Press Release

Internet-based Telescope for High Schools Goes Live!

By SpaceRef Editor
February 14, 2002
Filed under , ,

No longer does a high school student trying to prepare an assignment or
science fair project have to copy pictures from a book to illustrate ideas
about astronomical objects. Now they can dial up an on-line telescope using
the Internet and get real-time pictures of what they want, almost
independent of weather and the school’s budget for expensive optics. This
is arguably the first telescope controllable over the Internet that is not
located at a multi-million dollar observatory complex, and is available
exclusively for high school students’ use.

The Student Telescope Network (STN) is a collaborative project to enable
high school students interested in astronomical observing, to access a
telescope with digital camera in a remote dark location via the Internet,
and to pursue basic observational research. High school students and their
science teachers are invited to look at website

for information about the pilot project, and how to participate!

STN is made possible by the cooperation of the Youth Activities Committee of
the Astronomical League, the University of Denver Astronomy Program, New
Mexico Skies, and Software Bisque. Ryan Hannahoe, Chairman of the Youth
Activities Committee (, himself a high school
student at Schuylkill Valley High School in Leesport, Pennsylvania, says, “I
personally like the real-time, live control of the Internet telescope. No
more waiting in line at an observatory to pursue my research observations.”
Hannahoe also says, “Command the telescope where to go and how long of an
exposure to take and within seconds you have your image. It’s just that easy
to use and to learn. The best part about it is you need NO software to run the
telescope, just an Internet connection and it is free to use and very user

“Talk with high school students, and you will quickly learn what holds their
interest: live, real-time, hands-on, student driven activity. Observational
astronomy easily fits these expectations” says Dr. Robert Stencel, professor
of Astronomy at the University of Denver.”

The New Mexico Skies Observatory in southern New Mexico hosts the on-line
telescope. Software Bisque of Golden, Colorado invented the telescope
control hardware and software that makes this revolutionary observing
possible. Astronomers at the University of Denver are playing the role of
coordinator and scheduler during the remainder of the current school year.
STN is happy to acknowledge sponsorship by the Toyota Foundation’s Institute
for Connecting Science Research to the Classroom.

Contact Person:

Ryan M. Hannahoe,,

(610) 926-6638

SpaceRef staff editor.