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THE JAMES IRWIN OBSERVATORY


The James Irwin Observatory is located on the outskirts of Canterbury Kent.

The building of the observatory was completed 20th March 1990. Prior to the completion of the observatory, Colonel James Irwin was due to visit the UK at the beginning of the year. The observatory was opened 16th January 1990 by James Irwin and was so named in his honour.



Irwin started his career in the Naval Academy and joined the Air Force when he graduated. In 1966, NASA picked him and 18 others for astronaut training. James Irwin's lifelong ambition was to walk on the surface of the Moon. He joined a number of Apollo missions in his lifetime. It was not until Apollo 15 mission July 26th 1971, did his lifelong ambition become reality.

The Observatory today houses a Celestron C14 which is mounted on a brick pier and polar aligned to allow accurate tracking of the night sky. The C14 is a fully computer controlled GOTO telescope, allowing users to quickly locate planets and deep sky objects.

Using The Observatory

The society key holders endeavour to open the observatory on Friday evenings when there are no meetings at Bredhurst Village Hall (weather permitting).

To find out if the observatory will open on those Fridays designated as observing sessions, please refer to the HOME or EVENTS page which will be updated by 19:30 on that Friday evening to confirm the opening of the observatory.

All members who have been with the society for 6 months or greater may use the observatory's C14 provided they are accompanied by another member for health and safety reasons. An induction is required for those members wishing to use the observatory on days designated non-observing sessions (Fridays).

Members of the public and guests are welcome to come along for free observing sessions at the observatory.



The James Irwin Observatory is
Currently Closed
and Due to Reopen

on 4th January 2019

Check here after 19:30 on the day to get final confirmation before travelling in case clouds prevent us opening.
See EVENTS page for details


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