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An ultimate speed limit for cooling

How cold can it get? That depends how long you are willing to wait. The third law of thermodynamics, conjectured in 1912 by the Nobel laureate Walter Nernst, states that it takes an infinite time to cool a system to absolute zero – the coldest temperature possible.
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Galaxy A2744_YD4

Ancient stardust sheds light on the first stars

A huge mass of glowing stardust in a galaxy seen shortly after the Universe’s formation has been detected by a UCL-led team of astronomers, providing new insights into the birth and explosive deaths of the very first stars. More...

Disc of rocky debris

First evidence of rocky planet formation in Tatooine system

Evidence of planetary debris surrounding a double sun, ‘Tatooine-like’ system has been found for the first time by a UCL-led team of researchers.Published on the 27th Feb 2017 in Nature Astronomy and funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council and the European Research Council, the study reports on the remains of shattered asteroids orbiting a double sun consisting of a white dwarf and a brown dwarf roughly 1000 light-years away in a system called SDSS 1557. More...

Panasas aisle (Credit: STFC)

UCL secures STFC funding to teach next generation of data-science experts

After a very competitive selection process, UCL has been chosen by STFC to host the Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Data Intensive Science (DIS) and Technologies, the first CDT funded by STFC.
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Astronomy in the Classroom

This is an ongoing outreach programme based at the University College London Observatory and funded by small awards from the Science and Technology Facilities Council.

School groups (daytime) tour the installations and get a short lecture followed by some discussion. Weather permitting, telescopes are used to observe the Sun in white light and in
H-alpha, a special filter to observe spectacular prominences and flares. Sometimes it is possible to observe the planet Venus.

Looking at the Sun
Observatory IT manager Theo Schlichter assists school children observing the Sun through a narrow band hydrogen filter.

We also visit schools to give lectures and demonstrations to large groups and offering the children an opportunity to observe the Sun with a portable H-alpha solar telescope (STFC funded).

Look at the Sun
Francisco Diego uses the portable H-alpha telescope during a school visit.


So far the programme has been attended by around 15,000 school children and teachers. Our current target is for 300 children visiting the observatory and 2500 children at visiting lectures every year.

Looking at the Sun
Large groups at the observatory using the portable H-alpha telescope.

Page last modified on 19 apr 16 10:42