El Reg touches down at the ESA's Spanish outpost, sniffs around

Lab coats on, pipes at the ready for European Space Astronomy Centre tour

Michel Breitfellner (pictured below) was on hand to tell us that CESAR offers the use of ESA telescopes to teachers and students "to stimulate an interest in science in general, and to show children that there are alternatives to studying economics or finance or something like that".

Matt with Michel Breitfellner in the CESAR office

The path to enlightenment is via "four telescopes - a solar telescope, two night telescopes and a radio telecope - to show them the variety of ways in which you can observe the universe."

ESA elaborates: "All of the telescopes are robotic, meaning students can control them from their classrooms thanks to the software developed by the scientists and engineers of the CESAR project.

"Together with their tutors, students will be able to make astronomical observations at night and solar observations, and download the corresponding data."

One of the 'scopes on offer is ESAC's VIL-1 (see previous pic), now retired from tracking antenna duties and converted to radio reception. The solar telescope (identical to the one pictured above with Breitfellner), is housed in its own podule at the ESAC site and is poised for action:

ESAC's solar telescope dome. Pic: ESA

Teachers or scientists interested in getting involved with CESAR can get in touch with the team here.

Those of you with an inclination to track space debris, meanwhile, should accompany us to ESAC's Space Situational Awareness (SSA) hub, which we have dubbed the "Room of Doom"...




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