Blackett Observatory Dome
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Marlborough College
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Gaia: Here Comes the Sun

What's Up - Week of 26th September

  • Astronomical Twilight ends at 20.47 BST at the start of the week and at 20.35 BST at the end

  • The Moon is waning to New on Saturday

  • The Sun has 3 sunspot groups. 2597 is growing. Auroral activity is high as usual near the Equinox, but only at high latitudes

  • The ISS returns at the end of the week: Thursday 20.15.30 from S to SSE reaching 14 degrees. Friday 20.58.24 from SW to SSW reaching 20 degrees. Saturday 20.06.40 fro SSW to SE reaching 27 degrees and 21.42.26 WSW to WSW to 11 degrees and Sunday 19.15.13 from S to E to 18 degrees and 20.50.22 WSW to SW to 43 degrees

  • There is one superbright evening Iridium flares this week on Saturday at 20.23.20 at 55 degrees altitude in ESE


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Past Events - La Palma College Trip - April 2005

News - 23rd September

Friends drinks party: The 12th annual Friends drinks party took place at the Dome with long standing and new Friends having a chance to catch up and look ahead to the winter

23rd August

BAAO Training Camp: A second night of observing for the team. The sky was largely clear at 9.30pm. Past paper observing questions were tackled. Telescopes were used to locate Messier objects and positions and motions in the sky were estimated. The Dome closed at 2pm as tiredness set in. The team then headed next day to Oxford for 3 days of theoretical training

22nd August

BAAO Training Camp: CEB and Sandor Kruk (Oxford Astrophysics) led the first day of the 5 day summer training Camp for the 5 students selected for the UK Team (competionmg in the 10th International Olympiad in Astronomy and Astrophysics in India in December). The Observatory swung into action at 10pm as the sky cleared. All instrumemnts were in use. Targets vairied from Double stars to Open Clusters, Globular Clusters, Mars and Saturn as they set and the waning Gibbous Moon. Drawings were completed of the Moon, Tycho and the Ptolemaeus triplet of craters, Mizar and Alcor and M31. The 10" initially tracked Uranus then M57 (Ring) Planetary nebula. M13 the Great Globular in Hercules was drawn and then the Open Cluster (Phi Cassiopeia). Separations and distances and magnitudes were estimated. The Dome closed at 2.30am in bright moonlight

12th August

Perseids: A larger group of Frinds gathered with JAG at the dome but the weather prevented all but a couple of sightings

11th August

Perseids: JAG gathered a small group of Friends at the Dome for an early Perseid watch and was rewarded by 78 Perseids (couple of fireballs) and 5 Sporadics

29th June

National Astronomy Meeting: CEB was invited to speak at the Education and Outreach lunch in Nottingham at NAM 2016. The talk was on the new GCSE 2017 Astronomy Specification

18th June

Solstice observing: A small group of Friends gathered in the summer twilight to watch 3 planets appear. Despite the nearly Full Moon, Mars shone brightly in the South and Jupiter in the West. Saturn was rather close to the Moon and dimmer. Red Antares twinkled in the thick lower atmosphere with blue Spice in the South West. The Moon was observed in the ETX and then Jupiter. The 10 inch tracked Saturn as as the sky darkened first Tutan then Tethys then Dione appeared. A good Summer Sky tour was also possible.

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