Blackett Observatory Dome
Welcome to the Marlborough College Blackett Observatory, home to the largest refracting telescope in Wiltshire. Learn more...
moon phase info

Solar X-rays Status Status

Geomagnetic Field Status Status
From n3kl.org

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

Thursday 18th March - NASA/ESA Sun-Earth Day Lecture (6pm)

This year's Sun-Earth Day lecture will be held on line via Zoom. Full details will follow soon...


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 22nd February

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 19:26 UT at the beginning of the week and at 19:37 UT by the end of the week

  • Following the initial success of all three Martian missions, study Mars yourself this week as the planet remains well placed in our evening sky. It is in the southwest at an altitude of around 50°, shining at mag +0.8 and it sets at around 01:00 UT. Track its progress towards the Pleiades over the coming week

  • The Moon is Full on Saturday - The Snow Moon

  • The Sun currently has one active region, AR 2803. The sunspot number is 12

  • There are no visible evening ISS 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
Projects - GCSE Moon Maps


20th February

Friends Observing: A small group of Friends met online for a lunar observing session. Unfortunately, the evening was cloudy, but that did not stop the observing, GKWJ had filmed about an hour of footage of the similar 10 day old Moon phase in January, captured on a good clear night through the 10-inch. With commentary from CEB and GKWJ, along with facts and figures from JAG, the group explored the lunar surface at various magnifications, identifying craters, mare, rimae, rilles, wrinkle ridges, landing sites and more. The effects of the seeing were very evident, with the familiar 'boiling' effect along with moments of great clarity. There was much discussion and great questioning from the group. The highlights of the tour were the detail and shadows visible in features along the terminator and a fabulous view of the crater Copernicus, with its multiple central peaks

11th February

House visit: 7 pupils from TU Shell joined via Zoom. It was very cold at -3 (for CEB)

Next House visit: Tuesday 2nd March (PR)

4th February

House visit: 10 pupils from SU Shell joined on Zoom. The evening was mild and damp

Next House visit: Thursday 11th February (TU)

28th January

House visit: 8 pupils from PR Shell joined via Zoom. Unfortunately the wifi was not stable and the evening had to be abandoned. The visit is rescheduled for Tuesday 2nd March

Next House visit: Thursday 4th February (SU)

21st January

House visit: 10 pupils from NC Shell joined CEB via Zoom along with their HM and family and the new Deputy Head (Co-Curriculum) and family. The event was recorded for those not attending, due to time zones. The evening was cloudy.

Next House visit: Thursday 28th January (PR)

18th January

Radcliffe Society: Members met online to hear GKWJ present an Observing Challenge for the coming weeks, with objects to be viewed by naked eye, binoculars and a small telescope. This was followed by an introduction to the Blackett Observatory Radio Meteor Detection System. Next Meeting: 8th February

16th January

Friends Observing: A group of a dozen Friends met on Zoom for the annual 'Bring Your Own Telescope / Binoculars' observing session. Cloudy conditions prevailed, so a Q&A session was enjoyed. A whole range of questions were raised, ranging from 'how do I actually find objects with a pair of binoculars?', through to 'what is the best approach to start astrophotography with my 9.25 inch Celestron telescope?'. It was a stimulating session, with great participation from all attending

14th January

House visit: 7 Shell pupils from MO joined CEB on Zoom. Several were based overseas and thus the event was recorded. The night was mild and cloudy

Next House visit: Thursday 21st January (NC)

7th January

House visit: The first House visit of the term occured remotely via Zoom, a new venture. The majority of Shell pupils from MM were able to attend and the visit was recorded for those in different time zones. The night was cold and foggy, but only CEB was exposed to this. The pupils could sit in the warm in their homes for the observatory tour

Next House visit (Zoom): Thursday 14th January (MO)

More news...