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iTelescope.Net is the world’s premier network of Internet connected telescopes, allowing members to take astronomical images of the night sky for the purposes of education, scientific research and astrophotography. (more)

iTelescope.Net is a self-funding, not for profit membership organisation; we exist to benefit our members and the astronomy community. Financial proceeds fund the expansion and growth of the network. iTelescope.Net is run by astronomers for astronomers.

The network is open to the public; anyone can join and become a member including students, amateurs and even professional astronomers.

With 20 telescopes, and observatories located in New Mexico, Australia and Spain, observers are able to follow the night sky around the globe 24x7.

iTelescope.Net puts professional telescopes within the reach of all, with systems ranging from single shot colour telescopes to 700mm (27”) research grade telescopes.

Astronomy Research

Having access to professional telescopes means that doing real science has never been easier – great value for schools, educators, universities, amateur and professional astronomers. (more)

Exo-planets, comets, supernova, quasars, asteroids, binary stars, minor planets, near earth objects and variable stars can all be studied. iTelescope.Net can also send your data directly to AAVSO VPhot server for real-time online photometric analysis.

iTelescope.Net allows you to respond quickly to real-time astronomical phenomena such as supernova and outbursts events, gaining a competitive edge for discoveries. With more than 240 asteroid discoveries iTelescope.Net is ranked within the top 50 observatories in the world by the Minor Planet Center.

Get involved: members have used the network to provide supportive data for go/no-go decisions on Hubble space telescope missions.

Education and Astronomy Schools

With science and numeracy at the forefront of the education revolution, iTelescope.Net provides the tools, along with research and education grants, to support the development of astronomy or science based curriculums in schools. Contact iTelescope.Net about a grant for your school or research project. (more)

Professional observatories use iTelescope.Net to supplement current research projects. The network provides alternate observatory sites in both southern and northern hemispheres and is a good way to continue research when seasonal poor weather hits your observatory.

Sky Tours Live Streams

We offer a variety of ways to view the night sky, including our entry level Sky Tours Live Streams. These weekly streams, hosted by Dr. Christian Sasse, are a great way to get started with Remote Astronomy, allowing you to see our telescopes in action and learn about the Night Sky from a professional Astronomer.

Astrophotography

Take stunning images of the night sky, galaxies, comets and nebula. Have access to the best equipment from the comfort of your computer and without the huge financial and time commitments. (more)

The network has everything from beginner telescopes with single shot colour CCDs to large format CCDs with Ha, SII and OII and LRGB filter sets. Check out the member image gallery – the results speak for themselves.

Depending on your own image processing skills, you can even land yourself a NASA APOD.

How?

All you need is a web browser and an Internet connection; iTelescope.Net takes care of the rest. Our web-based launchpad application provides the real-time status of each telescope on the network as well as a host of other information such as a day-night map, observatory all-sky cameras and weather details. (more)

From the launchpad you can login to any available telescope, and once connected, you’re in command. Watch in real time as the telescope slews, focuses and images your target.

The image files (in FITS format) are then transmitted to a high-speed server ready for your download. All image data taken is your data – iTelescope.Net doesn’t hold any intellectual property rights.

Reserve and schedule observing plans in advance, even have them run while you are away from iTelescope.Net and have the image data waiting for you ready for download.

New and Starting Out?

A number of telescopes are fitted with colour cameras; these systems have been designed for ease of use. It’s as simple as selecting an astronomical target from the menu, watching the telescope image your target, and have the resulting image sent to your email address as a jpeg attachment. (more)

The image file is also sent to our high-speed server and can be downloaded in its raw image format, for post image processing if you want more of a challenge.

Already a Pro?

iTelescope.Net offers a large range of telescopes, fields of view and image scales, and NABG and ABG CCD camera combinations. Select from a large range of filters including narrowband, LRGB and UBVRI, as well as control pointing, filter selection, focusing, exposure times, image counts, repeat loops etc. All data is offered in its raw FITS format calibrated and non-calibrated.

