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Home Forums Society Events Trip to Herstmonceux


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  • #6590
    Mike Meynell
    Topics: 119
    Replies: 756

    We had a very successful trip to Herstmonceux yesterday. The weather stayed fine all day (unlike London, I understand) and we had a couple of fascinating tours – firstly of the telescopes domes at the Observatory Science Centre and then a superb tour of the Space Geodesy Facility.

    I took a few pictures during the day, which you can see at the following link:

    A selection of some images is shown below:

    26-inch Thompson Refractor:
    26-inch Thompson Refractor

    38-inch Congo Schmidt Telescope:
    38-inch Congo Schmidt Telescope

    pace Geodesy Facility – Operations Manager Rob Sherwood Points Out The Laser:
    Space Geodesy Facility - Operations Manager Rob Sherwood Points Out The Laser

    Space Geodesy Facility – Telescope and Firing Laser:
    Space Geodesy Facility - Telescope and Firing Laser

    View Towards South Downs:
    Herstmonceux View Towards South Downs

    Brian Blake
    Topics: 188
    Replies: 409

    It is a shame I missed the trip but was unavoidable. Will we be organising again?

    Christina Chester
    Topics: 19
    Replies: 196

    Thanks very much for organising this trip Mike! I’ve been wanting to visit Herstmonceux for a while. Now I have and it was all the better with the privilege to go on a private telescope tour.

    Those are REALLY great photos by the way!

    Mike Meynell
    Topics: 119
    Replies: 756

    Sorry that you missed the trip, Brian. I’m sure we will organise another, as it seemed very popular.

    Christina, I’m glad you enjoyed the trip and thanks for your comment regarding the photos!

    Clive Inglis
    Topics: 17
    Replies: 41

    I would also like to add my thanks to Mike for organising an enjoyable and informative trip and for the excellant photographs which made up for the fact that, when trying to take my first snap shot, I found that I’d taken out the SD card from my camera to down load some photos and left it at home, oops! The Space Geodesy Facility was the high-light for me although I did enjoy the chat with the radio group guys. Its a shame more Flamsteed members didn’t join us in the shack, but perhaps we would have had a problem crowding any more bodies in.

    It was interesting to hear about their radio activities which at first appeared to be biased towards radio communication and satellite tracking rather than “pure” radio astronomy. However, chatting during our tour of the antenna farm outback it turned out that they were active participants in the Radio JOVE Project, (observation and analysis of the natural radio emissions of Jupiter, the Sun, and our galaxy), and Meteor detection/tracking. We have discussed Radio JOVE as a possible future project for the radio group providing a suitable site could be found. Judging by what had been seen during our visit the feeling amonst the members present confirmed this view.

    Mike Meynell
    Topics: 119
    Replies: 756

    Thanks for your kind comments, Clive. It makes organising trips like this really worthwhile to know that they are appreciated by attendees. To be honest, the Herstmonceux trip took significantly more organisation than the trip to CERN! I’m glad that my photos were some consolation for your missing SD card!

    I was really pleased with the day and agree with you that the highlight of the trip was the Space Geodesy Facility tour (though I really enjoyed the rest of the day as well). Rob Sherwood did a superb job taking us around the Space Geodesy Facility and it was fascinating to listen to his patient explanations on the work that he does. I was incredibly impressed by the accuracy of the measurements to satellites in orbit – I think Rob said it was around 5mm over a distance of 40,000km?! Quite extraordinary.

    Rob emailed me today and commented on how keen and interested our group was, so he really enjoyed taking us around. It’s great that the weather stayed fine all day as well.

    Sorry that I didn’t spend much time with the Radio Astronomy Group – I got caught up in several conversations, so could only pop in near the end of your discussions. The Radio JOVE stuff looks fascinating – but I’ll reply to you on the new thread.

    Mike Meynell
    Topics: 119
    Replies: 756

    A full report of the trip is now on this website:

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