Blackett Observatory Dome
Welcome to the Marlborough College Blackett Observatory, home to the largest refracting telescope in Wiltshire. Learn more...
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SpaceWeather | More weather... Coordinates: 51.25.25 N and 1.44.24 W
Marlborough College
Oxford Astrophysics
Green Templeton College

Remembering Apollo 11 - 50 years on

Summer School week 1: Observing Wednesday 9.30pm (weather permitting). Book a place in The Summer School office.

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day

What's Up - Week of 15th July

  • Astronomical darkness returns on Sunday 21st July from 0048 BST

  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Thunder Moon) on Tuesday. The Moon will rise partially eclipsed by the Earth's shadow at 21.40 BST following Saturn in SE. It will be darkest at 22.30 BST and will return to full brightness at midnight

  • The Sun is totally blank again

  • There ISS returns with late evening ISS passes: Monday at 23.57.57 from ESE to E reaching 16 degrees altitude. Tuesday 23.06.33 SSE to ESE to 12 degrees. Wednesday 23.51.38 SW to E to 33 degrees. Thursday 23.02.42 SSW to E to 23 degrees. Friday 23.49.07 WSW to E to 57 degrees. Saturday 22.59.52 SW to E to 42 degrees and Sunday 23.46.49 WSW to E to 83 degrees


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Past Events - Swindon New College Visit

News - 23rd June

Charity afternoon: A group of 14 adults from London, and a few more local, came to the Dome for a private afternoon tour, which they had won as a Charity auction prize. Sadly the sky was cloudy, but it was a fun and informative afternoon

21st June

Friends lecture: JAG delivered the talk 'Going round in circles' - An update from CERN.

Solstice observing: A large group of Friends, College staff and visitors gather in the warm twilight. The sky was still, excellent Seeing and clear. The perfect condiditons, combined with the Solstice and deep Solar minimum meant that, for the first time at MCBO, Notilucent Clouds (NLCs) appeared high in the North East about an hour after sunset and lasted till after 11pm. Though some other ordinary cloud made for reduced impact, the NLCs has typical tendrill like structure and remained bright once the sky had darkened. In camera pictures a clear icy-blue colour was seen. The 10 inch viewed Jupiter, which though at low altitude, showed good detail of 4+ storm bands and first 3 then later 4 moons, as Io appeared from Occultation. The ETX also viewed Jupiter and later, as it rose, Saturn, which showed the rings but poor detail at less than 10 degrees above the horizon. As the sky darkened towards midnight the 10 inch was used to tour the skies (GKWJ at the helm); first Globular Clusters (M10, M13 and M56) then M57 the Ring Nebula and then M39 an Open Cluster which filled the eyepiece. Finally we sought out Albireo, beautifully coloured as usual and then Gamma Delphinus a very fine close double only seperated by 9 arcseconds. We endeed with the double Double in Lyra, but the second doubles were not really resolved. All in all one of the best evenings for a long time

16th May

Solar Open Day: A small group of Friends and staff joined GKWJ and JAG at the Dome. Sadly, after several cloudless days, the cloud closed in. Nevertheless, the Sun was viewed in the gaps using the ETX, Solar goggles, Solar Scope and the 10 inch, with a white light filter. Spot 2741 was well resolved with 3 distinct umbra

25th April

Royal Society awards day: CEB attended the annual day of awards at the Royal Society, where past and future national Olympiad teams for Physics and Astronomy received prizes

16th April

BAAO selection camp: CEB attended the British Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad selection camp and delivered a morning of observational training to the 12 pupils attending. Following the camp, a team of 5 and a reserve were selected to represent the UK at the 13th Intenational Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics in Hungary in August More news...