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Marlborough College
Oxford Astrophysics
Green Templeton College

Vernal Equinox lecture (Wednesday 21st): 'Victorian Phoenix' - the story of the Marlborough Telescope. C. Barclay. 6pm in Garnett Room.

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day

What's Up - Week of 19th March

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.11 UT at the start of the week and 20.26 UT at the end

  • The Vernal Equinox this year falls on Tuesday 20th, wehn the Sun will rise due East and set due West. Days will start to be longer than night and it should be the start of Spring!

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

  • Just after sunset around 7pm, Mercury and Venus are now visible close together in the west and at the start of the week Mercury is apparently furthest from the Sun

  • The Sun is blank again

  • The ISS will make passes again from next week-end: Saturady at 20.19.30 from SSW to SSW reaching 12 degrees and Sunday 19.28.07 S to Se to 15 degrees and 21.02.49 WSW to SW to 14 degrees

  • There is one bright Iridium flare this week on Monday at 19.55.12 at 30 degrees in N


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Past Events - Farmer's Visit - November 2007

News - 15th March

External visit: 17 year 12 pupils and 2 teachers from Lycee Jules Verne came up to the Dome

13th March

GCSE observing: 8 Remove pupils joined DGR and CEB for the last night of observing this term. The Spring sky was light due to high cloud and skyglow but the waning crescent Moon had not risen. Drawings of M45 and M44 were attempted and M31 was viewed in the 10 inch. Arcturus was also drawn rising in order to estimate the length of the sidereal day

9th March

RAS prize: Z.Place (CO, L6) was presented with his Winton Capital prize for winning the inaugural RAS poster competition by RAS President Professor John Zarneki at the March RAS Open meeting. This was followed by the 2018 Eddington lecture by Professor Karin Ohberg from Harvard on 'Chemistry of planet formation and planet habitability'

24th February

External visit: JAG and GKWJ hosted a select group of three adult visitors in cold and clearing conditions. The evening started with a tour across the main constellations of the night sky, which was dominated by a 67% waxing gibbous Moon. The Pleiades were viewed through binoculars. Targets in the 10 inch started with M42, followed by a long session on the Moon, both wide and in close up, a most impressive sight

  • We then moved on to Castor, Pollux and HR2764 (a double star in Canis Major known as the Winter Albireo, an interesting white-blue and orange double)

  • The session ended with views of the Pleiades and the Double Cluster h and chi Persei

    22nd February

    External visit: 13 year 8 pupils from Realschule Freising II in Germany and 4 teachers came up to the Dome before sunset as the sky cleared

    House visit: 9 pupils for TU Shell came up to the Dome as temperatures fell. The waxing 6 day old Moon was viewed in the Zeiss Binos, Polaris and major stars were pointed out and then M42 viewed in the 10 inch

    GCSE Observing: 13 Remove astronomers came up to the Dome to first drew the Moon by eye from behind the Dome and then draw the Moon using any of the available instruments. New sets of 10x50 Helios binos were in use as well as the older instruments. Pupils also viewed, and some drew M42 in 10 inch

    14th February

    External lecture: CEB delivered the 36th Astronomy for All talk 'Victorian Phoenix', the story of the Barclay Equatorial, at Green Templeton College, Oxford

    8th February

    House visit: 10 pupils from PR Shell came up to the Dome. The sky was cloudy

    Next House visit: The last visit of the year for Shell pupils will be on Thursday 22nd February (TU)

    6th February

    Art project: A sixth form pupil came up to the Dome to take copious images for his Moon themed project

    4th February

    External visit: JAG & GKWJ hosted a group of 3 adults and 2 children (ages 6 and 4). Thick cloud started to clear just in time to commence the evening with an ISS pass. Perfectly clear skies ensued for about an hour. Orion, The Plough and Polaris were identified outside. Variations in star colour were observed through the 10 inch, with Alpheratz (blue-white), Scheat (orange-red) and the double, Almach (orange and white). Next, The Double Cluster, then on to M31. Outside to see Pegasus, Andromeda, Perseus and Cassiopeia to place the objects viewed. Finally we observed Uranus in the 10 inch

    1st February

    House visit: 10 pupils and a House tutor from NC Shell came up to the Dome. The evening was cold and there were gaps in the cloud. The bright Moon appeared on occasions and by the end there was enough of a gap for most to view the Trapezium in M42

    Next House visit: Thursday 8th February (PR)

    GCSE observing: Perhaps the last chance this winter presented itself, though in the swamped light 'pollution' of the just post Full Moon. 1 hopeful Remove came up and all 4 Hundred. The sky then remained cloudy till after 10pm, at which point we were able to swing into action. Star counts were done and a drawing of both M42 and M31. For the first time images were taken via SLR through the 10 inch of M31, which showed the bright nucleus and central few minutes well. The evening finished at 11pm

    30th January

    External visit: 5 year 10 pupils and their teacher from in WLSA Fudan Academy, Shanghai came up to the Dome. The evening was cloudy

    House visit: 14 Shell pupils and a House tutor from MO came up to the Dome under cloud and drizzling skies

    Next House visit: Thursday 1st February (NC)

    25th January

    House visit: 14 Shell pupils from MM came up to the Dome. It was largely cloudy, though Sirius made an appearance

    Next House visit: Tuesday 30th January (MO)

    18th January

    House visit: 10 pupils from LI Shell came up to the Dome on the first really clear night this term. M45 was viewed in Binos and M42 the Great Orion Nebula in the 10 inch. Several sporadic meteors were seen

    Next House visit: Thursday 25th January (MM)

    GCSE Observing: All 4 Hundred, and all bar 4 of the Remove, came up to the Dome. With no Moon and initially good Seeing the conditions were ideal for Star counts in and out of the MW plane and drawings of M45 and M42. Photographs of M42 were taken on tripod and via a new adaptor using the 10 inch with suprising success and great colour contrast in the nebula. Remove drawing and star counts in Orion were attempted. Several more sporadic meteors were seen. The Seeing declined during the evening.

    11th January

    House visit: 9 pupils from IH Shell and a Tutor came up to the dome. The evening was cloudy

    Next House visit: Thursday 18th January (LI)

    8th January 2018

    Charity evening: JAG and GKWJ hosted 'An evening with the Stars' as a charity evening for 9 adults, who had won the auction prize in aid of SWIFT Medics (Wiltshire). The night was crystal clear with no Moon with a temperature of -1, feeling like -6 in the wind. Uranus was viewed in the 10 inch. M45 in Binos, M42 in the ETX and the the Perseus Double cluster in both. The 10 inch then viewed the Trapezium in M42 and then M1. The 10 inch was then used to split Castor and Alnitak (just). Finally Open clusters with Christmas tree and 15 Monocerotis, M35, M36, M37 and M38. A great start to 2018

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