Tolcarn Research Observatory will be open from 9th-15th August 2014 for the Perseids meteor shower. Limited camping will be available. Please contact the observatory to book your place on
This year as well as the 180 degree Allsky cam, we will be using the new radio telescope to detect the meteors as they happen.
The Tolcarn team look forward to seeing you all there.
Perseids meteor shower is caused by the Earth moving through the old comet trail left by comet Swift-Tuttle. So called because the point from which they appear to come, called the “Radiant” lies in the constellation of Perseus. The stream of debris is called the Perseid cloud and stretches along the orbit of the comet Swift-Tuttle. The cloud consists of particles ejected by the comet as it travels its 133 year orbit. It is recorded at its earliest in the annals of Chinese astronomers in 36 AD.
We will be broadcasting live on the Night Skies Network.

Observing highlights for the rest of the month from

Saturday, July 12, dawn – Mercury at greatest elongation

Not a particularly good apparition of Mercury, though slightly better as seen from the Southern Hemisphere here. Look half an hour before sunrise with binoculars, using Venus and nearby bright stars to locate Mercury.

Saturday, July 12, dusk – Mars and Spica

Mars passes less than 2 degrees north of the bright star Spica, Alpha Virginis. Look for the pair about an hour after sunset.

Tuesday, July 22, dawn – Aldebaran and the Moon

The moon passes just north of the bright star Aldebaran in Taurus. Look for Venus and Mercury below and to their left, and follow the shrinking crescent moon over the next few nights as it slides below Venus and Mercury.