Kielder Observatory

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Kielder Observatory
Kielder Observatory - - 1219650.jpg
Kielder Observatory
Organization Kielder Observatory Astronomical Society
Location Kielder Forest, Northumberland, England
Altitude 370 m (1,214 ft)
Established 2008
Kielder Observatory
20 inch 20 inch (508mm) Reflector
14 inch Meade 14 inch (355mm) Schmidt-Cassegrain
60mm Solar Telescope 60mm Coronado Solar Telescope

Kielder Observatory is an astronomical observatory located in Kielder Forest, Northumberland, England. It is situated just half a mile from the Scottish border on Black Fell near James Turrell's Kielder Skyspace. The site was chosen as one of the locations in the UK freest of light pollution.[1] The primary function of the observatory is outreach, thus aims to bring in members of the public to engage in the universe around them. The Observatory regularly runs "Nightwatch events" designed for members of the public to come along and listen to a talk then observe the night sky.

Sir Arnold Wolfendale, 14th Astronomer Royal, opening the Observatory

The design of the observatory is in keeping with the ethos of the forest, not only in style but also being environmentally friendly. This design is the result of a competition which was won by Charles Barclay Architects, based in London.[2] One key requirement of the observatory is that it should be in keeping with the surrounding forest and environmentally friendly, and as such it is solar and wind powered. The building was constructed using local materials, such as Sitka spruce and Siberian larch.[3][4]

The observatory is administered by a group of volunteers who have collectively created the Kielder Observatory Astronomical Society. Their aim is to bring astronomy to surrounding community. The society hosts the Kielder Forest Star Camp each autumn, and the Sunderland Astronomical Society holds a similar star camp each spring at the Observatory.[5]

The observatory was officially opened on the 25 April 2008 by Sir Arnold Wolfendale 14th Astronomer Royal.[6]

In 2009, the Observatory was awarded a Civic Trust Award.[7]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Observatory boasts darkest skies". BBC Online. 25 April 2008. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  2. ^ "Kielder Observatory History". Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  3. ^ "Kielder Observatory". Retrieved 2008-07-29. 
  4. ^ Duran, Sergi Costa (2011-03-08). The Sourcebook of Contemporary Green Architecture. HarperCollins. pp. 61–. ISBN 9780062004628. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  5. ^ Henderson, Tony (18 February 2012). "Kielder named top place to view the Milky Way". The Journal. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  6. ^ "From Big Bang to the night sky in winter...". Hexham Courant. 10 October 2008. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  7. ^ "Kielder Observatory scoops major award". News Post Leader. 23 March 2009. Retrieved 29 December 2012.