Hubble is a robotic telescope. Scientists on the ground submit requests, and flight controllers program the telescope to make the exposure. The Bradford Robotic Telescope is also a robotic telescope - it differs from the HST in that it is smaller, on the Earth, and easier to get to use. Paolo has been using the BRT to image the Moon, getting decent images without spending money on mirrors and cameras or fighting mosquitos or cold temperatures. The telescope Paolo used is a Celestron C14 with a 0.67 focal reducer. The image shows the Moon as typically seen in amateur telescopes, with enough detail to be fascinating. Robotic telescopes are common now and can be used for serious research (asteroid, comet and supoernova observations), but their biggest impact may be for education. Imagine the excitement when a school class receives images of the celestial objects the students selected. (And pity the poor teachers who will be asked questions they are not prepared to answer!) The wonderful things about the BRT are (a) it is free to use, (b) its open to everyone, and (c) it provides the thrill of receiving an image taken just for you.
20 March 2006. C14 with FLI MaxCam ME2 fitted with a E2V CCD47-10. Raw FITS image processed with IRIS. Commands: visu 4950 0, Wavelet (Finest 6.0, Fine 2.0), savejpg 14308 1.
Rükl plate: many
Paolo’s lunar website
Yesterday's LPOD: Another FFC
Tomorrow's LPOD: Imbrium Unflooded