The Genesis Dome is home to a 40.64 cm (16″) Meade LX200 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. The telescope is fully computer controlled, which means you don’t need to know where an object is to find it. The computer will find it for you from its database of over 64,000 objects. This makes it great for beginners to see many more objects than they would normally see. The telescopes large size means it can see objects much fainter than the human eye, offering views of galaxies so distant that it has taken millions of years for the light to reach us.
The dome itself is approximately 4 metres across and sits on top of a circular wall some 2m above the ground. The dome shutter opens up to give viewers a window on the sky and a powerful motor turns the dome around to allow access to any part of the sky.
The Genesis Dome and telescope was installed back in 2002 as part of the Genesis Project, which cost £15,000 to complete. Many organisations donated funds to the project. As part of the Seething Observatory Upgrade project, the dome was refurbished and a new drive motor installed in the summer of 2021.
The Herschel Dome is one of the oldest Society buildings. It was a popular part of the Observatory when it was based at Colney Lane on the outskirts of Norwich but an arson attack rendered it unsafe to use for many months.
When it was moved to Seething, the observatory dome was salvaged and the rest was rebuilt to improve security and safety standards. The facility was officially opened by John Herschel, the Great Great Great Great Great Grandson of Sir William Herschel, discoverer of the planet Uranus.
The Dome houses a 203 mm (8″) STF Mirage Super 8 Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope, with a focal length of 2000 mm, that provides our members and visitors with stunning high-resolution planetary and lunar views.