The George Abell Observatory
Department of Physical Sciences
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The Open University
Observatory Booking and Use
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If you are (i) a member of the OU Astronomy Club or (ii) a member of the Department of Physical Sciences, and you have been trained in the use of the observatory equipment, you may book time using the observatory, subject to the rules below.

First check the Observatory Calendar to see if the slot you require is available. Then, from the calendar webpage, click on the link to 'Google Calendar' in the bottom right hand corner. Log in to the Google calendar website using the username and password which you may obtain from the Observatory Directors or the Chair of the Astronomy Club. Then enter your required booking using the Google Calendar interface.

Rules governing the use of the Observatory are as follows:

  • Up to half the nights in a given month will normally be available to members of the OU Astronomy Club
  • Up to half the nights in a given month will normally be available to members of the Department of Physical Sciences.
  • An individual may normally be allocated no more than 7 nights observing in a given month.
  • Nights may be booked no more than one month in advance, and will normally be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

All the above rules are subject to the discretion of the Observatory Directors.

Health & Safety regulations require that the observatory is never operated at night by a single observer - there must always be 2 or more people present.

All data are to be archived on the external hard-drive on the computer next to the telescope under an obvious year / month / date folder system (see existing data there).

Please note that if you take off the CCD camera that is attached to the telescope, please pack it away in its crate.

Please remember also to log what you do in the written log book (downstairs).

Notice of cancellations must be made at least twelve hours before observations are due to start. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in Observing privileges being temporarily revoked.


Andrew Norton & Johanna Jarvis
Directors, George Abell Observatory