Members of Rotary Club of Douglas are meeting at 8.15am in Blackrock Castle Observatory Cork next Tuesday to see California's night sky.
Thanks to Project TARA, which gives Irish students live access to robotic astronomical telescopes in California, and allows them capture their own images of the day and night time skies.A robotic astronomical telescope is one which can be controlled either directly by observers, or which can work without human control when desired.
Project TARA is a collaboration between Cork IT's Blackrock Castle Observatory (CIT BCO) and the Centre for Science Education at University of California, Berkeley, along with schools in Portola Valley.
Earlier this year, a team from Blackrock Castle travelled to Cork's twin city, San Francisco, to install a telescope on the roof of Ormondale School, south of the city and close to Silicon Valley. The telescope installation is only possible because of the expertise of the research group at Blackrock Castle.
The beauty of Project TARA is how the distance of more than 8,000km between the two sites helps us out in Cork. When it is 10am in Cork, it is 2am in California, which is perfect for live night time use. Controlling a robotic system halfway around the world in real time, in the 16th century Blackrock Castle, with experts providing assistance if required, is a truly unique experience not only in Ireland but across the globe.
Pictures of stars, comets, galaxies, extra solar planets and even super massive black holes can be taken. All the images taken by the students belong to the students.
Project TARA builds on the fascination many people have with astronomy, which encompasses everything from the general laws of physics and the history of science and technology to an understanding of our own origins.
After Irish Independent