Opened in 2012 and used for education, outreach, astrophotography and research, the Rayleigh Observatory is Harrow's astronomical observatory facility.
The observatory can accommodate up to nine people and the telescope operated remotely from the Astronomy department. Its research-quality telescopes, cameras and filters open up the wonders of the Universe to Harrovians and other members of our community. The observatory's dedicated solar telescope enables us to observe the Sun in all its hyperactive and explosive glory.
From the observatory, boys and beaks (teachers) are able to produce astounding images of the Moon, planets, nebulae and even immensely distant galaxies, tens of millions of light years away. The homepage image of the full Moon was taken by Harrow's Head of Astronomy, Dr Chris Crowe, at 11.55pm on 20 March 2019, through the Officina Stellare Hiper Apochromatic refracting telescope, with a Canon D60a astrophotography DSLR.
The instrument was trained on the lunar surface and the hardware was set to track the Moon during its movement through the night sky. Hundreds of short exposure images were taken over several hours and stacked together using Registax software to reduce image noise, before the image was processed using Adobe Photoshop with contrast, saturation curve, and sharpness filters applied to bring out more details and textures in the surface.