We gave ourselves a special birthday present for our Centenary: a remotely hosted telescope in Spain!

ASERO is the name we give our ASE Remote Observatory at Trevinca Skies in Spain. We image the Universe and capture science data using our 94mm apochromatic refractor with colour CMOS camera, 300mm f4 ONTC Newtonian and mono CMOS camera with 9 filters, all on a JTW Trident P75 mount. Our members process the data, do some real science and produce some amazing images.

Funding for this project was provided by the ASE Trust and kind donations from Bill Bonar and Dalrada Technology, and the family of the late John Murrell, who was a member of our Society.

Why did we choose to put a telescope in Spain instead of Edinburgh?

One obvious reason is the Scottish weather another is the ever increasing light pollution. The number of clear nights we can expect to get at Trevinca Skies in Galica, Spain, is about 60%, although that can obviously vary from year to year. Being at an altitude of 1250m also means there is much better seeing and clarity.

Amalthea observatory with Moon and aurora at Trevinca Skies, SpainDuring the summer months in Edinburgh, from early May to early August, there is no astronomical darkness so observations are seriously curtailed. At Trevinca, even at midsummer we will get over 4 hours of true astronomical darkness.

And we want to actually do astronomy! Running our own observatory is as much – sometimes more – about running a building and visitor centre, as well as observing. Of course we have a lot of experience in our Society of running an observatory: we ran the Calton Hill Observatory from 1938 until 2008, so we know what that involves.

ASE Projects

In order to allow as many ASE members involved in observations and using ASERO we run a number of projects with more in the pipeline. These include:

ASE Comet Project

This gathers together all the comet observations made by members, from home or in Spain, and feeds them into a special area on our Members website as well as sharing them with the British Astronomical Association (BAA) comet projects and COBS. We have been running our own projects on 12P/Pons-Brooks, 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann and C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS).

We also run Asteroid, Planetary nebulae hunting, Variable star (including looking at the so-called Blaze Star T CrB) and Lunar imaging projects. The latest project is:

ASE Exoplanet Project

We take part in the ExoClock project, a project to monitor the ephemerides of transiting exoplanets for the ARIEL space mission. Our high quality 0.3m ONTC Newtonian system seems to be well-suited to these observations, even though the light changes caused by a transiting exoplanet are very tiny.

Deep Sky Imaging

Of course, our members like to take images of the most beautiful sights in the night sky and you can see many of them on our ASERO Flickr group. The wide-field scope is well-suited to this with it’s colour camera. The Newtonian with mono camera and 9 filters can also image in higher resolutions in RGB and narrowband.

Banner image credits: Trevinca Skies, Spain