The Alston Observatory is the purpose-built teaching and public outreach facility of the Jeremiah Horrocks Institute. It comprises a group of both modern and historical telescopes, a new Discovery Dome planetarium system and an exhibit on Telescopes as Time Machines funded by the Royal Astronomical Society.

Our centerpiece is the brand new Moses Holden Telescope, a 70 cm diameter state-of-the-art robotic telescope used for both undergraduate teaching and to encourage public engagement in science. Alongside the MHT we also have a range of smaller robotic telescopes ranging in size from 20 to 30 cm in diameter. Additionally we host the historic Wilfred Hall Telescope on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Our Discovery Dome is an exciting system that allows a laptop computer and digital projector to display movies onto a planetarium dome, located in our main building, as well as enhanced planetarium shows. This enables both informative material to be presented for evening events, and educational material for curriculum enhancement.

Information on the wide range of activities offered by the Alston observatory team can be found on these pages. If you would like to contact us for further information or to make a booking, please e-mail us at Please note all visits must be pre-booked as Alston Observatory is not an open site.