The Piazzi Smyth Observatory
he Piazzi Smyth Observatory at Bedford School opened in October 2000 and is an excellent facility for the School, the wider community and for BAS to have access to. It provides an important and valuable resource for the teaching of, and the wider public awareness and understanding of Astronomy.
Sited at the Northern end of the Bedford School estate, the Observatory, Resource Centre and Planetarium were opened by The Duke of Edinburgh on the 22nd of May 2002. Operated by the School in conjunction with members of the Bedford Astronomical Society, the facilities are available for use by other interested groups and schools.
The project has been funded by major grants from The Bedford School Trust, The Harpur Trust and The Wolfson Foundation, along with other generous donations from local businesses and Old Boys. It is truly a very high quality and exciting facility for all to enjoy.
The main 5m dome currently houses a professional standard Meade LX 200 16" computer controlled telescope. This gives stunning views of the Moon, Planets and Deep Sky Objects. A number of portable telescopes ranging from 6" to 13" diameter are also used from the outside observation deck, so there is always plenty to see.
The 16" Schmidt-Cassegrain
The observatory class Meade instrument
Please note that the Observatory is owned and operated by Bedford School, and Observatory visits are for Community Groups (Cubs, Scouts, Schools, etc.) - not for individuals to book. Visits can be arranged through the Bedford School Website