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New Scientist Air-of-Mystery

In this forbidden region, planes can't fly, balloons can't float, and satellites struggle to orbit. A swarm of tiny probes is about to reveal its secrets.

A cell of the optical system, shipped recently from UCL to Fermilab

Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument

The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) has recently received formal approval from the US Department of Energy to move forward to the construction phase. DESI is a 3-D sky mapping project and will measure spectra of 35 million galaxies to provide new clues about Dark Energy. Installation of the project is set to begin next year at the Mayall 4-meter telescope in Kitt Peak National Observatory, Arizona, with observations starting up in January 2019.

Fellow of the American Physical Society

Many congratulations to Prof. Hiranya Peiris who has been elected Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS). More...

Departmental Teaching Prize

The 2015/16 Departmental Teaching Prize has been awarded to Raman Prinja. The award will be presented at the Gala Dinner on Friday 28th October. More...

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