Astronomy at St Bart’s

Published 2 March 2023

This week students may have seen some of the amazing images that have been shared as parts of the UK were treated to rare glimpses of the Aurora Borealis – caused by particles from the sun colliding with atoms and molecules in our atmosphere. Following the green comet that graced our skies in January, 2023 is certainly already proving to be a year of amazing celestial wonders.Last week, a crescent moon met the solar system’s two brightest planets amid their conjunction. The Venus and Jupiter conjunction involves the two planets appearing in close proximity to one another in our night sky. The two planets are in conjunction around every 13 months, but it is more unusual for the conjunction to be readily visible in the evening sky and accompanied by a crescent moon. Dr Fitter captured the moment above St Bart’s for all our interested student stargazers.

Venus and Jupiter will be closest together on Wednesday 1 March when they will appear side by side in the evening sky, this is the closest high evening conjunction since 2015 and the next one as good as this isn’t until 2047, so one not to miss!

 

The Year 9 Astronomy GCSE class have most recently been learning about the solar system and how to observe the planets using the naked-eye and with telescopes. The Year 7 and 8 Astronomy Club last week learnt about this year’s Star Count, an annual event run by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) to map how light pollution is preventing our enjoyment of the night sky, and they have enjoyed observing Jupiter through the school’s telescopes.