Welcome to the Telescopes in Schools Pilot Program! We hope to share our news, ideas and findings with the wider astronomical community. We would also love to hear your thoughts, advice and wisdom as we learn how to use telescopes and all about astronomy.
We plan to deliver the telescopes to the first schools in the first term and therefore post our first student observations in March. With Mars quickly approaching a great viewing time (for school students) and being the closest to Earth for a long time, we are looking forward to getting some spectacular images. Saturn too, is not far behind and seeing the rings for the first time is certainly a highlight for any budding astronomer!
Shane and I have been busy ‘playing’ with the telescopes to find the best and easiest way to set the telescope up and configure it to take the best images. Here is an image taken of the Great Orion Nebula located in the constellation of Orion (in his sword). This nebula is one of the largest objects in our sky, so we used a f/3.3 focal reducer to widen the field of view. We took a series of long exposures with a CCD camera and then stacked the images on top of each other. We were so excited by it, it became part of our logo!
There are many more pictures in our gallery of other nebulae, Jupiter and the moon. But we look forward to seeing what the students can do in the coming months.