You are here

  1. Home
  2. Study
  3. The OpenSTEM Labs
  4. The OpenScience Observatories

The OpenScience Observatories

The OpenScience Observatories logo is a round circle with a teal background which contains a representation of Mount Teide in Tenerife with small white dots above it resembling stars. In front of Mount Teide is a drawing, in white, of an open telescope dome showing the telescope inside pointing to the sky. The text The OpenScience Observatories is to the right of the main circle.

The OpenScience Observatories operate a number of astronomical telescope facilities. At the Observatorio del Teide in Tenerife we own two optical telescopes, COAST (COmpletely Autonomous Service Telescope), and PIRATE (the Physics Innovations Robotic Astronomical Telescope Explorer), and an associated weather station. At the Open University campus in Milton Keynes we have the George Abell Observatory for on-site training.

A picture of the COAST optical telescope with the dome open and the telescope against a bright daylight blue sky.


  • 17" (43cm) - telescope + CCD camera + broad/narrow-band filters
  • supports direct remote controlled and autonomous scheduling modes
  • can be used for core OU teaching and astrophysical research
  • autonomous scheduling enabled via
  • observing service used for OpenLearn and for external cohorts.
A picture of the PIRATE optical telescope within a closed dome.


  • 24" (61cm) - telescope + CCD camera + broad/narrow band filters
  • supports direct remote controlled and autonomous scheduling modes
  • regularly used for core OU teaching
  • supports astrophysical research involving the monitoring of variable sources, including transients, exoplanet transits, and near-earth asteroids.

For more details about Open University courses in Astronomy and Planetary Science see here.

For details about how you can use the COAST telescope as part of a FREE badged course see here.

Meet our Academics

Head and shoulders of male OU academic

In addition to teaching on Open University modules our academics are engaged in ground breaking research that benefits individuals and society.

Request your prospectus

Request a prospectus icon

Explore our qualifications and courses by requesting one of our prospectuses today.

Request prospectus

Are you already an OU student?

Go to StudentHome