Derby and District Astronomical Society

DDAS Visit to Herstmonceux Observatory Science Centre - Saturday 9th April 2022


A group of DDAS members paid a visit to the Observatory Science Centre at Herstmonceux in East Sussex on Saturday 9th April 2019. We were fortunate enough to have a special tour of the domes in the 'Equatorial Group' given by a couple of very knowledgeable guides, including privileged access to some areas not normally on the 'tourist trail'. We also met up with some of our fellow enthusiasts from the Mid-Kent Astronomical Society (MKAS), whom we had formerly met on Zoom. One of the MKAS members, Professor David Rees, was also one of our guides. Some members also visited the beautiful gardens of Herstmonceux Castle next door, as well as nearby Beachy Head and Eastbourne. Here are a selection of pictures from the visit.


Dome A

Credit: Mike Lancaster.

The Thompson 30-inch reflecting telescope in Dome A

Credit: Mike Lancaster.

The Thompson 30-inch reflecting telescope in Dome A

Credit: Mike Lancaster.

Dome B

Credit: Mike Lancaster.

The 36-inch Yapp Reflector in Dome B

Credit: Mike Lancaster.

Next two photos - DDAS members with the 36-inch Yapp Reflector in Dome B

Credit: Gary Lambert.


Credit: Val Branson.

The base of the the 36-inch Yapp Reflector in Dome B

Credit: Mike Lancaster.

A 13-inch lens that was used on an expedition by Sir Arthur Eddington in 1919 to test Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. The lens was used to photograph the position of stars during a total eclipse of the sun, as seen from the island of Principe off the west African coast. The position of the stars were shifted as their light had been bent by the Sun's gravity, exactly as predicted by Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. The lens is on display in Dome B.

Credit: Peter Branson.

Having an Einstein Hair Day in Dome B.

Credit: Brian Dodson.

The 34-inch Hewitt Camera in Dome C

Credit: Mike Lancaster.

The 34-inch Hewitt Camera in Dome C

Credit: Mike Lancaster.

DDAS members with the 34-inch Hewitt Camera in Dome C

Credit: Val Branson.

Domes D (foreground) and F

Credit: Mike Lancaster.

Next three photos - DDAS members examining the 100-inch mirror from the former Isaac Newton Telescope. Dome E is in the background.

Credit: Gary Lambert.


Credit: Val Branson.


Credit: Val Branson.

Next two photos - view towards the dome of the former Isaac Newton Telescope as seen from the Equatorial Telescope Group.

Credit: Mike Lancaster.


Credit: Brian Dodson.

The Thompson 26-inch refracting telescope in Dome E

Credit: Mike Lancaster.

The Thompson 26-inch refracting telescope in Dome E

Credit: Mike Lancaster.

A moving experience for our group as the floor of the Thompson 26-inch refracting telescope in Dome E is lowered.

Credit: Pete Hill.

The 38-inch 'Congo Schmidt' telescope in Dome F

Credit: Mike Lancaster.

Panaorama of the Equatorial Telescope Group.  Left to right: Domes E, A, B, D, and F. Dome C is obscured by dome D in this view.

Credit: Pete Hill.

The Equatorial Telescope Group seen from the south

Credit: Mike Lancaster.

The domes of the observatory at Herstmonceux can just be seen in this picture taken from Beachy Head on Sunday, 10th April 2022.

Credit: Mike Lancaster.

Bust of John Flamsteed, First Astronomer Royal, in Herstmonceux Castle Gardens.

Credit: Mike Lancaster.

Reclining equiangular sundial in Herstmonceux Castle Gardens.

Credit: Mike Lancaster.


Links:

The telescopes at the Observatory Science Centre

The buildings and grounds at Herstmonceux


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