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Neatherd High School and Dereham 6th Form College Astronomy Club

Our school is situated in Norfolk, UK. Local people have watched the sky and tried to make sense of it for thousands of years; a few years ago a wooden version of the famous Stonehenge was found nearby.

Where Dereham is in the UK and a shot of Neatherd High School from the air.

We have a large range of telescopes that we can borrow and take home. Some of these use integral computers to help us find objects in the sky. We are also lucky to have a fantastic hydrogen alpha solar telescope which we have used to capture spectacular images of the Sun. This was financed by the Royal Society. Isaac Newton made the first ever reflecting telescope and gave it to the Royal Society. We have several 'Newtonian telescope, one of which we bought with an After School Astronomy Clubs grant and is called the Hubble Ground Telescope.

A feather shaped prominence by Jack

Members hold up their star sign constellation

Sixth form members with the Hubble Ground Telescope

Ryan with a terrific chocolate smelling rayed crater

Looking at the emission lines of different gases. These can be used to find out what things are made of anywhere in the Universe.

There are up to two meetings a week – one in the 6th form and another in the main school. We find out all sorts of things about space science and how to see things in the night sky for ourselves.

The heart of the galaxy taken from South Africa by Marcus

A shot of the Apennines by Robin

We are very keen to get involved with exciting projects. This year ten of us got to go to South Africa and see the southern sky with one of the biggest telescopes in the world – The Southern African Large Telescope. We also helped set-up astronomy clubs in several schools in disadvantaged areas with equipment donated by people and organisations in the UK and US.

We help South African students to learn how to use their new H alpha and projector telescopes to view the Sun

Another astronomy club member won a trip to Kennedy and Johnson Space Centres in the USA. He even got to meet NASA's most experienced astronaut; British born Michael Foale. We hope to send members on another exciting expedition next year.

Last year some club members spent a week in London explaining our discoveries to scientists and the public. They even got to tell HRH The Prince of Wales all about our work. He had watched the June 2004 Venus eclipse from his garden, using a pair of binoculars to project an image onto a piece of card. We told him about our live webcast of the transit that attracted 5,000 viewers from around the world. He was most impressed with our images of the transit.

The Prince of Wales finds out about our work

A shot of the Venus transit in H alpha by John

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