start of the week and 20.44 BST at the end

  • The Moon is waning and will be New on Tuesday and will then be visible as a slender crescent by the end of the week

  • The Autumnal Equinox is on Tuesday as the Sun crosses the Celestial Equator at coordinates 12h RA, 0 degrees Dec and the Northern summer ends. From now the day length is less than that of the night

  • The Sun has 6 sunspot groups none of which are active

  • The ISS make no evening passes this week

  • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

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Random Blackett Image
Past Events - ESA Sun-Earth Lecture

News - 18th September

External Lecture: CEB gave the lecture 'Archaeoastronomy -The dawn of Science' to Andover Astronomical Society

16th September

GCSE Observing: The first observing night of the year was held, with clearish skies (though high cloud) and poor seeing and a high level of skyglow in the South. Asterisms were identified by eye. Binos were used to view Mizar and Alcor and then Andromeda galaxy M31. The ETX viewed and split Mizar A and B. The 10 inch tracked the Great globular in Hercules, though the twilight meant the object was not very clear. 6 Remove astronomers attended

6th September

Shell Form visit: 12 pupils from CAC's Shell Form came up to the Dome. The sky was cloudy

11th August

Perseids meteor shower: A small group of Friends came up on a chillier night and clouds cleared to attempt to spot some Persieds. The Full super-Moon made all but the brightest and northern sky meteors visible. In an hour and a half 7 Perseids, a couple at magnitude -2 were seen and two bright sporadics. The 10 inch viewed the edge of the 98 percent Moon showing good detail in limb craters

29th July

Summer School week 3: Some 30 guests joined CEB and JAG at the Dome. The sky was sadly cloudy, though annoyingly t cleared once all had left at 11.30pm

24th July

Summer School week 2: Some 35 guests joined CEB and JAG at the Dome on perhaps the warmest night in memory, even at 11.30pm. Scattered cloud interupted viewing but Mars was seen in the 10 inch with the ice-cap making one hemisphere brighter and the Saturn was viewed with Titan and one other moon fairly easily seen. The viewing was not ideal given the twilight and the warmth and hence poor Seeing. Several satellites were seen and the Milky Way was faintly visible

21st June

Solstice observing: A small group of Friends and College staff gathered late on a superbly clear and warm evening. Though some whispy cloud closed in, the string of targets in the South afforded some firsts for those assembled. Mars was very bright and clearly showed it gibbous phase with 15 percent or so missing and clearly not spherical. A hint of dark features could also be believed in the top hemisphere. Saturn was very clear and showed some banding. The Cassini Division was clear and with Titan bright on one, side as the sky darkened, 4 more moons became visible. Rhea and Dione near the planet and harder to see Tethys and much further away from the planet Iapetus onthe opposire side to Titan. Vesta was viewed and, though only 1" arc, could be resolved as a disc. Ceres, though larger in actual diameter as the closest Dwarf Planets, is further and nearly 3 times dimmer and was barely resolved, though its image was steady and not starlike

15th May

Solar open day: A small group including an OM and family and some staff and family and Friends of the telescope attended the Dome and in, sunny pathces, were able to view the Sun through solar goggles, the solar scope (which showed 8 sunspot groups) and then in H-alpha using the 10 inch which showed a number of large quiescent prominences. The disc itself showed fine detail and large disturbed regions (light coloured plages) around spot 2060

6th May

Prep School evening: CEB held a Q&A evening 'To infinity and Beyond' for 60 scholarship form pupils at Windlesham House School in West Sussex

3rd April

Sun-Earth Day lecture: CEB gave the 12th S-E day lecture 'Close Encounters-Misunderstanding Comets' to a small audience of Friends and visitors

More news...