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Department of Physics

Aarhus University signs partnership agreement on observatory at Mandø

Aarhus University and Esbjerg Municipality join forces to establish an observatory at Mandø. This is happening as part of Esbjerg Municipality 's plans to get the Wadden Sea Island certified as a Dark Sky Park. The official partnership agreement has just been signed.

[Translate to English:] Tegning af mennesker i liggestole, der kigger mod solen med solfilter-briller og teleskoper.
[Translate to English:] Platformen under åben himmel kan også benyttes af besøgende i døgnets lyse timer. Illustration: MP Design.

Mandø is one of the few places in Denmark where light pollution is very low. On cloudless nights, there are near perfect conditions for studying the starry sky and the universe. This opportunity will be exploited by the Aarhus University and Esbjerg Municipality by establishing an observatory for the benefit of many different visitors. The facility will consist of a remote-controlled observatory as well as four small night telescopes and four small solar telescopes, which can be used by the island's many tourists as well as astronomy enthusiasts from home and abroad. The site will also be included in the teaching of primary and upper secondary school classes from all over Denmark.

Aarhus University is responsible for the academic part of the project, which involves knowledge and material including the installation of the telescopes. Aarhus University is currently setting up a remote-controlled telescope on Mt. Kent in Australia at an observatory operated by the University of Southern Queensland, and a similar telescope will be set up on Mandø.

“The observatory is largely operated by remote control, therefor visitors will not be able to look into a telescope. By copying the facilities in Australia, we ensure that a well-tested and professional concept is established, where we can draw on our experience with development and operation”, says Hans Kjeldsen, professor at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Aarhus University.


For further information

 

Read Esbjerg Municipality’s press release (in Danish)

Contact

Professor Hans Kjeldsen
Mail: hans@phys.au.dk
Tel: 23 38 21 60