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NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day
Curiosity's Dusty Self

What's Up - Week of June 18th

  • The Sun rises and sets at its northern most extremes on the horizon on Thursday and its highest declination at 11.07am. At midday the Sun reaches its maximum altitude in the year (Co-latitude + Declination) of 62.5 degrees.

  • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Wednesday

  • Saturn is now rising at 22.20 BST but remains close to the horizon, culminating at 1.30 am at 16 degrees altitude. Bright red Supergiant Antares and the 3 stars in Scorpio's tail are also now visible low in the South

  • Mars rises at half-past midnight and is approaching Opposition (closest, largest and brightest) on 27th July and is already outshining Sirius. Though Oppositions occur every 2 years, this year Mars is near Perihelion in its orbit, so even closer

  • The Sun continues to be almost blank

  • There are no ISS evening passes this week

  • There are three bright evening Iridium flares this week: Monday at 21.29.41 at 23 degrees altitude in NNW. Thursday at 22.49.40 at 38 degrees in NE and Saturday 22.53.04 at 37 degrees in W

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Past Events - Malmesbury Community Centre Visit - February 2006

News - 21st June

Solstice observing: JAG and GKWJ joined CEB and a small group of Friends to see out the Solstice. The night was warm and clear and as the sky darkened, there were plenty of targets to observe, including a bright Iridium flare. The Moon was viewed in the ETX and the 8 inch Smith and Binos. Venus showed its 70% illuminated phase in ETX. Jupiter and 4 moons were seen in ETX then Smith then 10 inch, with Io and Ganymede overlapping. The 10 inch then moved to Saturn, very orange and low on the horizon, then Antares in search of Antares B. Some thought there was a little assymetry in the twinkling star. Vesta was then well veiwed as a steady disc. M10 was too faint to see detail but M57 was clear. Saturn was viewed again with both Titan and Rhea now visible. The evening ended just before midnight with a viedw of Albireo, such a beautiful bi-coloured double of the blue B8 and yellow K2 stars

19th June

Wetton Workshop and lecture: CEB attended the official opening of the Roswitha Wetton Telesope (RWT), a new 2 radio dish interferometer on the roof of the Denys Wilkinson Building. Following the unveiling a lecture on Exoplanet discoveries was delivered in the Martin Wood lecture theatre and then dinner in Christ Church

14th June

External visit: In the last Swindon Academy group visist, 11 year 10 girls and their teacher came up to the Dome. The Sun was viewed in goggles between clouds and in the projection box and then in the ETX. The 10 inch showed a couple of prominences on the southern limb in H alpha

13th June

External visit:12 year 7 girls and their teacher from Swindon Academy came up to the Dome. The sky was cloudy

12th June

External visit: 22 year 7 pupils and 2 teachers from Swindon Academy came up to the Dome as part of their stay at the College. They were accompanied by a postgrad from Imperial College and undergrad from Birkbeck. The sky was sadly cloudy

Observing evening: The two University visitors joined GKWJ and JAG at the Dome as the sky had cleared for a tour of the sky with the 10 inch. Jupiter and its moons, Vega, Albireo, M13 and Saturn, still rather low to the horizon, were viewed

17th May

Solar open day: Under sunny skies but sadly increasing high cloud, the Dome opened to public, Friends and College staff. The Sun was viewed in solar goggles, the projection box and the ETX in white light and a dedicated small solar refractor and the 10 inch in H alpha. Despite a totally blank disc, reflecting the minimum in the solar cycle, there was a decent quiescent loop prominence visible in H alpha when the sky was clear enough. JAG and GWJ helped CEB welcome families, Friends and staff from 3 yrs and up

30th April

Lunar imaging: GKWJ attempted a mosaic of the lunar surface at the Full Moon. Despite clear patches, the Seeing conditions were poor

21st April

GCSE Solar observing: Remove set 1 came up to the Dome under clear if hazy skies. The Sun was viewed in goggles then via projection and in the ETX, where the faint spot 2706 was seen. The H-alpha filter on the 10 inch showed no activity due to the poor clarity

19th April

GCSE Solar observing: Remove set 2 came up to the Dome in hot sunshine as part of Topic 11 and the Sun's surface. The Sun was viewed in goggles, via projection and the ETX the blank photosphere in white-light and then the 10 inch showed a couple of Chromosphere prominences in H-alpha

18th April

GCSE Solar observing: The Hundred Astronomy set came up to the Dome in their afternoon lesson under clear skies. The Sun was viewed in goggles, projection box, ETX and white-light filter and then despite no sunspots, there was activity in the form of an erruptive prominance and quiescent prominance in H-alpha through the 10 inch

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