About the Observatory

The observatory is situated at Watery Lane, Newchurch, Isle of Wight.
Latitude: 50° 39′ 17″ N Longitude: 1° 13′ 00″ W, which you can find in Google Earth (assuming you have that installed).

observatory2We have a modern astronomical observatory at Watery Lane, Newchurch. This facility, which was purpose built, houses large telescopes and excellent equipment for visual use and deep-sky and lunar and planetary imaging. All members are encouraged to use these facilities and trained personnel are on hand to assist those learning to use the equipment. The Observatory is open to the public every Thursday evening after 8pm.

observatoryOn the second Friday of each month members meet at the observatory for observing sessions. If it is cloudy there are practical demonstrations in using the observatory equipment.

There are ongoing training sessions in the use of the telescopes and ancillary equipment on Thursday evenings at the Observatory.

We encourage guided tours of the observatory for Groups and School Parties, and hold “Open Days” at the observatory from time to time.

big dobThis contains our technical library, an 18 inch f4.5 Dobsonian telescope (signed by John Dobson himself) and various pieces of ancillary equipment.

5' LXD75This houses a number of smaller Newtonian telescopes on equatorial and Dobsonian mounts and a Meade ETX90 computer controlled Maksutov for the use of members. Some of these are available for short term loan to members.

There is also a Meade 5″ refractor on an LXD75 computer controlled mount with a Coronado hydrogen alpha filter for observation and photography of solar surface and prominence phenomena.

Meade12This houses the main telescope – a Meade 12″ Schmidt-Cassegrain on an Astro Engineering equatorial wedge on a very substantial solid pier.

A Starlight Express MX7C one-shot colour CCD camera or a Meade Lunar and Planetary Imager may be used for imaging on the main telescope, which can be operated at f/3.3 to f/30.

Both the telescope and cameras and the dome itself may be operated remotely from the control room.

rosetteThis houses computers and control systems to remotely operate the telescope and the cameras.

The computers have a range of planetarium software, telescope and camera control and image processing software for the use of members.

Other computers are used for educational displays for visitors etc.