Coleshill Astronomical Public Observatory


Public Outreach

What happens at a public observing session?

Viewing for the public will be arranged at the following times, weather permitting -

  • Saturday 18:00 - 22:00 (October to March) to observe the Moon, Planets and Stars.
  • Sunday 10:00 - 14:00 (April to September) to observe the Sun.

We can't always guarantee observing, of course, as opening the dome will mainly be weather-dependent. On cloudy days, however, there will always be an opportunity to view a selection of astronomy photos and videos in our Exhibition Area.

How do I know whether observing will take place?

We will make a decision about whether to open the dome or not about 2 hours before the planned session is due to start.

If you are planning a visit, then we would advise that you take a look at our calendar ( 'Event' section) to avoid disappointment. If the weather is too cloudy, the public session will still go ahead but will be limited to the display of exhibits.

What do I need to bring?

Observing during the autumn/winter months (October to March) can be quite cold, so best to wrap up warm with an extra layer or two of clothing. A good thick coat in mid-winter is a must. You may also bring a small torch to help you see around outside but please keep it pointed to the ground.

How do I find the observatory?

We have provided a map of our location in the 'Contact Us' section. Please allow a little time for parking and walking to the observatory; you can always drop off people near the entrance before finding a safe place to park. Please consider that Coleshill is by and large a residential area, so please do not park on the pavements, grass verges, or too close to driveways.

What about children?

Young children are very welcome; they are after all the next generation of astronomers. But please check that the time of your visit is suitable. If it's too dark outside, or perhaps too cold, it might spoil their fun.

Public Group Parties:

Small groups of people (i.e. 10-15) are welcome, however, we have to limit such groups to one per session so we can retain the 'drop-in' public nature of our viewing sessions. Take a look at the Calendar schedule in the 'Event' section to check if no other group has booked to attend. If there is no other group booking for your planned date of visit then send an email to us and we will post a notice that your group has been accepted. All group arrangements will be on a first come basis.

Community Group Visits:

We welcome visits from community groups. This includes groups of brownies, cubs, guides and scouts who are working towards their Astronomy of Stargazer badges. Come along and have a look around and have a chat to see how we can help. If possible we will try to accommodate your visit separately on another evening, which could fit better with your more regular meeting time and day. We expect a suitable number of adult helpers to accompany your group and parents and siblings are very welcome too. Send us an email with the date(s) you have in mind. We would be happy to provide a guided tour of our facility and may arrange a couple of suitable talks by local amateur astronomers.

What about disabled access?

Doors to the building are wheelchair-accessible. Please email us if you have any concerns.



Useful Astronomy Links:

APOD Astronomy Picture of the Day.

Heavens Above Star Chart An interactive star chart of the sky above Coleshill.

International Space Station: Visible passes of the ISS.

Iridium Flares: Predictions of when sunlight will reflect off a satellite to make it suddenly flare bright, just for a few seconds.

Bright Satellites: Daily predictions of all the best satellites to view as they pass over Coleshill.

Hubble Heritage Gallery The best images from the Hubble Space Telescope.

Portal to the Universe news, blogs, video podcasts, audio podcasts, images, videos and more.


This webpage is under construction




Vixen/Coronado Solarscope

B7.4 flares captured in active sunspot region 1271


C2.0 Solar Flare in Active Sunspot Region 1263


Sunspot Region 1236


Bright Prominences, with the size of our planet Earth shown to scale


Bright Prominences, with the size of our planet Earth shown to scale


Large Arch Prominence. Our planet Earth shown to scale


Time-stamped sequence of an eruptive prominence


Sunspots and Filaments



Celestron 11" Edge HD

Andromeda Galaxy

Craters Ptolemaeus, Alphonsus and Arzachel

Crater Plato and the Alpine Valley

Hadley Rille and Apollo 15 Landing Site (red dot)

Crater Clavius

Crater Copernicus

Planet Mars

Globular Star Cluster M13






© Coleshill Astronomy 2019