Support and Service

With remote astronomy observing plans can be interrupted from time to time, by clouds, wind gusts and even a rare equipment failure.

iTelescope.Net has you fully covered with our satisfaction guarantee; we will return your points if you are unsatisfied with your results. Help is just a click away. (more)

A dedicated team of professionals are working around the clock to keep the network operating. This includes local ground crews at each observatory, sophisticated monitoring systems and remote observatory administrators monitoring the quality of data coming off the network.

Our dedicated support website allows members to seek answers to frequently asked questions. Formal support can be requested by lodging a support ticket, which can be viewed, tracked and managed through to completion. Go to http://support.itelescope.net or simply email support@itelescope.net.

Our contact details are also available. You can phone or Skype us if you want to speak to a person directly; you can also contact us via Skype instant message, email and fax.

How much does this cost?

Rates vary based on your membership plan and the phase of the moon. Rates start as low as 17 to 100+ points per imaging hour, which is billed per minute of imaging time used; typically one point equals $1. Make sure you are subscribed to our newsletter for special offers. Please visit our pricing page for more information on telescope operating rates. (more)

Each telescope has its imaging hourly rate displayed in real time in the launchpad before you login. At the end of each session you are also sent a detailed usage receipt which includes the costs, weather data, preview jpeg images and your observing session log file.

Membership Plans

We have a range of plans catering for everyone from the amateur to the professional astronomer. Each plan provides unrestricted access to each telescope and includes the plan’s dollar value in points, which is credited to your account each time the membership renews. (more)

Membership plans set the usage rates for each telescope on the network, expressed in points per operating hour. The entry level plans provide maximum flexibility on our single shot colour systems, and the heavy usage plans focus more on the large research grade systems. Memberships start from $19.95 and range to $999.95 per 28 day period.

Additional points can be purchased at any time to supplement your account balance.

Hosting and Affiliates

iTelescope.Net offers a range of telescope hosting solutions to members with special projects, allowing you to host your own telescope at three of our four observatory locations. Conditions and approvals apply. Contact us for more information.(more)

Affiliate membership allows you to connect your own telescope to iTelescope.Net with reasonable rates of return. Limited availability exists and is subject to telescope network balance.

Please contact us for more information.


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T11 Science Spot 

 Pete Lake - iTelescope Affiliate

All, welcome to my little corner of the iTelescope.net Website, where I will be posting a little astro action and activities from my AARTScope Blog as well. Due to my association with iTelescope and through my blog, the Hubble Space telescope and ESO now follow me on twitter.

I regularly chase asteroids and work with Variable star observers so I'll keep you up to date on my activities.

Astronomy is a pursuit where everyone is so helpful and eager to share their knowledge, with the internet and a growing population of iTelescope.net users, its a great scene to be a part of. 

My AARTScope blog is where I do most of my writing and occasionally host the Carnival of Space. AARTScope's mission is to "help create the sense of anticipation and discovery that keeps scientists asking questions".

AARTScope is quite deliberately a blend of Art and Science which highlights the full capabilities of T-011, as its great for the best of astrophotography and has already done some stellar science (if you pardon the pun).

Some of my most popular articles have been the Hyabusa Re-entry live blogging session where over 300 visitors from Asia and around the world joined the live blogging session. Recently I also did a great article for the ESO on Paranal and the visit of the world's first electric supercar.

I have also done a couple of interviews on Astronomy.FM including one on Photometry as a cloud service. Yep you read that correctly, iTelescope.net is certainly on the cutting edge.

 


Saturday
Mar262016

NACAA Sydney 2016 PreConference Workshops

Welcome to the live coverage of NACAA Sydney 2016 host by the Sutherland Astronomical Society in Sydney.

The main conference is just about to begin after a day of pre-conference workshops. This NACAA is being held on the 50th anniversary of the formation of NACAA. The organisation was founded by the James Cook Astronomers club in 1966 with the first conference being held in 1967.

