Second-year Applied Science students recently visited the Norman Lockyer Observatory in Sidmouth to look at the telescopes housed there and explore the history of the observatory.

On a clear January evening, the group were able to identify many constellations and planets, as well as use the telescopes to view a couple of nebulae, including the Great Orion nebula and the Horsehead nebula.

Students were able to see how the different telescopes and domes work, discover a little of the fascinating history of the place and were treated to a very informative tour of the night sky using an excellent planetarium show. T

hey also looked at how meteors are detected and recorded using reflected radar signals from France.

All the knowledge and information collected, alongside the experience of seeing these devices first-hand, will prove invaluable as they complete their coursework unit on Astrophysics this term.