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OU brings astronomical telescopes to students in their home

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 award-winning 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 OU 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. The inauguration will also be livestreamed for those wanting to watch remotely.

About Author

Christine is a manager in the Media Relations team within the Marcomms Unit at the OU. She is an experienced BBC journalist, sub-editor and news editor and has a background in regional newspapers. After moving to PR she worked as a press officer for the Zoological Society of London. She is doing an MA in Philosophy with The Open University; she focuses on FASS stories and widening access in HE. Chris swims regularly and has a pet Tortoise called Lightning.

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