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

Leonids meteor shower (Friends). Sunday 17th. 9pm on (weather permitting)

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day

What's Up - Week of 11th November

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.19 UT at the start of the week and 18.11 UT at the end

  • The Moon is Full (Frost Moon) on Monday

  • The planet Mercury reaches Inferior Conjunction at 3pm on Monday. The resultant transit, last seen in 2016, won't happen again till November 2032. 1st contact should be soon after 12.31pm at about '8.45' on the solar disc (ie Eastern limb) The Sun will be high in the Southern sky (Azi 192.5 degrees and Alt 20.25 degrees) The planet will then cross the disc, nearly centrally, and will be viewed until sunset (just after 4pm), though will be below 10 degrees by 2.50pm. The black dot is tiny and is not visible except through a small telescope. WARNING !!It is totally unsafe to view the Transit unless professional Solar filters are in use !!(projection will not show a large enough image)

  • The Sun is blank

  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week


Random Blackett Image
Past Events - Swindon New College Visit

News - 31st October

House visit: 14 Shell pupils from EL came up to the Dome. The evening was cloudy

Next House visit: Thursday 14th November (C2)

27th October

Double star evening: A small group of Friends joined JAG and GKWJ at the Dome. Back to UT, the evening was dark and clear with no Moon. The 10 inch was used to observe Epsilon Lyrae the famous double Double. The first two were easily split and then the two closer Doubles at only 2 arc seconds separation. The 16mm eyepiece at x238 showed a clear gap between the close component stars. Zeta Lyrae, Beta Cygni and Gamma Delphinus (which showed the fainter and closer OR Delphinus in the same field) were viewed. Then 61 Cygni and Enif, though the fainter companion at +12.8 couldnt be confidently split. The M15 Globular and Neptune were viewed, before continuing the Tour to Psi Pisces and finally Almach. Uranus and it unusual blue-green(-blue) clour was easily resolved. 40mm (x95), 22mm (x173) and 16mm (x238) were all used to split the Doubles

3rd October

House visit: 11 Shell boys from C1 and a Tutor came up to the Dome. It was raining

Next House visit Thursday 31st October (EL)

2nd October

GCSE observing: 1 Remove and 4 Hundred pupils came up to the Dome, supervised by GKWJ. Saturn, Titan and Rhea were viewed in the 10 inch. A good ISS pass was seen and several possible early Draconids. Drawings of M57 were made in the 10 inch

1st October

House visit: 12 pupils from BH Shell came up to the Dome with a Tutor. The sky was cloudy

Next House visit: Thursday 3rd October (C1)

External visit: 17 boys from the OSCAR Charity came up to the Dome to join GKWJ with JAG and JPC. The sky was cloudy

20th September

Friends annual drinks: A good group of Friends (including several very newly joined) gathered at the Dome on a perfect evening for the 15th annual Friends drinks. As darkness fell, a group stayed on with GKWJ to observe Jupiter and Saturn

19th September

GCSE observing: GKWJ hosted 6 pupils form the Hundred set at the Dome on another super evening. Saturn was viewed in the 10 inch and using the 22mm eyepiece (x173) good detail in the rings was seen and 4 moons (Titan, Rhea, Dione and Tethys. The pupils were given a sky quiz as well

17th September

External visit: JAG and GKWJ hosted an external visitor for an early afternoon solar viewing. The Sun was completely blank as expected, though a few small prominences were seen

House visit: A beautiful clear night for the first Shell House visit of the academic year took place saw GKWJ hosting 11 pupils from B1 a House Tutor and House Master and his son. The group arrived as Nautical Twilight began and watched the bright stars Vega and Arcturus appear. Jupiter and Saturn were then viewed through Binos, ETX and 10 inch

Next House visit: Tuesday 1st October (BH)

GCSE Astronomy: 11 pupils from the Remove Astronomy set came up to the Dome and as Astronomical Darkness fell they were introduced to the night sky and did constellation drawings, supervised by GKWJ and DGR. Saturn and the Cassini Division were viewed in the 10 inch, Mizar and Alcor in the ETX and M31 in Binos. Finally the waning Gibbous Moon rose thorugh wispy cloud. Altogether a great start to the year

2nd August to 10th August

13th International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA): CEB led the 5 strong BAAO (UK) team to Lake Balaton in Hungary to compete in the International Olympiad. 254 students from 47 Countries took Data Analysis, Theory, Night Obsetation and Planetarium exams over the week. The UK team had its best result out of any of the annual competitions entered since 2015. 1 Gold, 3 Silver medals and 1 Bronze medal were won and this put the UK in 5th= place behind Russia, China, USA and Romania

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