Foundation for Interactive Astronomy and Astrophysics

The 60 cm ROTAT telescope of the Interactive Astronomy and Astrophysics Foundation in its dome at the Observatoire de Haute Provence

The Interactive Astronomy and Astrophysics Foundation, whose goal is to promote young people’s interest in science, was established in November 2006 by Prof. Hanns Ruder and Dr. Dieter Husar. It sponsors the project "Einstein on Tour", in which students from all over Germany can learn about the theory of relativity through interactive activities. Moreover, with SATINO and ROTAT, it operates several remote-controlled telescopes at the Observatoire de Haute Provence, enabling pupils to carry out their own astronomical observation projects.

Both observatories are also used in the observation efforts of amateur astronomers, for instance to measure the position of comets and potentially dangerous asteroids, to discover other minor planets, to measure asteroid light curves and exoplanet transits, to detect the variability of active galactic nuclei and for light curve modulation of variable stars according to the Blazhko effect.

The Haus der Astronomie in Heidelberg collaborates with the Interactive Astronomy and Astrophysics Foundation, especially in teaching school pupils to use the telescopes. This also includes bearing the technical responsibility for the ROTAT telescope. Together with Dr. Dominik Elsässer from the Technical University of Dortmund, HdA employee Carolin Liefke supports the foundation in her capacity as scientific advisor.

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