La Societe’s astronomy section gets new solar telescopes

TWO new specialised solar telescopes have been added to the collection at the La Societe’s astronomy section.

La Societe Guernesaise’s Astronomy Section has two new specialised solar telescopes to be used at the Astronomy Section HQ once the new telescope building is ready. Education conservation assistant Sarah Allez, left, and Education conservation leader Becky Ogier. 								        (Picture by Peter Frankland, 30108593)
La Societe Guernesaise’s Astronomy Section has two new specialised solar telescopes to be used at the Astronomy Section HQ once the new telescope building is ready. Education conservation assistant Sarah Allez, left, and Education conservation leader Becky Ogier. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 30108593)

Secretary Jean Dean said now is a good time in the sun’s cycle to see solar activity.

‘The sun is just starting to increase its activity – it goes through 11- and 22-year cycles of going from low to high activity, and it’s just coming out of an 11-year cycle, so it’s a good time to be using the telescopes,’ said Mrs Dean.

Through one telescope the sun’s photosphere will be visible, which is the innermost layer that can be observed directly.

The chromosphere will be visible through the other, which is the middle layer of the sun which emits a reddish glow as super-heated hydrogen burns off.

The telescopes can be used for those with memberships to the astronomy section and other visiting islanders, including youth groups such as guides and scouts.

Work is currently being undertaken to refurbish the telescope building at the site off Rue du Lorier in St Peter’s, which has been closed for the past year.

‘We hope we can put on two or three open days on this year and in December it will be open again.

‘It was a wooden structure before, this will be a timber structure and very similar, but it will be a little bit bigger.’

The new structure will allow for a further 15 children to access the building.

‘We’re dealing with more groups and the group sizes are getting larger, and it can only fit about 20 people,’ said Mrs Dean.

‘It will be dual use – we’re hoping to put on lectures in there too.’

La Societe is looking for sponsors who could donate a flat screen of size around 50 inches.

‘It would be a huge step forward,’ she said.

She thanked Proper Build and Norman Piette who have been supporting through the project.

‘Without them we wouldn’t have been able to do it.’

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