News Archive

April 2013
"Beat the Expert" winner Yachun Yang (pictured)
at Our Dynamic Earth during the Edinburgh Science Festival 2013 wins PIRATE observing session.
Read more here.

20 Nov 2012
Planet devoured in secret by its own star.
HST study of WASP-12b makes use of PIRATE photometry. See also OU press release.

15 Oct 2012
PIRATE contributes to discovery of WASP-54b and WASP-56b, see preprint.

5 Oct 2012
Link to Image Gallery added to Status tab.

21 June 2012
Seasonal image of M27
by Shripathi Hadigal and Richard Busuttil. See also International Space University news item.

20 June 2012
PIRATE supernova find
mentioned in July issue of Astronomy magazine:
Dark energy's new face.

31 May 2012
S382 students publis
h research papers. See full report and OU press release.

20 Feb 2012
PIRATE discovers possible nova in M31.
See note in ATel.

20 Feb 2012
Queen legend Brian May visits PIRATE at AstroFest.
See Science news item.
Brian May at
            OU's AstroFest stand

11 Jan 2012
PIRATE supernova find makes waves.
See OU press release.

28 Oct 2011
PIRATE impresses at PTST inauguration. 
See full story here.


8 Oct 2011
PIRATE concept paper
appeared in this month's BAA journal.

10 Sept 2011
PIRATE captures pinwheel moments before explosion
See full news item.
First moon

24 Aug 2011
PIRATE commissioning paper accepted
for publication in PASP. See preprint on astro-ph.
First moon

19 June 201
First light with new main camera.
PIRATE boasts a new SBIG STX-16803 camera with 4kx4k 9 microns pixels. The first light image of the moon image demonstrates the large field of view.
First moon

15 June 2011
2011 campaign
of OU module “Astrophysics” draws to a close, after 32 out of 42 observing nights were useable for differential photometry; 20 nights delivered long, good-quality time series of periodic variable stars.

4 April 2011
PIRATE web pages updated
to reflect current status of PIRATE Mark 2. Also cloud sensor chart added to S382 tab.

1 April 2011
PIRATE's big brother dome arrives

Hamburg University's PTST 4.5 dome takes pride of place on OAM west tower - to the left on OAM webcam.

December 2010
PIRATE Mark 2 now four months in operation
In August 2010 PIRATE's optical tube assembly was upgraded to a 17 inch Planewave CDK17. PIRATE Mark 2 delivers high-quality data.

July 2010
Partnership signed in Palma de Mallorca
Read full press release.

20 July 2010
New website design
by Stefan Holmes.

26 June 2010
PIRATE discovers nova in M31.
See The Astronomer's Telegram.

June 2010 -
 Seasonal view of M51
by Stefan Holmes

May 2010 -
PIRATE contributes to Hubble Space Telescope discovery of a star eating its planet. 
Wasp 12b cartoon

More details and scientific paper.

April 2010 -
Successful start of S382.
Twentyfive students are using PIRATE in turn for time-series photometry of periodic variable stars.

January 2010 -
PIRATE co-discovers first M31 nova of 2010
and confirms a second M31 nova. See IAU CBET entries and PUBLICATIONS tab for copy of IAU discovery telegram CBET 2124.

4 November 2009 -
PIRATE confirms nova in M31
M31 mosaic
see IAU CBAT entry and Rochester Extragalactic Novae page.

24 October 2009 -
PIRATE featured at MK Science Festival's MoonDay.

18 October 2009 -
PIRATE All-Sky camera witnesses rocket fuel dump.
Click here to see movie.
See also

September 2009 -
PIRATE website updated to reflect the new Baader Planetarium All-Sky
3.5 m dome.
Experimental new web page design. Several links and diagnostics are still off-line after a recent lightning strike at the OAM. Software installation continues.

19 August 2009 -
Presentation on PIRATE at the GIREP-EPEC 2009 conference. See the new Publciations tab.

August 2009 -
PIRATE is in its new dome! See the webcam views (Home tab). Software installation continues.

July 2009 -
PIRATE to move into a new dome! PIRATE will move into a new 3.5 m All-Sky clamshell dome by Baader Planetarium. Preparations are in full swing.
Old dome
Main OAM dome is being dismantled.

New base
New foundation, ready to take new dome.

June 2, 2009 -
Live demonstration of PIRATE to the Astronomy Club.
            2.6.09 (Kolb)
M82 (2/6/3009)

May 5, 2009 -
PIRATE measures transit of exoplanet.
XO-1 lightcurve 28/3/2009 (Holmes)
XO-1 lightcurve 28/3/2009 (Holmes)
Click here for the full news item on the departmental webpage.

March 31, 2009 -
PIRATE featured in a lecture on Robotic Telescopes by Ulrich Kolb in Rickmansworth for the South West Herts Astronomical Society. The connection to the weather sensors was lost about one hour before the talk, and a rain storm approaching from the south looked perilously close on the satellite images. Luckily, a slightly out-of-focus image of M51 could be taken live, to the delight of the audience.
            27.3.09 (Kolb)
M51 (27/3/3009)

August 2, 2008 -
remote operation and commissioning underway
 M57 by
            PIRATE 2.8.08 (Burwitz & Kolb)
M57 (Burwitz & Kolb)

July 22, 2008 -
new PIRATE webpage design

May 2, 2008 - OU - OU news item

October 2008
New remote power switch added
August 2008
Remote operations enabled, commissioning underway
July 2008
Hardware upgrade: rewiring, installation of remote switches and webcam

April 2008
Main local software installation concluded; await minor hardware
improvements before web access control is installed
March 2008
PIRATE had first light, with pointing, autofocus, tracking and
autoguiding in place. A number of frames were taken
(see photogallery).

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