Press Release

STN: Internet Based Telescope for High School Students

By SpaceRef Editor
February 24, 2002
Filed under , ,

Contact:, (610) 926-6638

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 student’s use.

The Student Telescope Network (STN) is a collaborative project to
high school students interested in astronomical observing, to access
telescope with digital camera in a remote dark location via the
and to pursue basic observational research. High school students
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
of the Astronomical League, the University of Denver Astronomy
New Mexico Skies, and Software Bisque. Ryan Hannahoe, Chairman of
Youth Activities Committee (, himself a
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
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
year.  STN is happy to acknowledge sponsorship by the Toyota
Institute for Connecting Science Research to the Classroom.

SpaceRef staff editor.