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OU brings astronomical telescopes to students in their home

Astronomical Telescopes

The OU Faculty of STEM is celebrating the inauguration of its remotely-controlled robotic telescopes, which will bring astronomy and space science to life for students whenever and wherever they are in the world.

For almost half a century, the OU has been developing the latest digital technology to enhance the learning experience of students. The inauguration of our new remotely-controlled and robotic telescopes, COAST and PIRATE will provide students with an interest in astronomy and space sciences the opportunity to operate professional telescopes as part of their studies, from their laptops, PCs, and smartphones.

The robotic telescopes, based at the Observatorio del Teide on the island of Tenerife, are part of a £5.4 million initiative to develop the OpenSTEM Labs. 50% funded by HEFCE, the OpenSTEM Labs offer an “Internet of Laboratory Things”, which is accessible to distance learning students at all hours.

Senior Lecturer at the School of Physical Sciences, Dr Ulrich Kolb, said:

“The marvels of the Universe have always sparked imagination, and our fascination with studying them has really pushed the boundaries of what we can achieve through technological innovation.

Why shouldn’t students at The Open University be able to experience the same capabilities and technologies from the comfort of their home as researchers do from their workplaces?

We are offering our students the opportunity to access these fantastic astronomical facilities at one of the best observing sites in the Northern Hemisphere.

If you are interested in FREE tickets to the inauguration on Thursday 6 July 2017, which is hosted at The Open University in Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, visit our Eventbrite webpage.

Photo: Robotic telescopes COAST and PIRATE / Credit: Alan Cayless (The Open University)

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