Blackett Observatory Dome
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Marlborough College
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NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day
Lyrids in Southern Skies

What's Up - 21st April

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.29 BST at the start of the week and 22.46 BST at the end

  • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter next Tuesday

  • The Lyrid meteor shower (Debris from comet Thatcher) peaks on 22nd in the early hours (The Moon rises at 2am). Around 15 meteors per hour are expected

  • The Sun has 8 sunspot groups, some of which are currently active

  • The ISS makes its last 2 passes: On Monday at 21.01.51 W to SSE reaching 27 degrees and Wednesday 21.02.05 WSW to S reaching 14 degrees

  • There are 5 bright evening Iridium flares this week on Monday at 22.53.00 at 24 degrees altitude in NE. Tuesday 21.21.52 at 58 degrees in ENE. Thursday 22.44.22 at 29 degrees in NE. Sunday 21.00.47 at 66 degrees in E and 22.35.41 at 34 degrees in NE


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Past Events - La Palma College Trip - April 2005

News - 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

20th March

TomatoSphere at Marlborough College: Following the launch (planting) of our 30 space tomato seeds, the first germination (two leaves) were recorded today. At the end of term a number of pairs of seeds (0ne control) will be placed with 'guardians' for the holidays. Read the story at http://www.marlboroughcollege.org/news/view-all/article/date/2014/03/canadian-space-agency-tomatosphere-project/

External visit: 17 L6 pupils and 2 teachers from Ecole Jules Verne (just south of Paris) came up to the Dome as part of their French Exchange visit. Sadly the evening was cloudy and wet

8th March

National Astronomy Week event: The evening was clear and mild. The NAW event was advertised widely on internet and radio and combined with the planned Friends 'Spring Sky' event brought visitors from a wide geographical area. Some 70 came up to the dome of all ages, some very little. Bright stars were identified. With RDMs help 2 ETX 105s were in operation, looking at Jupiter, the First Quarter Moon and Orion nebula. Binos looked at the Pleiades. The 10 inch initially viewed the Moon with a filter and showed super detail, especially near Cassini and Mt Piton being illuminated on the dark side of the Terminator. After Culmination, Jupiter was followed in the western sky and showed increasinglty more bands during the evening. Orange Io closed with the planet as we observed and went into Occultation at 10pm. Mars was seen to rise at 9.30pm and was viewed for the first time this year in the ETX

6th March

House visit: The last House visit of the academic year took place with 12 Shell pupils from SU coming up to the Dome. The sky was cloudy and lit by the skyglow of the sports pitches and Rugby Club training lights

Next House visit will be in September

5th March

Natioanl Astronomy Week event: CEB gave the last 2014 Astronomy for All lecture 'Close encounters- misunderstanding comets' to some 40 academics and visitors at Green Templeton College, Oxford

4th March

GCSE Observing: RDM ran a final observation session for a group of Hundreds prior to the start of the Controlled Assessment Analysis

1st March

External visit: 32 pupils accompanied by 3 teachers from St Francis School (years 5 to 7) came up to the Dome in two groups. The first, as the Sun set, watched first Jupiter then the stars come out in order of brightness. Despite the twilight, Jupiter was viewed well in the 10 inch and 4 moons and 4 cloud bands easily seen. The second group had a darker sky and saw a couple of satellites. Jupiter now showed 6 bands and orange Io was seen to close with Jupiter ready to pass behind the planet. The Pleiades were viewed in the Binos. By 8pm the sky had clouded over

Solar observing: The 10 inch viewed the Sun for the first time in a while and the plethora of sunspots was seen, including the active groups which have given rise to the recent flares

More news...