Starry Starry Night

Year 11 and Sixth Form visit Alston Lane Observatory

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On a beautifully clear and starry night thirteen GCSE and A-Level students were given the wonderful opportunity of visiting the Alston Observatory of the University of Central Lancashire. Dr Mark Norris from UCLan gave an informative talk about the history and evolution of the Universe, the range of magnitudes and the lifecycle of stars and how minor differences in the early Universe led to the formation of everything we now know, including us!

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We saw the new Moses Holden Telescope, a 70 cm diameter state-of-the-art robotic telescope and compared it to the historic Wilfred Hall Telescope which is hosted on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.

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Out in the dark students observed the night sky with both the naked eye and a modern telescope. Looking at the very close, with passing satellites then moving out to Venus and Mars before looking much further to regions of space where we could see new stars being born.

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Thank you to Professor Ward-Thomson and Dr Mark Norris for giving up their time for an evening enjoyed by staff and students.