The Alston Observatory is a purpose-built teaching facility. Also on the site are telescopes with a long history. We have recently added a new Discovery Dome planetarium system, exhibits on Telescopes as Time Machines funded by the Royal Astronomical Society, and an outside experiment Measuring the Cosmos.
Discovery Dome is an exciting system that allows a laptop computer and digital projector to display movies onto a planetarium dome, as well as enhanced planetarium shows. This will enable both informative material to be presented for evening events, and educational material for curriculum enhancement.
Measuring the Cosmos applies the fundamental parallax technique to the measurement of distances to an artificial "constellation", demonstrating how difficult it is to determine distance in the Universe.
Telescopes as Time Machines looks at the 400 year history of the telescope, and relates observations to our understanding of the Universe, providing discussion points for understanding the idea that distance equates to time into the past when we are considering the vast distances beyond out solar system.
We have recently invested over £200,000 to install a new large telescope at Alston Observatory (pictured below).
Visit Alston Observatory for more information.
Alston Observatory main building (right) and MAT building (left)
Interior of Alston Observatory Main Building - Location of the Discovery Dome system
Wilfred Hall Observatory Dome housing 15 inch Grubb Telescope