The Earth Story Trail is here!

The Earth Story Trail arrived and has been set up in Willow Field, Truro, this week.

Clint, Brian, Anita and work experience students, Rosie and Jack, helped assemble the signs and set them out on the field according to a scale that takes you on a walking tour of the Earth’s history, from it’s formation to the present day.

  • Sprint start: For the first 4,000+million years, each metre (about two large steps) will take you through 20 million years.
  • Slow motion recap: For the last 541 million years, each metre will take you through 10 million years.

Signs orientate you with your position on the trail and guide you through key events, conditions, facts, debates and trivia about the geological eon, era or period that you’ve reached.

February Night Sky

Launcher One

Cosmic Girl duly roared down the run way at Newquay on a cold dark night, surely nothing could go wrong!  However it did – somewhere over the Irish Sea the second stage cut out and the satellites failed to get into orbit. We still don’t know what went wrong, but we suspect an outside source over which Virgin Orbit had no control. Still there is always next time…

Solar System.

The Sun, Moon and Earth

Of course the dark nights will mean that younger astronomers will be able to                                                                                                                                                                                               appreciate the wonders of the winter night sky.. Especially the Orion group of constellations.

The Moon  

  • Full Moon 5th 
  • Last Quarter 15th   
  • New Moon 20th  
  • First Quarter 27th  

The Full Moon in January is known as the Snow Moon in the US and UK. 

The Planets 

Venus makes a is in the SW after sunset, it should be possible to see that it has phases. NB you may want to put a Moon filter on your telescope eyepiece to reduce the glare. Best at the end of the month. A telescope will reveal Saturn very close by.

Mars Is best at the start of the month and fades throughout February. 

Jupiter is still very bright, and is heading towards the western horizon

Saturn is in the west, is close to the Sun It sets very soon after, can be picked up by telescope after Sun set – take care to ensure the Sun has set!!

Neptune. A great opportunity to see this elusive planet occurs on the 15th when the ice giant is very close to Venus just 20 arc minutes away. 30 arc mins. is half a degree ie the diameter of the Full Moon. So just about far enough apart to be able to see past the glare of Venus. A good telescope will show it as a blue dot. Have your Moon filters to hand anyway.

Comet C/2022 E3 ZTf could reach naked eye visibility this month in the constellation of Ursa Minor. Check out the exact position each night via website search. Good binoculars are the best way forward Clear sky and an absence of the Moon are more important than proximity to Earth. The green colour is due to the presence of C2. Diatomic carbon

Sky at Night

No programme this month however you can keep up via the website and of course repeats are on I Player

 Open Day with Telescope Clinic

Date:~? We are looking at the 18th, the Saturday afternoon and evening. A very popular event Keep and eye and ear on the media

A night on the beach

Date Sat 25th  An Open evening organised by the Friends of Par Beach starts at 7.00pm. Plenty of good stuff to see given a clear sky, indoor programme if not.

Roseland Observatory is on line  and also on

Brian Sheen runs the Roseland Observatory which is based in Truro High School for Girls.

Celebrating a Return to the Moon!

Cornwall Sea To Stars were joined by Mayes Creative, the Roseland Observatory and the EXPLORE project team for an event at Truro High School for Girls ‘Back to the Moon and On to Mars!’.

Around 60 people of all ages attended the event, including Prof Steve Miller, Chair of the RAS200 project that provided the funding for ‘Cornwall Sea to Stars’.

Back to the Moon and on to Mars

Saturday 10th December 3:00 – 7:00 pm.

Join Cornwall Sea to Stars for an activity day celebrating a return to the Moon and on to Mars!

Where: The Astronomy Hub, Truro High School

Falmouth Road, Truro, TR1 2HU.

All Ages Welcome

Activities will include:

  • Learn about the NASA Artemis Programme
  • NASA Mars Exploration Programme
  • Observing with Reflector and Refractor Telescopes
  • Solarscope (observing sunspots)
  • Meteorites (the oldest things you will ever touch)
  • Compare the effects of gravity on different planets
  • Control your Mars Rover
  • Explore Lunar Data Challenge

The November Night Sky

Launcher One

After months of waiting it seems that Cosmic Girl will hurtle down the Newquay runway this month and be the first rocket to launch into orbit ever from the UK. If all goes well we will no longer be the only country to have launched a single satellite


Standing on the old Saturn V launch pad actually back in its shed at the time ofwriting is a bright shiny new launch system – Artemis. Now awaiting the latest launch window some time this month.

Solar System. The Sun, Moon and Earth.

Of course the earlier darker nights will mean that younger astronomers will be able to
appreciate the wonders of the winter nigh sky. Make the most of it.

The Moon

  • First Quarter 1st
  • Full Moon 8th
  • Last Quarter 16th
  • New Moon 23rd
  • First Quarter 30th

The Full Moon in November is known as the Beaver Moon in the US and UK.

The Planets

The naked eye planets are now to be seen before midnight, Mars rises in Taurus and doubles its brightness though the month, Jupiter is the brightest of them all and is above the horizon most of the month Saturn is ahead of Jupiter and much fainter can be found in Capricornus. It is a good month to find Uranus it is now in Aries and it at opposition on the 9th November.

Meteor Shower

18th November – Leonids 24 per hour.

At the turn of the century the Leonids were were a really big event as the Earth went through dense clouds of dust left behind by comet Temple–Tuttle. I got to see part of it once till the clouds rolled in.

Sky at Night

The programme covers “Do Multiverses exist”. Times:

  • BBC Four: 14th Nov @ 10.00pm
  • Repeated on BBC Four 16th Nov @ (tbc)
  • (tbc)Then on iPlayer. Check at night for the latest updates.

Roseland Observatory is on line and also on
Brian Sheen runs the Roseland Observatory which is based in Truro High
School for Girls.