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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

12th August - Perseid Meteor Shower
Dome from 22:00 BST (Weather Permitting)

As restrictions ease, the Friends will be able to gather outside at the Dome to observe the Perseid meteor shower. The event is weather permitting, so updates will be posted here nearer the time. Fingers crossed for clear skies and a return to 'proper' observing

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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...

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NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day

What's Up!

Week of 2nd August

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 23:38 BST at the start of the week and at 23:15 BST by the end of the week

  • Saturn reaches opposition on Monday, when it lies opposite the Sun in the sky. It is best placed for observation at this time as it appears at its largest and brightest at 18.6 arcseconds in apparent size and magnitude +0.2. At opposition, Saturn's rings show a discernible brightening, known as the Seeliger Effect

  • Jupiter is about 20° further East in the southeastern evening sky, shining at magnitude -2.8

  • The Moon is New on Sunday

  • The Sun currently has no active regions. The spotless stretch is 4 days

  • There are no visible evening ISS passes this week

More...

Video

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
Saturn Occultation

News

28th June

Radcliffe Society: The final meeting of the year took place on Zoom. A number of Shell pupils who will be studying Astronomy GCSE next year also attended. GKWJ gave a What's Up that highlighted observing opportunities throughout the summer. CEB spoke about noctilucent clouds and JAG gave a Latest News update, with mention of recent research developments on the dimming of Betelgeuse and the Cosmic Dawn. Next meeting will be in September

23rd June

Remove Physics visit: On the first opportunity to see shadows since the Solstice, CEB was joined by a Remove Physics set at the Dome. Measurements of shadow lengths were made at local noon (1pm). These measurements were fed into the National Schools Observatory Solstick website and, knowing the length of the dowling rod used, gave each pupil their own estimate for the circumference of the Earth (out by only 1000km in most cases) in a repeat of the famous Eratosthenes experiment of 3rd Century BC

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

More news...