Skip to content
Skip to main content

About this free course


Download this course

Share this free course

Astronomy with an online telescope
Astronomy with an online telescope

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Telescope upgrade 2021

Following an upgrade in the summer of 2021, the COAST telescope is now a 17 inch instrument as shown in Figure 1.

Described image
Figure 1 The upgraded COAST telescope and counterbalanced equatorial mount. The filter wheel and CCD camera attached to the back of the telescope can be seen on the left

The main optical component of COAST is a PlaneWave Instruments CDK17 17 inch (430 mm) f/6.8 Corrected Dall-Kirkham Astrograph telescope with a focal length of 2939 mm ( This optical design is optimised for imaging with a large format CCD (Charge Coupled Device) producing stunning images of extremely high quality.

Prior to the upgrade in 2021, COAST was fitted with a smaller 14 inch telescope of a slightly different design. As this is a recent upgrade, some of the images and videos in this course still show the original COAST telescope. Where relevant, text and technical details have been updated, but until they can be re-shot, the videos may refer to the previous telescope. This does not however affect any of the activities in the course itself.

More detailed technical information on the COAST telescope is available on the website, which you will be introduced to in Week 4 of the course.