UCL Astrophysics Group
New maps from ESA's Planck satellite, forming the second major data release (February 2015) from the project, have unveiled the polarised light from the early Universe across the entire sky, revealing that the first stars formed much later than previously thought. More...
It is with great regret that we must announce the death of Dr William (Bill) M. Glencross. More...
The Dark Energy Survey, which has just begun its second year of observations, is gathering data about one of the most puzzling phenomena to be discovered in the past century: that the universe is not only expanding, but is doing so at an ever faster rate. Some as yet unknown force dubbed ‘dark energy’ is driving this acceleration. More...
The standard model of particle physics needs to be extended: it predicts that neutrinos have zero mass, but this does not fit with experimental data. Recent work has suggested an unexpectedly high mass for the neutrino, but UCL cosmologists say this is wrong. They argue that a low mass is more consistent with the observed properties of the universe. The Dark Energy Survey (which UCL is also involved in) will provide data that could resolve this debate in the next few years. More...
Astronomy in the Classroom
This is an ongoing outreach programme based at the University of 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.
|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).
|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.
|Large groups at the observatory using the portable H-alpha telescope.|
Page last modified on 02 aug 13 13:47