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
Oxford Astrophysics
Green Templeton College

Blackett Observatory Radio Meteor Detection System - Live Stream

The radio meteor detection system is now being live streamed 24/7 on this website, scroll down to view...


Unfortunately the Observatory will remain closed to visitors
while social distancing measures are in place

A range of talks and observing sessions will be delivered online instead

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day

What's Up!

Week of 19th April

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 22:24 BST at the beginning of the week and at 22:41 BST by the end of the week

  • The Lyrid meteor shower peaks on Thursday afternoon. Look out for increased meteor activity on both Wednesday and Thursday nights. The predicted Zenithal Hourly Rate is only 18, so don't expect an intense display and viewing will be further hampered by the waxing Gibbous Moon. Hopefully the Radio Meteor Detector will pick up the increased activity. The Lyrid meteors are created by debris left behind by comet C/1861 G1 (Thatcher)

  • The Moon is First Quarter on Tuesday

  • The Sun currently has two active regions, AR 2814 and AR 2816. The sunspot number is 28. Recent data on sunspot count and solar activity suggest that the new Solar Cycle 25 is intensifying more quickly than originally predicted and the peak could be in 2024 rather than 2025

  • There are no visible ISS evening passes this week



Blackett Observatory Radio Meteor Detection System - LIVE STREAM

Press the '>' Play icon to start the Live Stream
You may need to turn up the volume
Best viewed in Full Screen

Random Blackett Image
Past Events - Farley Year 6 Visit


25th March

MCBO Outreach: GKWJ presented a live guided tour of the Blackett Observatory to a Zoom gathering of 50+ members from the Basingstoke and Newbury Astronomical Societies. The audience heard about the history of the observatory and its main instrument, the Cooke 10-inch. The session concluded with a live-stream view of the waxing Gibbous Moon through the 10-inch, allowing viewers to enjoy impressive detail of the Montes Alpes, Rima Suess, Schickard crater and more

22nd March

Radcliffe Society: Members of the society met online for the March meeting. First, a pupil spoke about his Royal Astronomical Society award winning poster on radio meteor detection. The group then looked back at the three recent missions to Mars, enjoying the Night Sky News video from popular Oxford astrophysicist YouTuber, Dr Becky Smethurst. The session ended with an appraisal of the scientific accuracy of the film 'The Martian'. Next meeting: 24th May

18th March

Sun-Earth Day Lecture: CEB delivered the 2021 NASA/ESA Sun-Earth Day Lecture to a group of Friends, pupils and invited guests via Zoom. The lecture title was 'The 'computer' who unlocked the universe' - a fascinating look at the work of four of the most influential women in the history of astronomy

16th March

GCSE Observing: 10 pupils from the Remove joined GKWJ at the Dome for observing. The session started with a view of the 3 day old crescent Moon in the 10-inch - a marvellous sight! The pupils then made sketches of the southwestern sky, placing Orion carefully with respect to the horizon, meridian and celestial equator. They estimated the right ascension of Betelgeuse, given the local sidereal time and estimated magnitudes of various stars. A most enjoyable return to observing

11th March

GCSE Observing: Members of the Hundred joined GKWJ at the Dome for a long awaited observing session. Conditions were windy with fast moving patchy cloud. Pupils made an observing target list, selecting one of each astronomical object type. Observing started outside with the naked eye, finding: Orion, Orion's Belt, Betelgeuse, The Orion Nebula (M42), The Pleiades (M45) and Mars. The Right Ascension of Betelguese was estimated using the Local Sidereal Time and finding the Meridian. The group moved inside to slew the 10-inch to The Whirlpool Galaxy (M51), but unfortunately thickening cloud brought the session to an end. Irritatingly, the sky cleared some ten minutes later!

2nd March

House visit:7 Shell pupils from PR joined CEB on Zoom for the rearranged Dome visit. This was the last visit this year. Visits will recommence in September (hopefully live)

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