About the Observatory

The Society owns an astronomical observatory, which contains a Meade 16 inch LX200.The observatory itself may never have become a reality were it not for the commitment and hard work of Society members, local engineering firms and financial support by the local council and local trusts.Meade LX200

Now, use of the observatory is a major benefit of Society membership. It can be used for the private observing projects of individuals and also for the education of the general public. Interest in astronomy is currently phenomenal, and as such, the Society holds four Open Weeks at the observatory - close to Crosland Heath Golf Course, off Blackmoorfoot Road, Huddersfield - every year during the winter months.

Between October and April, the Observatory opens to the public during Four Open Weeks [Monday to Friday/Saturday], between mid-October and late March, from 7.30 p.m. to 9.00 p.m, but only if the skies are clear.
 
These weeks are planned around significant night sky events – for example visibility of the Moon, brighter Planets and meteor showers.
 
We also host a number of Friday evening observing sessions, between May and August for the general public to view the Sun through our specially adapted Solar telescopes. These start at 6.30pm until 8pm - though if the weather is clear we may observe until sunset.
 
In addition, on request and by prior arrangement, the Observatory is available for visiting parties, up to a maximum of 15 to 20 people.
 
Visiting parties may also book an observatory visit between April and September, to view the Sun through our specially adapted Solar telescopes.
 
All private visits to the Observatory must be arranged at least 2 to 4 weeks in advance.
 
Cost of admission is £2.50 Adults, £1.50 concessions with a 50% reduction on the night if the weather is not clear enough to view the night sky or Sun.
 
Should the weather not be clear, we offer a presentation about the sky, demonstrate how telescopes work, provide information about the Night Sky by way of an interactive planetarium show and describe what meteorites are.
 
These presentations are tailored to suit particular interest groups and we can fulfil all or most of the requirements of the Cubs, Scouts, Brownies and Guides Star Gazers badges.

We can also arrange to visit schools, scout groups and other organisations to give talks and demonstrations, and we publicise this by placing exhibits in the local library and adverts and posters in community booklets and library notice-boards.

What to wear?

The Observatory is not heated, so layers of warm clothing are essential, especially on a windy evening. Hat and Gloves are very useful, to prevent exposure to the cold and windy conditions. Strong footwear is essential, as the ‘track’ to the Observatory is uneven, and the Observatory itself can become slippery, due to ‘condensation’. Waterproof and windproof jackets are also a good idea to reduce the effects of ‘wind-chill’. Inside the Telescope area, the wind will ‘swirl around’ and it is very easy to become cold very quickly. Basically, dress for the north pole. Please note there are no toilet facilities. If you can, bring a torch as there is no lighting in the area.

You may find it useful to bring a torch with you as we have to keep the lighting levels quite low, inside the Observatory.

The best kind of torch is a RED LED head torch - which are widely available - please avoid bringing 5 million candle power lanterns as it spoils everyones night vision

Risk Assessment

In the past 12 months we have been asked, by prospective visiting groups , for an Observatory Risk Assessment.

Pease download the document from this page

Any questions about access to the Observatory - please get in touch

The Following is a list of telescopes owned by us

Meade 40cm ( 16 inch ) LX200 GPS Goto SCT on permanent equatorial pier.
Coronado Solarmax90/T-max with HI-RES upgrade and BF15 aboard a Takahashi Sky 90 fluorite apochromatic refractor.

Celestron Nextar 11 (28cm) GPS Goto SCT with portable tripod.
Takhashi FS 102 fluorite apochromatic refractor on Takahashi EM10 equatorial mount and portable tripod.
All supported with a full range of Televue Nagler / Panoptic, Meade super plossl and Coronado CE-max eyepieces. 

Coronado Personal Solar Telescope

 For more details, please see the additional information listed here.....http://www.huddersfieldastronomy.org/node/82

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