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The Observatory is located at Cardiff University Department of Physics and Astronomy. It is used by staff and students of Cardiff University, as well as by the local Cardiff Astronomical Society. It is also open to visiting school parties and other members of the public during University Open Days. Our main telescope is CHaNT (Cardiff Half-Metre Newise Telescope), a 20-inch optical reflecting design. We also have a solar telescope, a 3-m radio telescope, and various smaller telescopes and antennas. In addition we have various CCD camera systems and other detectors and spectrometers. The telescopes are situated on the roof of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and there is an observing control room and laboratories for the reduction of data on the floor below.

More about the Observatory

Radio Telescope

Radiotelescope on roof of Physics building

A 3-m radio telescope dish was purchased during the summer of 2002 with a 21-cm receiver system for observing atomic Hydrogen. The telescope is used by undergraduate students of Cardiff University, as well as by members of the Cardiff Astronomical Society. It is also available for viewing by school parties and members of the public during University Open Days.

Cardiff Half-metre Newise Telescope

Cardiff half-metre Newise telescope

Cardiff University has bought a half-metre optical telescope for use in under-graduate teaching laboratories. The telescope has enormous capability for astronomical imaging. Its size makes it amongst the largest of any UK university teaching telescopes. Its unique design gives it a level of image fidelity unmatched by similar sized telescopes of more conventional designs.

Solar Observatory

Danielle Moakes next to a telescope

An H-alpha filter is now being used in conjunction with CHaNT for solar astronomy. With this filter we can take images of the Sun to examine details such as sunspots, solar flares and prominences. In this way we can study the energetics of the Sun.


Spots and ring on sun

The purpose of the project is to build a scanning spectroscope to attach to the solar telescope, to take spectra of different parts of the sun's surface. This will allow us to compare bright parts of the solar surface with sunspot regions.

Comet Holmes

On 6 November 2007 staff and students at Cardiff University observed Comet Holmes.

2nd Year Astronomical Experiments

Students have the option of taking a module on Observational Techniques in Astronomy.