Topic outline

  • Welcome to the National Schools' Observatory - Stimulating Physics Network Support Pages

    Liverpool Telescope

    The National Schools’ Observatory (NSO) is pleased to support the Stimulating Physics Network (SPN) by presenting a range of activities that support the teaching of physics at Key Stage 3 and 4. As with all NSO activities for this age range they are suitable for non-specialist teachers of physics to use in the classroom, and come with direct support available from the NSO team and your Teaching and Learning Coach (TLC).

    The NSO and SPN have selected a collection of activities from the NSO website that are suitable for pupils in the early years of secondary education that can be delivered by science teachers regardless of their subject specialism within science.

    Each activity focuses on a different set of skills.SPN Logo

    Activity 1 enables students to become familiar with the Liverpool Telescope and the kind of image files that are output from the telescope instruments. As these are not typical image files they would be familiar with from consumer cameras, and also have a specialist file format they will need to learn to use new software that we provide free of charge.

    Activity 2 is where the majority of the related science will be learned as this involves observing using the Liverpool Telescope, viewing images and processing them so that a desired image is obtained. It is expected that most of your time will be spent in this section.

    Activity 3 involves more complex image manipulation to produce a 3-colour image from your observations from the Liverpool Telescope. It will involve going back and making further observations as required but using a different interface to the one used to obtain just single images of an astronomical object.

    Projects are available for schools who wish to get involved in activities that continually get new data that needs processing and analysis. This section contains links to a number of ongoing NSO projects, such as our Asteroid Watch project where schools can help identify and measure the position of newly found near Earth objects (NEOs) such as asteroids and comets. Direct support for these projects is available from NSO staff.

    If you need any help, please email

  • Introduction to the National Schools' Observatory

    NSO Logo Black
    The National Schools' Observatory (NSO) is a major educational website, established by Liverpool John Moores University, to allow schools to make their own observations alongside professional astronomers with the world's largest fully-robotic telescope - the Liverpool Telescope.

  • Suggested Things to Do Next

    Now that you know a little about the NSO and what we have to offer, you might like to do one of the of the following: