The SPIRIT initiative allows schools to access the same tools used by researchers and astronomers to observe and collect astronomical data. Students can access and remotely control the four current SPIRIT robotic telescopes in real time to take images of distant astronomical objects, as well as schedule automated data acquisition as part of more sophisticated research projects.

SPIRIT 1 was officially launched by Hon. Dr Elizabeth Constable, WA Minister for Education on 24 September 2010 with SPIRIT 2 commissioned in early 2012.

Additional SPIRIT Telescopes have appeared in recent years thanks to generous donations. ICRAR’s Mardella Observatory currently hosts 4 SPIRIT telescopes, including a 1 metre telescope commissioned in 2021.

Real science

As one of the last areas of science where amateurs can make new discoveries, the SPIRIT initiative provides students the means to undertake astronomy research and the opportunity to make genuine scientific contributions.

SPIRIT is hosted by the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research at The University of Western Australia. It is supported by a full life-cycle of learning opportunities and student activities.

Need more information?

Access to SPIRIT telescopes is available free to all teachers and students in Western Australia. Contact us for further information.

Information about teacher and student workshops can be found here.

Related links

SPIRIT in the media

An extended technical description of SPIRIT