Website and Observation Statistics
The NSO was launched in October 2004 and since then has supported the education of many thousands of learners. The breadth and reach of the NSO can be demonstrated by three statistics:
- The website activity. This indicates the large scope, reach and geographical spread of those using the website.
- The number of registered users. Although the majority of the website is open to anyone, to gain access to some parts, and to request observations from the Liverpool Telescope (LT), free registration is needed.
- The number of observing requests. All registered users can request observations from the LT, ranging from simple images for new or younger users, to multi-observation projects for advanced users.
Since the launch of the current version of the website in October 2016, detailed logs have been kept of all page "hits". The statistics below exclude known "bots" (non-human systems that trawl websites) and any activity from within the University. As such they give a good indication of both the volume of use of the website, and its geographical scope.
Highlight any bar in the graph to see the top-10 countries for that month
Website hits per month
Top 10 countries
There are three kinds of users of the NSO. Teacher registration is available to any teacher or educator in the UK and Ireland. In addition, teachers can choose set up student accounts for any (or all) of their students or pupils. Both teachers and students have access to the full range of observations.
Since 2016 we have also had the option for users to register. This is available to anyone, anywhere, and is designed open up access to the LT internationally, and for UK and Irish students whose teachers have not registered. For logistical reasons these users have access to a reduced, though ever-changing, set of observing options.
Only registered users who have been active in the previous year are included in these statistics
Active website users
Observing Requests are made through the unique Go Observing system and can be anything from a simple, single observation of a planet, to multi-observation scientific programmes. There are no limits on how many requests any user can make.
Some clear trends can be seen, with a strong correlation in activity to school terms. The large increase from 2012 to 2017 is in part due to the LT being highlighted as suitable for the GCSE in Astronomy offered by Pearson Edexcel, in particular for the Controlled Assessment component. This resulted a large number of requests from a small number of GCSE students. Since 2018, the Controlled Assessment has been removed from almost all GCSEs, so the impact on the statistics of a relatively small number of users has dropped.
Observing requests each month
Observing time each night
Graphs generated with the help of D3.js