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Blackett Observatory Dome
Welcome to the Marlborough College Blackett Observatory, home to the largest refracting telescope in Wiltshire. Learn more...
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Marlborough College
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NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day
Young Suns of NGC 7129

What's Up - Week of 22nd August

  • Astronomical Twilight ends at 23.27 BST at the start of the week and at 22.08 BST at the end

  • The Moon is Last Quarter on Wednesday

  • Jupiter and Venus are in Conjunction and very close on Friday but only visible in the western twilight just befoe they set around 7.45pm. By 9pm Saturn, Mars and Antares are also in close conjunction in South

  • The Sun has three sunspot groups. None is active at the moment

  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week

  • There are two bright evening Iridium flares this week on Tuesday at 23.03.21 at 17 degrees altitude in NNE and Wednesday at 21.36.14 at 54 degrees in ENE

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Past Events - Public Open Evening

News - 22nd August

BAAO Training Camp: CEB and Sandor Kruk (Oxford Astrophysics) led the first day of the 5 day summer training Camp for the 5 students selected for the UK Team (competionmg in the 10th International Olympiad in Astronomy and Arophysics in India in December). The Observatory swung into action at 10pm as the sky cleared. All instrumemnts were in use. Targets vairied from Double stars to Open Clusters, Globular Clusters, Mars and Saturn as they set and the waning Gibbous Moon. Drawings were completed of the Moon, Tycho and the Ptolemaeus triplet of craters, Mizar and Alcor and M31. The 10" initially tracked Uranus then M57 (Ring) Planetary nebula. M13 the Great Globular in Hercules was drawn and then the Open Cluster (Phi Cassiopeia). Separations and distances and magnitudes were estimated. The Dome closed at 2.30am in bright moonlight

12th August

Perseids: A larger group of Frinds gathered with JAG at the dome but the weather prevented all but a couple of sightings

11th August

Perseids: JAG gathered a small group of Friends at the Dome for an early Perseid watch and was rewarded by 78 Perseids (couple of fireballs) and 5 Sporadics

29th June

National Astronomy Meeting: CEB was invited to speak at the Education and Outreach lunch in Nottingham at NAM 2016. The talk was on the new GCSE 2017 Astronomy Specification

18th June

Solstice observing: A small group of Friends gathered in the summer twilight to watch 3 planets appear. Despite the nearly Full Moon, Mars shone brightly in the South and Jupiter in the West. Saturn was rather close to the Moon and dimmer. Red Antares twinkled in the thick lower atmosphere with blue Spice in the South West. The Moon was observed in the ETX and then Jupiter. The 10 inch tracked Saturn as as the sky darkened first Tutan then Tethys then Dione appeared. A good Summer Sky tour was also possible.

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