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Bookings now being taken for all summer holiday children's workshops
read more » 7th Jul 2017 16:00
The water lilies are now looking magnificent and you can take home a root and support The Centre! T...
read more » 7th Jul 2017 13:59
Assistant Cafe Manager, part time. This is a NEW POSITION to support and develop our current cafe o...
read more » 2nd May 2017 18:02
The Observatory Science Centre
Herstmonceux
Hailsham
East Sussex
BN27 1RN
Tel: 01323 832731
Fax: 01323 832741

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What to see on Open Evenings

Please note: the list of Open Evening Dates is on the Open Evenings page.
What to see on Friday 11th August 2017
8pm - 12.30am 

The Sun will not set until 8.30pm so it will still be light when the Centre re-opens at 8pm. ASTRONOMICAL TWILIGHT ends at 10.58pm so it will not be completely dark until this time. The phase of the Moon is 4 days after FULL so a waning Gibbous. It will rise at 10.17pm so will only be visible through the telescopes later on in the evening.

To see the sky chart for the 11th August visit Heavens Above. You will need to alter the times and dates in the boxes below the current chart to find out what is in the night sky on the dates of the open evening.

Without a Moon early on, the night sky will be darker and deeper sky objects will be easier to see. The CONSTELLATION Hercules will still be in the night sky which means the magnificent GLOBULAR CLUSTER M13 will be visible. M13, is located on the right hand side of the body of Hercules (which looks like a key stone). It appears as a beautiful three dimensional ball of stars through the telescopes. There are also some nice double stars in the night sky at this time of the year too.

While Jupiter will be too low on the wetern horizon magnificent SATURN will be clearly visible in the CONSTELLATION Ophiucus. It reached OPPOSITION on June 15th so is not quite as bright as then but will still be spectacular at MAGNITUDE 0.3. The beautiful RING SYSTEM is fully open at 26.8 degrees giving us a stunning view of the top side of the rings.

The Moon itself is also very beautiful to look at and you should be able to see craters and maria when it is high enough in the sky to view.

Not only will you be able to look through the telescopes at fascinating night sky objects you can also try and spot some shooting stars associated with the Perseids METEOR SHOWER. This meteor shower occurs as Earth passes through the outskirts of a cloud of debris from comet Swift-Tuttle. The dust and bits of rock left behind are called meteors. As they enter the Earth's atmosphere they "burn up" with the larger pieces producing bright streams that you can see with the naked eye before they fade away. These bright streams are also known as shooting stars and can be seen from 23rd July until 20th August. The maximum is on the evening of the 12th when you may see approximately 60-80 shooting stars per hour.


PERSEIDS OPEN EVENING 11th AUG
Come and join us on FRIDAY 11th August for our Open Evening. We open at 8pm and you will have an opportunity to look through some of the largest historic telescope in the country at some fascinating celestial objects including Saturn and the Moon (later on). We will also be looking out for some fast moving meteors (shooting stars) associated with the Perseids meteor shower. All weather permitting of course (see Open Evenings in the Astronomy section for further details). No booking is required for the Open Evening. While this evening is the day before the maximum number of meteors is seen per hour it is still well worth looking out for them. Normal admission price applies. NO BOOKING REQUIRED FOR THE OPEN EVENING
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PERSEIDS SHOOTING STARS
Saturday 12th August 8pm-12.30am Come and enjoy some cheese and wine followed by our guest speaker Greg Smye-Rumsby before looking out for some fast moving meteors (shooting stars) associated with the Perseids meteor shower. You will also get the opportunity to look through the historic telescopes (some of the largest in the country) at some fascinating celestial objects including Saturn (weather permitting). BOOKING ESSENTIAL and numbers are limited.
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