August 2022 – News

12th August

Friends Observing: Over the course of the evening, 15 Friends joined JAG at the Dome to observe the peak of the Perseid meteor shower. The rising Full Moon was not an issue at the start of the session, but became increasingly intrusive as the evening progressed and it rose in altitude. Despite the moonlight, a total of 20 Perseids were spotted as well as 3 sporadic meteors during the two hours of observing. Some meteors were very bright, estimated to be magnitude -4, drawing ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from the group of meteor spotters

Outreach Visit: A local relative visited the Dome with JAG. The Sun was viewed with eclipse specs and solar scopes

11th August

BAAO Team Training: CEB led the observational training at the Dome for the 5 UK 2022 BAAO team members who fly out to Georgia to compete in the International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics next week. The residential visit has become an annual event in Marlborough as part of an Oxford based training week. The 4 boys and one girl, all 18 and post A-level were supervised by one of the Team Leaders and a past medalist (China 2018). The afternoon was used for solar work and the 4 sunspot groups were viewed in solar scopes and the ETX with white light filter. The 10 inch was used with the H-alpha filter to view a large prominence and good chromosphere detail. Once relatively dark, a series of observational tasks were carried out, naked eye, binocular and telescopic, using the ETX and small Newtonian scopes. The 10 inch was used to view the Full Moon (excellent views of Copernicus and Tycho ray craters) and then Saturn (too close to the Moon to see its moons), Jupiter, Vesta, Uranus and Mars. 3 very bright Perseids were seen during the evening and the radio detector was registering 20 meteors an hour

10th August

Outreach Visit: 6 guests visited the Dome with JAG. The Sun was viewed with eclipse specs and solar scopes

9th August

Outreach Visit: A member of staff with 6 family members visited the Dome with JAG. The Sun was viewed through eclipse spectacles along with diffraction gratings. It was then observed with a solar scope allowing three sunspot groups to be clearly identified

3rd August

Summer School Observatory Tour: The final Observatory Tour of Summer School 2022 started with 26 guests under a clear sky in Court, spotting Vega and Arcturus as they emerged in the fading twilight. The group walked up to the Dome, but by the time they arrived, the sky had clouded over! GKWJ, JAG and DGR entertained the visitors both inside the Dome and outside. DGR set up the Celestron 8-inch outside on the observing platform and announced that Saturn was visible through growing gaps in the cloud. Its moon, Titan could also be seen. The breaks in the cloud grew, allowing a partial sky tour with the Milky Way clearly visible. A rising Jupiter was the next target in the 8-inch, with three Galilean moons visible. The 10-inch was slewed to Saturn, but unfortunately the sky rapidly deteriorated, clouding over and brought an enjoyable visit to an end