Upper School Choice - chess

Science Student Reaching For The Stars

16th January 24

Over the winter break, Year 13 student, Jasper, spent some of his time taking some fantastic photos of astronomical objects and areas of the night sky.

Using a telescope which was previously donated to the School, Jasper worked with the Science Department to get a new mount for the telescope to enable him to take these inspiring images. Jasper, who is studying Physics, Chemistry, Maths and Further Maths, says his interest in astrophotography comes from his enjoyment of mixing science with the creative. Training the telescopes on London’s skies allows him to take a break from the rigour of science while doing something related and fun. Jasper said:

“It’s amazing and technical, I can still use my science skills and understanding; it boosts my science knowledge. But it’s a break from having to do something super methodical. I can record and take photos and get to say that I took this image, of a galaxy 2 million light years away, and it was because of a telescope in my back garden.”

Jasper plans to run a club to share his passion with the whole School, opening the opportunity up to students in Reception all the way up to Sixth Form. He added:

“It’s so beneficial to all year groups. Kids in Reception can stand on a stool and look at the rings of Saturn, while a Sixth Form student doing Physics or Chemistry can use it to boost the saturation on a moon photo so you can tell the mineral composition or look at the types of gases in nebulas. It really does have a range of opportunities.”

The new mount, purchased by the Science Department, holds the telescope and tracks the movement of the stars, so as the world is spinning, the telescope will follow a set location around, allowing for long-exposure photography. This means the picture taken will not blur and also allows the user to keep focus on a certain planet or other object. It also has a ‘go-to’ function which, when plugged into a computer or controller, will let you calibrate it according to the stars and ask it to show you something in the sky, like Jupiter, it will then ‘go-to’ that location.

We are excited to see what other images Jasper will take next!

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