South Australia Telescope Project
Currently under construction, the South Australia Telescope (SAT) will provide access to an automated research-grade 900mm (36-inch) reflecting telescope. It will create a technological & educational resource not available elsewhere in the southern hemisphere.
The telescope and charged-coupled device (CCD) camera will be operated remotely via the Internet. Images will be downloaded to a remote user of the telescope in five minutes or less (the time depends upon the speed of the user's connection). These images can be stored in the user's computer for later image processing and study.
Anyone who is interested in using the telescope will be able to reserve observation time on the South Australia Telescope for any evening of the week. Observation sessions can last from one hour to an entire night. Arrangements can be made for projects requiring special observation times or long-term, repetitive observing runs.
The South Australia Telescope will be used to observe and image deep sky objectsincluding planets, galaxies, nebulae, variable stars, and eclipsing binaries. Users of the telescope will also be able to conduct asteroid and comet searches, and develop other astronomical projects.
The South Australia Telescope is mainly aimed at students of all ages, from Kindergarten to University, although access will also be provided to any other interested groups in the community including researchers, amateur astronomers, and to show the general public the beauty of the astronomical objects in our skies.
Students (grade R-12) from remote schools to metropolitan ones will all have equal access to the South Australia Telescope. Distance will no longer disadvantage the remote country schools. The Universe will only be a keystroke away!
Physics and astronomy students from the three South Australian Universities will also have access to the South Australia Telescope for their projects.
The project brings the opportunity to use a remotely controlled telescope and CCD camera in a real-time, hands-on, interactive environment to students around South Australia (eventually across Australia and the world).
The South Australia Telescope will enable students of all cultural backgrounds, economic status, and those with physical disabilities to make science discoveries in the areas of astronomy and astrophysics while increasing their knowledge of mathematics, astronomy, and astrophysics; improving their computer literacy; and strengthening their critical thinking skills.
The South Australia Telescope project embodies the national goal of developing a clever country through the use of science and technology.It will encourage today's students, who will be Australia's leaders tomorrow, to seek careers in science and technology disciplines.
It will also help to celebrate the outstanding achievements of Australian astronomers during the last 100 years.