Astro Blog articles for stargazing

Stargazing Oxford 2015 Photo Competition

Posted: 18 Dec 2014

Hello everyone! I'm sure you're all looking forward to the Christmas holiday, and so are we in Oxford Astrophysics. But we're also thinking ahead to the New Year and there's plenty to be excited about. Stargazing Oxford returns on the 17th of January, and with it our annual Astrophotography competition.

PWT back on sky - comet ISON moving slowly

Posted: 02 Apr 2013

After nearly two months offline due to a broken drive motor, the Philip Wetton Telescope is now back observing the night sky! This has enabled us to take the next image in our Comet ISON project, which we started at Stargazing Oxford back in January. It looks like the coma and tail have got a bit bigger since we last saw it in late January. We've also started getting data for other projects, and at the bottom of the page there's a sneak peak at a future 'pretty pic'...

Stargazing Oxford 2013 Project : Comet ISON

Posted: 06 Feb 2013

Comet Incoming! Here is the first image of Comet ISON taken for our 2013 PWT Stargazer's project. ISON is still as far away as Jupiter, but already a small tail is starting to develop... For this project, we will be imaging the comet every 2 weeks this year with the Philip Wetton Telescope (PWT) telescope here in Oxford. Check back to see how the comet develops, and if it delivers on its promise to be the brightest comet in 40 years!

Stargazing Oxford 2013 photo competition

Posted: 11 Dec 2012

As part of this year's Stargazing Oxford open day (details to be announced shortly), we are running a photo competition. The deadline for submission is midnight on Tuesday the 8th of January, and all entries will be displayed to the public during the open day on January 12th. Details are included below. We look forward to receiving your beautiful images of the night sky!

Get involved with your local astro society

Posted: 08 Feb 2012

Interested in getting more involved and finding out a bit more about astronomy? Why not investigate your local astronomy society? Here's a list of the ones you can find around Oxford.

What Can You See in the Night Sky This Week?

Posted: 31 Jan 2012

Every 90 minutes or so, the International Space Station orbits the Earth, it's six inhabitants watching over us as we go about our daily lives. In the dark before dawn or just after dusk, it can be seen crossing the sky - but in a few minutes, its gone again, back into the Earth's shadow. So how do you catch our man-made shooting star?

What's Going To Happen To Betelgeuse?

Posted: 18 Jan 2012

BBC Stargazing Live is great TV - but watching #bbcstargazing on Twitter at the same time makes it even more fun. A few of us astronomers have been answering viewers' questions in real time, as they wonder about the Universe with Brian Cox and company. But here's one that had me stumped: what's going to happen to Betelgeuse? Time to call SPI-MAX...

Stargazing Oxford: Thinking Big

Posted: 17 Jan 2012

Stargazing Oxford is more than just a local astronomy fair - it will represent what we at Oxford Astrophysics are all about. Think big: come and explore the Universe from the Denys Wilkinson Building!

Stargazing Oxford!

Posted: 11 Jan 2012

Happy New Year everybody! Here at Oxford Astrophysics we're back at work after the Christmas break, and are particularly busy - why's that? Next week is BBC Stargazing Live!

What Can You See in the Night Sky This Week?

Posted: 05 Dec 2011

The constellation of Orion - the Hunter - is now beginning to appear in the Southeast at around 8pm. Orion is one of the most-easily recognised constellations and you can spot him by looking for the three bright stars that make up his belt. Once you have found his belt, look for his sword: a triplet of faint objects dropping down to the left of his belt. The middle of these is not a star but the Orion Nebula, a region where stars are forming about 1,300 light years away. This fuzzy blob is a good spot to try and view using a small telescope.

What Can You See in the Night Sky This Week?

Posted: 01 Dec 2011

Andromeda - the Milky Way’s twin galaxy - is the closest spiral galaxy to us. However, it’s still a long way away! If the Milky Way was the size of a 2p coin, Andromeda would be the size of another 2p coin just over half a metre away. And that’s our nearest neighbour! Unsurprisingly, the Andromeda galaxy is located in the constellation of Andromeda and can be seen from dusk till about 2:30am every night this week, writes Jas Virdee.

What Can You See in the Night Sky This Week?

Posted: 21 Nov 2011

All that glistens is not gold: sometimes it’s red, or blue, or both. This week, we take a look at some double stars in the night sky and learn the difference between an optical double and a true binary. You will need binoculars or a telescope, and this week’s sky map.

What Can You See in the Night Sky This Week?

Posted: 15 Nov 2011

What can you see in the night sky this week? Among other things: the giant of the solar system - famously observed by a giant from the history of astronomy.