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National Schools' Observatory

The NSO website

When the Liverpool Telescope (LT) was in development, it was decided to allocate 5% of the observing time to schools in the UK and Ireland. As it is no easy task to control a robotic telescope, the National Schools' Observatory (NSO) was created to act as a link between schools and the telescope.

In essence, the NSO is a website built around a Go Observing interface that allows teachers and students to request, download and analyse images of objects in space taken by the LT. By guiding school observations, the NSO can ensure the following:

  • that the observing process is simplified, so that images can be requested with just a few clicks of the mouse.
  • that efficient use is made of the 5% of telescope time allocated to schools.
  • that the telescope systems are protected from any incorrect use.
In addition to the Go Observing facility, the NSO website also provides news updates, astronomy related projects and activities, teaching resources and an astronomy textbook, which is hopefully written in a language that students can understand.