Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Robot telescope TRAPPIST

Observe comets and stars per remote control

A cooperative project of the Liège university and the Swiss Observatoire de Genève putthe TRAPPIST telescope into operation in June 2010. The new robot-driven telescope controlled from Liège has started its observation operation at the La Silla observatory of the ESO in Chile. The “TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope”, TRAPPIST for short, is devoted to the study of planetary systems: On the one hand side it will analyse comets on their orbits around the sun and on the other hand it will prove the existence of planets outside our solar system (exoplanets) and determine their characteristics.

Image source: eso.org

Goal of the project

“The two objectives of our project are part of a growing interdisciplinary field of research: astrobiology which examines the origin and distribution of life in space", explains Michaël Gillon who is responsible for examining exoplanets at TRAPPIST.

The telescope is a light construction that is operated by a robot. The diameter of the mirror is 60 cm.

Here some more information about Trappist:

»»» http://arachnos.astro.ulg.ac.be/

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