Live views of PIRATE

(Dome interior is dark unless light is on.)

Click here to see the PIRATE Baader Planetarium All-Sky 3.5 m dome open and close.


PIRATE is a remote-controlled observatory with a 17 inch telescope on a robotic mount in an automated 3.5m dome. It is mainly used for university level astrophysics teaching, both in a distance learning context and in traditional lab courses.
Research applications include the photometric monitoring of transiting exoplanets, periodic variable stars and transient sources.
PIRATE was funded by the Physics Innovations Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (piCETL) and the Open University's (OU) Department of Physics and Astronomy (now the Department of Physical Sciences.)

Undergraduate students

Students connect to PIRATE via a web interface and submit commands to remotely open or close the dome, point the telescope, and acquire images of the night sky. Observers download images to their own PC for analysis with commercial CCD image manipulation software. Expert users have full access to the PIRATE control PC for system maintenance, development and more advanced applications.

Small student groups have shared, real-time simultaneous access to PIRATE via the automated observatory control software ACP.

OAM aeriel view        OAM on Google Maps


PIRATE is at the Observatori Astronomic de Mallorca (OAM), the host institution of the Open University residential school course Observing the Universe (now discontinued) in Observational Astronomy and Planetary Science.
Mallorca Planetarium is also part of the observatory campus.

PIRATE is on top of the east tower of the main OAM observatory building (the dome to the right in the above webcam view). 
Longitude E   2° 57' 03.34''
Latitude   N 39° 38' 34.31''
Altitude     162 m

Gallery on


Data obtained by PIRATE is transferred to an on-line ftp archive at the Open University.


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