The Leonid meteor shower, 18 November 2001. (right) Final-year
students from the Faculty of Engineering at Siding Spring Observatory
in April 2001.
The School of
Physics offers a number of interesting Honours-level thesis projects
for students from other faculties. One example, attracting half
a dozen students from the Faculty of Engineering each year, involves
the Schools Automated Patrol Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory.
the students worked on installing a state-of-the-art Controller
Area Network system for controlling the telescope, and in writing
Java software for making fully automated operation possible.
enjoy the challenge of working on a complex real-life system, as
well as the opportunity to visit the picturesque location for the
telescope, which is adjacent to the Warrumbungle National Park.
On 18 November
2001, the Automated Patrol Telescope was used remotely from Sydney
to observe the Leonid meteor shower. The image is the result of
adding a dozen individual images taken with the telescope, and shows
a number of bright meteor streaks coming from the radiant
of the meteor shower. It was raining in Sydney while the telescope
was being used.