ESAC is ESA’s European Space Astronomy Centre, located near Madrid in Spain, and the obvious place for an innovative car company to ask what would be the ideal car for mobile astronomy. Fortunately the request was answered with significant input from Aurora’s Wouter van Reeven who is a professional software engineer working on Gaia and also a very keen and experienced astronomer.
Wouter had recently purchased a large estate car to allow him to travel to remote dark locations to observe the stars in central Spain, allowing him to provide Nissan with first hand experience on moving around telescopes. Nissan have produced an amazing portable observatory and invited Wouter to England and Wales to not only assist in its first light observations but also to appear in the promotional movie of the mobile observatory concept car. Wouter provided significant experience in using a sizeable telescope and really enjoyed the experience in helping in this state of the art innovation. Wouter will continue to promote astronomy both as president of the ESAC Astronomy Club and with groups coming to visit him from his native land, The Netherlands.
We highly recommend spend a couple of minutes to view the innovation and star gazing including Wouter by clcking on the image below.
You can read more about the project at ESA news Going off-road in the search for dark skies