November 2011

Open University shines at inauguration ceremony in Mallorca

The Dean of Science, Professor Hazel Rymer, and Dr Ulrich Kolb, Director of PIRATE, CEPSAR’s remotely operable astronomical telescope facility, were guests of honour in Mallorca at the inauguration of PIRATE’s new partner facility, operated and funded by Hamburg University.

The ceremony at the Observatori Astronomic de Mallorca (OAM) was attended by local dignitaries, most notably by Pere Rotger, the President of the Parliament of the Balearic Islands, and by a high-ranking delegation of Hamburg University, led by Vice President Professor Dr Holger Fischer. The event was given full coverage in the local newspapers, including the German-language Mallorca Zeitung.

At the event Dr Kolb showcased the recent achievements of PIRATE. Dr Kolb says:  “PIRATE is very successfully deployed by OU researchers in the hunt for planets around distant stars. But OU undergraduate students can get their hands on the facility as well. In S382 (Astrophysics) and SXP288 (Practical Science) they operate the telescope in real-time via a web interface from home, to conduct research-grade measurements of the night sky.”

PIRATE and the new Hamburg facility will collaborate with the OAM on research and teaching projects.

Celebrating the Open University collaboration with Spanish and German Institutes in Mallorca: Hazel Rymer with Pere Rotger, the President of the Parliament of the Balearic Islands. From left:  Toni Salas, Andreu Ramis, Holger Fischer, Ulrich Merkt, Daniela Pfannkuche, Pere Rotge, Hazel Rymer, Vadim Burwitz, Jurgen Schmidt (Director Hamburg Observatory), Ulrich Kolb, Xisco Serra, Salvador Sanchez (Director OAM)

PIRATE group
From the Mallorca newspaper “Ultima Ora” (29 Oct 2011): Hazel Rymer and Ulrich Kolb with guests in front of PIRATE.

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