Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Bradford Robotic Telescope

Click here for a slideshow of the BRT
What a wonderful idea and free WEB camera telescope service for children and adults alike!

"The Bradford Robotic Telescope installation is part of the Observatorio del Teide site of the Instituto De Astrofisica De Canarias, in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. The Teide Observatory is the best in Europe and is situated at an altitude of 2,400 metres (7,874 feet) on the northern part of the volcano caldera."

The Bradford Robotic Telescope was launched as a research project in robotics and astronomy in 1993. It was the first Robot on the Internet and it focused on research although it received many applications for observations from schools.

The first robotic telescope operated in the Pennines not far from Hebden Bridge. It suffered greatly from the weather conditions sometimes with cloudy night skies for months on end.

The whole system has now been rebuilt, and relocated to a good observing site at the Observatorio del Teide on the Island of Tenerife. Although it still does research the refurbishment has taken on board the needs of school students from Key Stage 2 onwards. The telescope is supported by a comprehensive website and this whole redevelopment has been supported by a number of sponsors including the Nuffield Foundation.
The programme is called Learningscope and has been developed by the Bradford team with an extended network of support. More information on the ever expanding range of features that the telescope offers can be found at along with pictures and technical details.

Kath Norris
Senior Lecturer in Science Education at Bradford College and co-author of a recent scientific paper, Riding Astronomy to the Stars.
BBC Home June 2005

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