Open day at Morpeth observatory

The moon as photographed by the KEVI Space Agency (KEVISA).
The moon as photographed by the KEVI Space Agency (KEVISA).

Young stargazers who built their own observatory are opening it up to the public this weekend.

A group of pupils at Morpeth’s King Edward VI School decided to create the facility after getting together to discuss all things related to space during their lunch breaks.

The determined youngsters delivered their project and the KEVI Space Agency (KEVISA) was born.

Since then, they have secured funding to buy a special camera to attach to their telescope, and have photographed the moon, Jupiter and constellations.

The group also scooped two prizes in the Northumberland’s Finest Awards, run by Northumberland Youth Service, for Outstanding Project and Volunteering.

Members helped Morpeth Scouts to achieve their astronomy badges, and they built solar viewers with pupils at Newminster Middle School to view the eclipse.

Now KEVISA is trying to raise awareness of its observatory in the local community, as well as funding to keep it going.

A fund-raising open day will take place on Sunday.

The observatory, which is located in the school grounds, at the bottom of the old ski slope, will be open to the public from noon to 4pm for people to find out more about the project and register as a member.

And from 6pm to 10.30pm, there will be the opportunity to use the telescope, weather permitting.

Pupils will then stay awake all night photographing the sky in a sponsored event.

For further information see KEVISA Observatory on Facebook.