Don't miss a story sign up to Sidmouth Herald's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Sidmouth student Charles, 18, has paper published in scientific journal

PUBLISHED: 13:21 10 August 2017 | UPDATED: 13:21 10 August 2017

shs Charles Powell picture by Iain Grant

shs Charles Powell picture by Iain Grant

Charles Powell has been a member of Sidmouth’s Norman Lockyer Observatory since he was nine

An 18-year-old who analysed data from the Norman Lockyer Observatory has had a paper published in a prestigious scientific journal.

Charles Powell left Sidmouth College to complete his A-levels at Exeter Mathematics School, where students complete projects designed to enable them to flourish at university.

He chose radio meteor detection for his report and wrote a computer programme to analyse the data, and he has two further papers in the works.

“I was drawn to the observatory’s technology centre activities as they take place 24 hours a day and contribute heavily to citizen science,” said Primley Road resident Charles, who has been interviewed for a place at the University of Cambridge.

“I was particularly interested in the radar meteor detection system and asked if I could use the centre’s data as a basis for my project work.”

Having been a member of the observatory since he was nine, Charles excelled in telescope astronomy and then he extended his interest into radio astronomy at the technology centre.

Centre spokesman Iain Grant said: “Charles had shown great interest in the radio astronomy work carried out at the observatory for a number of years and assisted us greatly as a presenter on public open days.

“We had eight years of data which needed scientific analysis and when we found out Charles would actually be writing a computer program to specifically analyse that data we jumped at the chance.

“What he has come up with in his scientific paper is an improved model and analysis of the number of meteors detected throughout each day.

“He also frightens us at times when he talks about quantum mechanics – that’s the science of the very small!”

Charles’s scientific paper has been peer-reviewed in WGN, the Journal of the International Meteor Organisation.

He has written two further papers, one under review at Astronomy and Computing and another in WGN once again.

Charles has recently been elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society after being nominated by the chairman of Norman Lockyer Observatory, David Strange.

Visit to read Charles’s report.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Other News Stories


Some schools in East Devon have announced they will be closed on Monday as a result of the snow on Sunday.

Read more

A reduced field of runners took part in The Grizzly in Seaton as the wintry weather returned to East Devon.

Read more

Medical professionals are being sought by a hospital trust to help minimise disruption to services after a deluge of snow hit Devon.

Read more

A married couple with a passion for Tar Barrels are hoping to raise thousands for the event by racing three coastal marathons in as many days.

Read more

More than a hundred young dancers faced disappointment after their show was cancelled, following months of rehearsals.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:30

Volunteers at Sidmouth Museum have been hard at work to prepare for the attraction’s forthcoming new season.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:59

The Met Office has upgraded a weather warning for Devon, with the South West set to be battered by ‘strong winds and heavy snow’.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:30

People are being urged to roll up their sleeves and help ensure Sidmouth looks its very best this summer as the town goes for glory in this year’s Britain in Bloom competition.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:00

Here’s this week’s photos from our readers sent in via our image-sharing website

Read more
Yesterday, 07:00

The first-ever Sidmouth Daffodil Day which was cancelled due to snowy weather conditions will now take place on Easter weekend.

Read more

Local Weather



max temp: -1°C

min temp: -3°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

Show Job Lists

Find planning applications