A new Observatory opened in the Physics department

New Observatory opened at Exeter University Physics Department

The newly refurbished University of Exeter Observatory has been opened ready for student teaching.

Physics and Astronomy students now have access to a state-of-the-art observatory on the roof of Physics, with a larger telescope and improved telescope drive leading to higher quality images. The telescope can be controlled remotely via computers, making it more accessible than before and there is the possibility of moving to fully robotic operation -running the telescope unstaffed – with a weather station providing information on rain and cloud cover.

Undergraduates have already reaped the rewards of the upgrade, with more than twenty students having the chance to try their hands at using the telescope as part of their Physics laboratory practicals.

Dr Hatchell, a lecturer in Astrophysics, said: “we are thrilled to be able to provide this facility for our current and future undergraduates. I’m really pleased that more of our students will now get to use a high quality telescope as part of their studies."

The refurbishment was supported by alumni Peter Langley (Physics and Astronomy, 1985) and the family of Peter Lewis (Physics and Astronomy, 1955). Dr Shorthouse, a local Astronomer, also provided a donation.

The Observatory was established in 2002 through the support of Donald Barber (Physics and Astronomy, 1925), with the first undergraduate teaching telescope situated on the roof of the University’s Physics building.

Date: 20 October 2015

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