A new remote controlled telescope in Tasmania, Australia, will allow scientists all over the world to collaborate on projects.The Harlingten telescope is an automated, 24-hour observation database available to scientists worldwide via the internet. Using it, scientists expect to observe the centre of the Milky Way, supernovas and other galaxies millions of light years away. The new observatory will be one of only two capable of observing the Magellanic Clouds, the second closest galaxy to our own.
Andrew Cole, an astronomer working on the project, said: “It works by catching light from the very distant objects. The primary mirror re-directs the light to a secondary mirror which then focuses it down into a camera. One of the main projects that we’re focused on is looking for planets around other stars and we expect to be able to catch about 20 to 30 per year.”
The observatory, which cost around 4,5 millions of euros, was set up by a team of just five dedicated scientists. The project is lead by the University of Tasmania and is for use by both scientists and students. but people all over the world are keen to use it.
The Harlingten Telescope will be used for research including the long-term study of hundreds of stars with similar characteristics to the sun. This aim is to understand the variability of solar energy and its possible effects on climate change.