ASTRONOMICAL LOCATIONS

Jodrell Bank, Macclesfield

 
  • ~32 minutes (16 miles) by car from the Timperley Village Club

  • £8.50 for 18-65 and £7.50 for over 65s/students (see more on the website)

  • Has a number of radio telescopes, including the 3rd largest steerable radio telescope: the Lovell Telescope

  • Part of the MERLIN Array 

  • UNESCO World Heritage Site (see more on the website)

  • Part of the University of Manchester

  • Hosts many events throughout the year (see more on the website)

  • Website: https://www.jodrellbank.net

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Kielder Observatory, Northumberland

 
  • ~3 hours and 8 minutes (167 miles) by car from the Timperley Village Club

  • Prices vary depending on what you want to do (see more on the website)

  • Hosts over 700 events per year

  • inside a nearly 580km² dark sky zone (2nd largest area of protected night sky in Europe)

  • The observatory has no postcode, so use the What3Words reference ///tickles.path.tangling or the Google maps plus code 69JM+RM Kielder, Hexham

  • Website: https://kielderobservatory.org

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National Space Centre, Leicester

 
  • ~1 hour and 52 minutes (96.3 miles) by car from the Timperley Village Club

  • £15.50 for adults, £12.50 for over 60s and 5-16 year olds, and under 5s are free

  • Houses one of only 3 known Soyuz spacecraft in the West

  • A rocket tower houses the Blue Streak (nuclear strike/satellite rocket)) and Thor Able (USA 1958-1960 satellite launch rocket) rockets.

  • Houses a large planetarium (the Sir Patrick Moore Planetarium) 

  • Website: https://spacecentre.co.uk

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Look at ADAS' post about their visit to the National Space Centre in 2002

Royal Observatory Greenwich, London

 
  • ~3 hours and 55 minutes (214 miles) by car from the Timperley Village Club

  • £16 for adults and £8 for children

  • The birthplace of Greenwich Meridian, where longitude came into being (the International Prime Meridian passes through the site, along with other meridians, like the one OS maps are based on, 2.3m from the IPM, known as the Ordnance Survey Zero Meridian 

  • Founded in 1675

  • Home to the Observatory Time Ball, which was the first public time signal (made in 1833)

  • Home to where time was standardised in the UK and then world-wide (Greenwich Mean Time or UTC). 

  • Houses many planetarium shows in the Peter Harrison Planetarium

  • Houses a hyper-accurate chronometer 

  • Has a large telescope (the Altazimuth Pavilion)

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Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory, La Palma, Spain

 
  • In La Palma which is an island in the Canary Islands (part of Spain) with multiple dark sky sites and beautiful skies (not to be confused with other places in the world called La Palma)

  • Entry is free but you can get a private accredited Starlight Guide which will cost (N.B. This may be different at present due to Covid-19)

  • Has 16 telescopes operated by people from all across the world 

  • Home to the Liverpool Telescope, operated by the University of Liverpool (you can request it to take pictures of the sky for you)

  • Has the largest single-aperture optical telescope in the world (at present): the Gran Telescopio Canerias

  • Started out with the Issac Newton Telescope from the Royal Greenwich Observatory, Sussex

  • 2,396m above sea level, meaning you are above the clouds

  • There are spectacular views when there are no clouds below

  • Warnings:

    • It can get quite cold

    • There is 25% less oxygen (possibly not for those with anaemia or a serious lung/heart condition)

    • There is nowhere to buy food so bring your own, the sun is pretty powerful so sun cream is needed

    • It is only open to visitors in the day time

    • Roads may be icy, so check there condition

    • Roads bend a lot to get up to the observatory, although there is a bus 

  • Website: ​http://www.iac.es/en/observatorios-de-canarias/roque-de-los-muchachos-observatory

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Maunakea Observatories, Hawaii, USA

 
  • On the island of Hawaii in the state of Hawaii in the USA 

  • Observatories and facilities aren't open to the public

  • Has 13 telescopes operated by people from all across the world, including the United Kingdom Infra-Red Telescope

  • On top of a dormant volcano

  • It is 4,205m above sea level

  • Warnings:

    • It takes 2 hours to get from sea level to 4,205m, so altitude sickness is likely​ (look at the NHS page for altitude sickness for more information)

    • There is 40% less air pressure, so you need to acclimatise 

    • Anyone in poor health should consult a doctor before visiting 

    • It is recommended that anyone with a lung/heart condition should not go up to the summit 

    • People under 13 shouldn't go since their bodies are still developing and are affected more rapidly when going to higher altitudes

    • If planing to scuba dive, don't go up to the summit 24 hours before hand

    • For more information, look at the Maunakea hazards booklet and the 'Visiting Maunakea' video

    • It is only open to visitors in the day time

    • Only 4 wheel drive vehicles can drive to the summit beyond the visitor centre

    • For more information on these and more, visit the website: http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/info/vis/visiting-mauna-kea/visiting-the-summit.html

  • Websites: http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/info/vis/home.html/https://maunakeaobservatories.org​

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