On Tuesday 28 February, the Astronomy Club visited the University of Oxford to make use of reserved time on the 16” Philip Wetton Telescope, which is normally set aside for post-graduate research.
The evening began with a workshop on spectroscopy, in which the group built their very own spectrometer and used it to identify different heated gases. With some investigation and fun, the girls learned how spectroscopy is used in many aspects of astronomy; from studying stars, to finding out what the atmosphere of a planet 1500 light years away is made of!
Then, after a fascinating presentation on the large scale structure of the universe from one of the university’s theoretical cosmologists, it was finally time to use the telescope! Even with the unfortunate clouds that made it impossible to view the stars, the group learned a great deal about telescopes and gained some wonderful insights into stargazing and the nature of the heavens.