About the department
The Physics department has its very own fully functioning observatory, it was installed in 2009 and has been in use ever since.
It is a 3.5m dome located on the edge of the university, housed within it are a collection of permanently mounted and smaller portable telescopes used primarily for undergraduate teaching and occasional outreach events for local schools and cub scout groups.
The main equipment we have for teaching at the observatory is listed below:
- 16 inch Meade LX200 telescope mounted on a permanent custom made equatorial mount
- 8 inch Meade LX200 mounted to a portable az/alt tripod mount
- 80mm guide scope with ccd autoguider camera fitted to the 16 inch telecope, used for the accurate tracking of objects over long periods of time
- Dedicated H-alpha solar telescope, ideal for observations of prominences and other solar activity
- Solar filters for the 8 inch Meade and 80mm guide scope
- Spectrometer for use on the 16 inch telescope
- 3m radio telescope which is located on the roof of the physics building.
Students get the opportunity during their studies to use all of the equipment working on the following possible practical projects:
- Celestial mechanics
- Astronomical spectroscopy
- Radio astronomy
- Solar observations