A world of possibilities

17th November 2006 at 00:00
An online robotic telescope that offers live observations is part of a new project created to support the teaching of physics and general science in the classroom.

Run by a group of professional astronomers from the Association for Astronomy Education, the virtual telescope will bring comets, planets, galaxies and asteroids into the classrooms of both primary and secondary schools.

The main aim of the project is to encourage pupils who may otherwise never want to approach studying physics to become excited by astronomy and space with the opportunity to make their own scientific discoveries.

Once in place, the network of telescopes will have the ability to provide rapid observations of sudden changes in astronomical objects, such as violent gamma ray bursts, supernovae and variable stars.

The telescope is the brainchild of Gianluca Masi and is set in the Italian town of Ceccano, 90km from Rome. On a clear night it becomes accessible from the Bellatrix observatory run by Dr Masi and is fully robotic.

Sotira Trifourki, the UK co-ordinator of the telescope, said: "Allowing the UK access to robotic telescopes with no restrictions on observing for specified astronomical objects and allowing unlimited real time observing will strengthen the educational aspects. The possibilities for supporting science in the national curriculum for classroom and current research activities are endless."

Visit www.virtualtelescope.bellatrixobservatory.org.

* newsdesk@tes.co.uk

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now