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 21st June

  • Astronomical twilight does not end until 00:55 BST on 21st July

  • The Summer Solstice occurs at 04:25 BST on Monday, when the Sun will be at its most Northerly point in the sky with a declination of +23.5°. It will have an altitude of 62° at 13:00 BST, its highest point in the sky of the year. Monday will be the longest day of the year for us in the Northern Hemisphere and Monday night the shortest night, with only 7 hours 21 minutes between sunset and sunrise. The rising and setting of the Sun are also at their most northerly point of the year, with sunrise on Monday happening at an azimuth of just 49°, compare this with sunrise on the Winter Solstice at an azimuth of 128°!

  • On Wednesday, Mars (mag +1.8) will be in conjunction with M44 the Beehive Cluster in Cancer. Look to the north-northwest horizon after sunset to find the planet and cluster. Venus (-3.9) will be just a few degrees further west

  • The Moon is Full on Thursday - the Strawberry Moon (nothing to do with its colour, but so named as it indicates the time of year to gather ripening fruit)

  • The Sun currently has one active region, AR 2833. The sunspot number is 15

  • 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
Image taken by the Cassini spacecraft from the far side of Saturn. The Sun is hidden behind the planet and illuminates the ring system allowing new faint rings to be seen. The small blue dot seen between the rings at about 10 o'clock is the distant Earth. (NASA-Cassini)


16th June

Upper Sixth visit:An U6 girl, who was new in the L6 and her HM(IV) came up to the Dome for a tour and to do some solar observing. The mature sunspot 2833 was visible in the Solarscope and well viewed in the ETX and 10 inch with its sunflower-like penumbra

11th June

Upper Sixth visit: 2 U6 girls, who had arrived at the College in the L6 and never visited the Dome, asked for a tour of the observatory with CEB. They were able to view the Solar disc in goggles, a solarscope, the ETX with white light filter and the 10 inch with white light filter, where, though the disc was devoid of sunspots, the photosphere granulation could be clearly seen

10th June

Partial Solar Eclipse: The sky was largely cloudy throughout the eclipse, but a small break in cloud at around 11.30am allowed several of the Remove astronomers to see the edge of the Moon using solar goggles and even take a couple of mobile phone images. GKWJ manged to get a super H alpha shot from his River Park Observatory (see solar section in Images)

9th June

GCSE revision lesson: The Remove astronomy set joined CEB for a revision lesson outsde the Dome. The sky was clear and the sunspot group 2829 viewed in the 10 inch. The College had a film crew on site, so they were able to use some of the pupils in their PR shots

27th May

Friends Solar Observing: CEB and GKWJ hosted a small group of Friends who joined our live stream over Zoom. Though there were sunny patches, the seeing/turbulence and hazy cloud made for very blurry images. The two sunspot groups 2824 and 2826 were seen and the odd shape (more elongated in longitude than latitude) of 2826 was obvious. A Magnetogram image of the solar disc clearly showed the anomalous orientation of the field in 2826

20th May

Astronomy for All lecture 2021: CEB delivered the 44th Green Templeton College, Astronomy for All (A4A) talk via Zoom. Hosted by Dr Rebecca Surender, GTC Vice-Principal and a Pro Vice- Chancellor of the Univserity. The talk 'The 'computer' who unlocked the Universe' was attended by an audience from both the University and beyond

5th May

GCSE Solar observing: The Remove astronomers returned to the Dome for an early, Period 1, session. The sky was clear, though it was a little chilly. The Sun had no spots, but with the white light filter and the 10 inch on full apperture, the tiny, 1000km sized, convection cells (granulation) on the photosphere were visible

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