September 2022 – News

30th September

Outreach Visit: As part of The Great Big Green Week, a nation wide sustainable future event, a total of 31 visitors in two groups came to the Dome. All had paid for a ticket, with all proceeds going to the Sustainable Marlborough fund. Unfortunately the weather was wet and windy, so GKWJ and JAG gave the attendees ‘the cloudy show’, consisting of a history of the observatory, a look at the radio telescope live feed and a journey across the solar system illustrated with photographs taken at the observatory and through the Cooke 10-inch

23rd September

Friends Drinks Party: Around 50 Friends assembled at the Dome to celebrate the 18th anniversary of the Friends of the Marlborough Telescope. A beautiful evening allowed the party to be held outside on the new observing patio and the gathering enjoyed flowing drinks, served by barman JAG, and endless sandwiches! There was a great mix of familiar faces and many new Friends, who were welcomed to the group by all. Guest of honour, ex Director of the Observatory, Charles Barclay, addressed the gathering and made the official public handover to the incoming Director, Gavin James. GKWJ then spoke, thanking Charles for all his tireless work for the Friends since its inception and presented him with a framed print of the famous ‘observing blackboard’ from the classroom wall. GKWJ continued on to outline future events and various initiatives that he aims to introduce in the coming year. A very timely overhead ISS pass at 19:36 made an impressive first observation for the Friends in this new year. As the partygoers dispersed, Jupiter shone brightly (mag -2.9) in the southeast and wispy cloud accented a beautiful clearing sky

16th September

GCSE Observing: A clear sky allowed GCSE observing to start earlier than usual this new academic year. Members of the Remove and Hundred joined GKWJ and DGR at the Dome in two separate groups. The Remove were first and following an introduction to observing at the Dome, they enjoyed great views of Saturn in the 10-inch, with moon Titan visible, followed by Jupiter and all four Galilean moons. The planets were also viewed in the two ETXs and Celestron 8-inch outside. Then it was the Hundred’s turn; first they sketched Jupiter, with particular attention to the position of its four brightest moons. They then observed Saturn, with two moons visible (Titan and Rhea). To finish, they returned to Jupiter to sketch the new position of its four Galilean moons, noting with care their movement over the relatively short timescale

10th September

Planetary Imaging: GKWJ and JAG dusted down the 10-inch after the summer holidays and attempted to capture images of Saturn and Jupiter. Some success was had, but poor seeing resulted in sub-optimal image quality