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Alston Observatory

The Alston Observatory is the teaching and public outreach facility of the Jeremiah Horrocks Institute.

It comprises a group of both modern and historical telescopes, a new Discovery Dome planetarium system and an exhibit on Telescopes as Time Machines funded by the Royal Astronomical Society.

Our centre piece is the Moses Holden Telescope, a 70 cm diameter state-of-the-art robotic telescope used for both undergraduate teaching and to encourage public engagement in science. Alongside Moses Holden Telescope we also have a range of smaller robotic telescopes ranging in size from 20 to 30 cm in diameter. Additionally, we host the historic Wilfred Hall Telescope on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Our Discovery Dome is an exciting system that allows a laptop computer and digital projector to display movies onto a planetarium dome, located in our main building, as well as enhanced planetarium shows. This enables both informative materials to be presented for evening events, and educational material for curriculum enhancement.

Detailed Information

Kit List

  • The Moses Holden Telescope, a 70cm Planewave CDK700 telescope; The Discovery Dome planetarium in the classroom; The twin 15 inch Wilfred Hall Telescope; A selection of robotic telescopes


All visits must be pre-booked as Alston Observatory is not an open site.

General Enquiry