A reminder of the power of the internet

It is very easy to become jaded about technology, I had a reminder this week of just how wonderful it can be.

Last Thursday I started a beginners astronomy class at the local secondary school. I was more than a little surprised to learn that you can subscribe for a mere £3 per month and have access to three telescopes situated on top of a mountain in Tenerife through the Bradford Robotic Telescope.

You submit your astronomical target(s) via the telescope website and the telescope, without human intervention, schedules your job and, when it can, takes an observation and sends you the result(s) via email.

I know very little about astronomy and even I was able to schedule a job. It really is not difficult. There are no complex instructions to give, simply use one of the well known astronomical catalogs like the Messier object catalog, tell it how long an exposure you want and you’re pretty well done.

I chose M80 for my first target for no particular reason. My second target is Saturn. When I get the results I will be sure to share the results here.