Schools will be able to view stunning images of Earth from space using technology costing no more than pound;200. Until now, the equipment needed to pick up pictures from weather satellites cost up to five times times as much.
But licences, costing commercial organisations tens of thousands of pounds, which allow access to all pictures from a new European satellite, are now available to schools for a one-off pound;25 fee.
Francis Bell, a retired teacher who chairs the Group for Earth Observation which helped to negotiate the licence deal, believes that such images can help promote pupils' interest in science and wants to spread the word.
Schools that spend around pound;200 on equipment can view images from the European Meteosat 8 which began operating 36,000km above the Earth at the end of January.
For a free copy of GEO's journal and advice on connecting to the satellite, write to GEO at Coturnix House, Rake Lane, Milford, Godalming, GU8 5AB