Open Dome Event February 15th 2018 – Hunting Orion.

The next public open dome event is on Thursday 15th February at 7pm. This month the talk will be presented by Mr M. Perkins of The Long Eaton School and is entitled “Hunting Orion”.

In the talk we shall discover some of the myths and legends surrounding the constellation of Orion as well as many of the fascinating things to look out for in this area of the night sky. The talk will start at 7pm with refreshments available from 6:30pm.

The event is open to the general public and with no booking required. Under 16’s welcome but must be accompanied by an adult please. Admission is via a suggested donation of £2 per adult. After the talk if the weather permits there will be opportunity to observe Orion in our purpose built observatory.

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Update! Dr Suzie Imber joins us for Stargazing Live!

We are to be joined by Dr Suzie Imber tomorrow evening as part of our Stargazing Live 2018 event. Suzie joins Dr Helen Mason as we celebrate “Inspiring Women in Space”.suzie

Suzie Imber, was revealed as the best candidate for space on the BBC2 show “Astronauts: Do you have what it takes?” in 2017. The University of Leicester associate professor said the experience was “incredible” but “really tough”. Dr Imber, who triumphed over 11 other people, will now get a recommendation to join the European Space Agency.

Suzie will be on hand to help out with various activities and will be presenting a short talk in the main hall about her time on the Tv show.

Our event is free to enter and starts at 6pm. See main blog post for more details…. Stargazing Live 2018 – Jan 24th 6-9pm


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Stargazing Live 2018 – Jan 24th 6-9pm

The sixth annual Stargazing live event at the Long Eaton School takes place on January the 24th 2018 from 6pm until 9pm. Admission is free of charge and offers fun for all the family. We are very pleased to welcome Dr Helen Mason of Cambridge University as this years guest speaker. Helen is a solar astronomer who also works on the NASA SOHO mission which studies the Sun from space.

On offer as always will be a variety of exhibits to look at, experiments and demonstrations, astronaut training and a mobile planetarium. No matter what the weather may do on the night there is a chance to see some stars in the fabulous 5m inflatable star dome from Astrosphere.*

If the weather allows there will be a range of telescopes pointing skywards for visitors to look through and the observatory will be open for visitors to have a tour even if cloudy. The observatory is one of only three to be housed in a school in the UK and boasts a range of cutting edge instruments.

Refreshments will also be available for a small charge.2018-sgl-postersml

*places in the planetarium are restricted and strictly first come first served.


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Public Open Dome Event 14th Dec – Christmas Quiz.

Thursday 14th December. It’s that time of year again where we gather for the world famous (maybe a slight exaggeration) Christmas Quiz! It will as usual be nothing short of random, knowledge of astronomy is optional for the quiz since the questions are often very tenuously linked to space. A prize will be on offer to the highest score.

 Start time is the usual 7pm with refreshments, including mince pies, available from 6:30pm. Attendence is by suggested donation of £2 towards costs with all profits going to the observatory fund. Under 16’s to be accompanied by an adult please.


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Open Dome Event 23rd November ’17 Dr Phil Sutton

default-1464385066-1420-eying-exomoons-in-the-search-for-e-tThe next open dome event will take place next Thursday the 23rd November 2017 at the usual start time of 7pm. This month our guest speaker is Dr Phil Sutton of Lincoln University with a talk entitled ” How to find Exomoons and Exorings and their importance to understanding the universe”. Dr Sutton will briefly look at how we can find exomoons and exorings then some interesting things about why we should be looking for them. Exomoons is a part of Dr Sutton’s research and personal interest.


After the talk there will be an opportunity to do some observing if the weather permits, a chance to tour the observatory for any new visitors who so wish and a very brief talk by myself on topical matters relating to astronomy if the weather is poor.


Refreshments are available from 6:30pm onwards. A recommended donation of £2 towards costs is suggested. Under 16’s must be accompanied by an adult please. Approx finish time will be no later than 9:00pm


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October Open Dome Event 18th October 2017

crop_37The Inferno World with Titanium Skies. – Ryan McDonald – Cambridge University.

In September, 2017, the European Southern Observatory announced the discovery of a truly alien exoplanet atmosphere. Heated to over 2000C, the inferno world WASP-19b is the first exoplanet with titanium oxide detected in its atmosphere. But what is this world really like? What secrets could it still hold?

In this talk, Cambridge University astronomer Ryan MacDonald, part of the team who identified the titanium skies of WASP-19b, will guide you on an 815 light year journey to a world at the edge of the known.

Doors open 6:30pm. The talk will start approx. 7pm with refreshments available from 6:30pm. Entry is open to all, under 16’s should be accompanied by an adult please. Suggested donation towards costs £2 per person. Booking not required.

If the weather allows there will be opportunity after the talk for observing and tours of the observatory.

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Adult Learning Courses Starting in November.

In November two adult learning courses are starting with Royal Astronomical Society Fellow Mike Perkins. In the setting of the Malcolm Parry Observatory at the Long Eaton School courses are aimed at all abilities. No prior subject knowledge is required but an interest in the night sky would be an advantage.

An Introduction to Astronomy.

A ten session course starting 1st November exploring the Cosmos.

The course will start with an introduction to terms before starting at the very beginning of the Universe. Taking in the history of Astronomy as well as explaining many of the processes at work we look at some of the key discoveries along the way. You will learn what we can find out about stars by looking at them, how Galaxies are formed, how stars are born and die through to how to build a planet and more.

If the weather is favourable there will be hands on observing using one of the many telescopes available at the school in our purpose built observatory.

Course fee £40 total.


Practical Astronomy. Limited places left!

Starting 8th November, A six session course looking at how to observe the night sky.

In this course you will learn about the different types of binoculars and telescopes. Which equipment is most suited for different circumstances. How to get the best out of your equipment and maintain it. How to navigate around the night sky using constellations and much more. The structure of this course will be very flexible as the emphasis will be on hands-on astronomy if the weather allows.

Course fee £24 total.

In both courses there will be some reference to mathematics but no complicated maths will be required to enjoy either course. It is intended as an interest course and as such yields no qualification, however a certificate of attendance / completion will be awarded on completion of the sessions.

The course fees will cover all materials required (attendees should bring pen, pencil and paper for notes). All profits will go towards the upkeep of the observatory. Sessions will run alternate Wednesday evenings 7:30pm – 9:30pm. Booking essential, course fee payable on the first evening of your course.

Due to the time of year and nature of the courses you are advised to come appropriately dress in case of cold weather as some of the course is likely to be outside.

For more information, syllabus or to book your place, please contact

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