|WASP-South observatory (click to enlarge)
Keele Astrophysics Group is a member of the WASP (Wide Angle Search for Planets)
consortium which is conducting the world's largest search for transiting
extra-solar planets. WASP consists of two robotic observatories;
SuperWASP-North is located on the island of La Palma in the Canaries and
WASP-South, which has been paid for and set-up by Keele, is located at the
site of the South African Astronomical Observatory
(SAAO), just outside Sutherland in South Africa.
WASP-South is the second observatory in the
WASP family. Work started setting it up in August 2005 and full robotic
operations began in the spring of 2006.
WASP-South is a robotic observatory and so runs un-manned. At the
beginning of each night it checks the weather conditions and if it is clear
opens the roof and begins observations. One image is taken approximately once a
minute for the duration of the night. In the morning the images, which can
total upto 50,000 MB in size, are copied onto tape before being transferred to
the UK for analysis.
To check on the live status of the observatory click here: Live Status
more about WASP by visiting our main site www.wasp-planets.net.