April 2013

Beat the Expert at the Edinburgh Science Festival

Seasoned PIRATE observer and Open University PhD student Jakub Bochinski showed off PIRATE to visitors of the The Dynamic Earth Centre in Edinburgh during the Edinburgh Science Festival. Jakub ran a hands-on Beat the Expert competition, challenging visitors to operate PIRATE faster than he can - with only a minimum of initial instructions on how to use PIRATE! The task was to point PIRATE at three targets and take one exposure each. The competitors used PIRATE's web interface to slew the scope, and operated the camera in simulator mode as the event took place during the day.

The Top 10 competitors, with their times, are

1    Yachun Yang  02:44.1
2    Hermine Schnetler  02:51.0
3    Cameron Moir  02:58.7
4    Hannah Pfeiffer  02:59.9 (adjusted for pier flip)
5    David Maughan  03:03.9
6    Isak Brundin  03:09.2
7    Euan Smith  03:11.1
8    Andrew Maughan  03:12.0
9    Kirsty Nicol  03:18.7
10  Cailean Nicol  03:24.2

In comparison, the best time of expert user Jakub Bochinski was 03:05.5.

As promised, all our Top 10 competitors will receive astronomy related rewards!
1) The winner, Yachun Yang, won 2 hours of supervised night time observing time on PIRATE, the OU textbook "Observing the Universe" and other small astronomy related gifts.
 2) The runners-up, Hermine Schnetler and Cameron Moir, both won the "Observing the Universe" book and other small astronomy gifts.
 3) The remaining Top 10 competitors will all receive small astronomy gifts.

We thank Our Dynamic Earth staff for their fantastic support. 

There will be more challenges to come - watch this space!

Some competitors worked as a team.

The Our Dynamic Earth Centre hosting the event.

The winner, Yachun Yang, displaying the winning time.

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