The Great Shefford Observatory is a private astronomical
observatory situated in West Berkshire,
England, about 60 miles west of central London, run by me, Peter Birtwhistle.
The observatory has been fully operational since 26 May 2002
(see our first light image at right) with a 12" diameter telescope and electronic camera (CCD).
A programme of astrometry was started on 30th May
2002. Observatory code J95 was allocated to Great Shefford Observatory by the Minor Planet Center in June 2002.
In June 2005 the 12" telescope was upgraded to a 16" and in September
2005 the CCD was also upgraded, allowing
fainter objects to be detected.
The work done at Great Shefford is primarily:
following up newly discovered Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) to
help improve their orbits so their position can eventually be predicted far
into the future to check they don't endanger the Earth
cometary astrometry, concentrating on the fainter objects
that don't get quite so much attention as many of the brighter objects.
objects are also imaged, including Gamma Ray Bursters, Supernovae, some unusual man-made
satellites and deep sky objects.
Please have a look around and see some of the things
I've been doing and check out the What's new page for
Great Shefford Observatory operating
picture taken with a Nokia 808 PureView,
2.6 second exposure at ISO-1600
At 9pm on 29th November 2012, with the telescope tracking on a bright NEO
(2012 WH1), the full moon illuminates the
observatory and nearby chicken coop.
The bright star Vega can be seen in the North-West just above the trees which
are lit up by a street light only 25 meters from the observatory