News

School pupils find an asteroid, ESA observes it!

The potato model of the asteroid used in the classroomAn asteroid has been observed last year by the highly motivated school pupils at "Collège Le Monteil", Monistrol sur Loire, France... But the pupils could not imagine that a year later, the prestigious European Space Agency would take pictures of this asteroid, using a professional satellite, the Rosetta spacecraft!

This a fantastic example of how inquiry based science education (IBSE) can be successful in connecting pupils with professional researchers and raise interest towards science. Well done!

Image: The potato model of the asteroid used in the classroom

Read more: School pupils find an asteroid, ESA observes it!

New TTS project kick-off

Our “European Hands-on-Universe teacher training and support program” proposal as a COMENIUS multilateral action within the Lifelong Learning framework has been selected by the European Commission (EC), out of 162 proposals. It is a great achievement.

Within the framework of the previous EU-HOU project funded by the EC two years ago, the main overall objectives of the EU- HOU-TTS project are a new release of the SalsaJ software, the continuation of the use of robotic telescopes through the Internet, the production of new exercises, the enlargement of the existing network of researchers and teachers to bring actual research data into classrooms for inspiring pupils and promoting scientific education, the update of the enlarged EU-HOU website, and the organization of three teacher training sessions which are one of the most important focus of the project.


The present meeting is launching the project in order to foster the effective collaboration and coordination between the partners and to ensure the smooth and timely follow-up of the different workpackages of the project.

New version of SalsaJ available

We proudly announce version 2 of the Salsa J software, dedicated to education. With new photometry capabilities, macro scripts, some bugs fixed.
What's new:

  • FITS files compatibility improved
  • photometry measurements with automatic sky are more robust
  • a "virtual observatory" link allows to download (beautiful) ESO images
  • the webcam plugin is included
  • a macro is included to load and prepare the images for the exercise "transit of exoplanets"

Please, download SALSAJ 2 it from this page.

JENAM 2010 Astronomy Education sessions

JENAM 2010 (Joint European and National Astronomy Meeting) conferences and workshop will take place in Lisbon during the week of September 6 - 10. It would be wonderful to have you here with us. We are planning a GTTP (Galileo Teacher Training Program) session for one of the days of the conference. Beside this special training session there are 3 special sessions that might be of interest to you:

  • SPS6 - New trends in Global Astronomy Education
  • SPS7 - Education and Outreach after IYA2009
  • SPS8 - Amateur and professional astronomers

Read more: JENAM 2010 Astronomy Education sessions

Professor of Physics, specialist of Interactive Learning, invited by EU-HOU

 Alexander L. Rudolph, Professor of Physics at the California State Polytechnic University ("Cal Poly Pomona"), USA, has been invited in France by EU-HOU.

Prof. Rudolph is a specialist in Interactive Learning, using research to promote student understanding in the science classroom.

He is visiting France invited at Paris Observatory by LERMA laboratory. He had fruitful discussions with EU-HOU Satff and many suggestions about the website and published exercises.

Read more: Professor of Physics, specialist of Interactive Learning, invited by EU-HOU

Secondary school pupils to get pictures of dwarf planets using remote Faulkes telescope

 The dwarf planet Ceres

Secondary school pupils at the Collège Monteil (Monistrol sur Loire, France) have succeeded in finding the dwarf planets Pluto and Ceres using a British robotic telescope, Faulkes.

Under the direction of their teacher, Mr. Debackere, the pupils were able to learn about astronomy and sky observations. During the year, pupils could use a Celestron telescope and a webcam modified for long exposure, offered by the EU-HOU as part of the French Operation Astro at school.

Shown on this picture is the school's animated gif of Ceres, the smallest known dwarf planet in our Solar System, taken with a 5s exposure using the R filter on Faulkes Telescope. Ceres is very obvious near the centre of the image!

Global Hands-On Universe & Galileo Teacher Training Program conference

GHOU is one of the largest coordinated astronomy education networks in the world, and a pathfinder for Global Science Education: 5000 teachers joined around the world in 2009!

The GHOU annual conference takes place this year in Germany. The first three days (GTTP) will be training on the use of several new, great emerging resources (the Universe Quest Game, GHOU activities -- Exo-planets!, International Asteroid Search Campaign!, Measuring the Expanding Universe from Supernovae!, etc.).

Read more: Global Hands-On Universe & Galileo Teacher Training Program conference

3rd successful COMENIUS-funded Teacher Training Session - Torun, Poland



The 3rd COMENIUS-funded EU-HOU training session was held this may, in Torun, Poland, and has been very successful !

Despite the Swedish volcano eruption, 29 teachers from 13 European countries attended the session held at the Institute of Physics in Torun. In addition, HOU Staff consisted in 9 trainers, assisted by 12 persons from the Local Organising Committee.


The days consisted of a number of hands-on workshops and talks aimed at showing the educators freely available astronomical resources which can be used in their classrooms back home to help stimulate their pupil’s interest and enthusiasm in science. 

Read more: 3rd successful COMENIUS-funded Teacher Training Session - Torun, Poland