CAWAS Trip to Marsh Observatory – January 2024

In January 2024, we received an invitation to look around the recently opened Marsh Observatory at Warwick University. When the announcement was first made, it seemed like our entire membership wanted to attend! Fortunately, we were able to secure 2 visits on different dates so that we could could comfortably enjoy the experience. I was lucky enough to go on the first night which, fortunately for the group, was clear enough to see some real imaging being done!

On arrival, we were shown around the impressive observatory by Professor Daniel Bayliss and Yoshi, his post graduate student who demonstrated the capabilities of the imaging setup. It was a really interesting evening – Yoshi managed to take some images of Jupiter and Uranus and a comet (sorry, not sure which one!). I was particularly keen to hear more about the photometry work on exoplanets being done there.

Thanks again to Professor Bayliss, Yoshi for their hospitality and to Mike Frost for arranging the trips. If you missed the first event, I’d really recommend you try for the 2nd event in February (watch out for updates by email or our channel).

The observatory itself was opened in 2023 by Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell who was the first to discover radio pulsars while working on her postgraduate studies. The observatory is named after Professor Tom Marsh whose work involved pioneering methods for studying binary star systems who sadly was lost to the astrophysics community in 2022. More information about the observatory can be found on the University of Warwick’s web site.

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