So this year is quite a historic occasion, with the NACAA conference returning to its place of origin on Gadigal Land (part of the Eora Nation of the Sydney Basin), what better place for this years conference than the magnificent sandstone foundations of the University of Sydney. Its easy to understand the modern colloquial reference to "Sandstone Universities" when you enter these magnificent grounds.

The pre-Conference yesterday (Friday 25th) consisted of the Symposium of Variable Stars South (VSS) and an afternoon workshop on the Professional Amateur Collaboration in Astronomy (PACA) between the Space Science Institutue led by Dr Padma Yanamandra-Fisher and local Australian Amateur Astronomers.

The variable star symposium featured some brilliant papers and presentations on eclipsing binaries, improving observing techniques, presentations on visual observing, and some eccentric stars requiring further study were highlighted.

The PACA session featured a workshop on the PACA collaborations, their history, starting at Comet ISON through Comets Siding Spring, Lovejoy and more recently the Rosetta/67P campaign.  

Padma gave us an update on the Comet 67P ESA Rosetta Mission. I covered off some of the details of the Comet Siding Spring campaign and the involvement of some of our iTelescope.net members. The group had fun assembling a little (not to scale) model of the Rosetta Probe, Philae, and the Comet. (pictured above)

Jakub Cerny joined us from Europe via video and gave us some pointers on the finer points of Cometary photometry and aprho measurement methods, something I needed and need to spend some more time on.

Anthony Wesley and Phil Hart dazzled us with their latest images of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn and their plan for collaborations during the 2017-2020 window when the planets will be at their highest elevation for southern observers. 2018 promises to be the best ever imaging window for 200 years for Mars where the disk resolution will  be 22 arcsecs.

The day concluded with the welcome event for conference, on the beautiful Sydney University campus.

 

 

Thursday
Jan282016

Osservatorio del Monte Baldo students recreate Leavitt's Cepheid study

One of iTelescope.net's 2015 grant receipients Osservatorio del Monte Baldo run programs with students doing great research and helping young people connect with astronomy and the sciences. The results are in on their exceptional work which is featured in the Italian Magazine "Le Stelle".

Osservatorio del Monte Baldo student team has completed a brilliant observing campaign to recreate the work of Henrietta Swan Leavitt. The observatory based in Italy used iTelescope.net's southern telescopes at Siding Spring Observatory to reach the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) a deep southern target. 

After the success achieved by students in 2014 with observations of M4 and creation of a Hertzsprung Russell diagram for the M4 globular cluster, the goal of the 2015 program at the Osservatorio, was to retrace the path outlined by H.S. Leavitt at Harvard and to study the classical Cepheids in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC).

In the students own words:

"To study SMC we obviously needed a telescope in the southern hemisphere (From the north of Italy SMC never rises!): fortunately, we could rely on the iTelescope.net facilities that gave us the opportunity to use the telescopes placed at Siding Spring Observatory (Q62). In addition, the difference of 10 time zones between Italy and Australia allows us to use the telescope during school time." 

"To better simulate the observations of the beginning of the 20th century, we chose to use the T32 telescope (a 17-inch astrograph Planewawe f.6.8, equipped with a CCD FLI Proline 16803, giving a FOV of 43' * 43 '): the optical properties of this instrument and the clean sky of Siding Spring are comparable with those of the Bruce Telescope under the Peruvian sky originally employed, although exposure times of modern CCDs are shorter  than those needed for the historical glass plates of Harvard (minutes or tens of minutes vs. hours).

The data-taking sessions required took place between May and September 2015. The large FOV of T32 allowed  to include the images of all  the 16 Leavitt Chepeids within three fields. Each photographic field was recorded both with Vj and Ic photometric filters, in order  to obtain colour balanced light-curves.


Exposures were calibrated for the expected magnitude of the objects, from 120 seconds to 900 seconds in Ic and the same in Vj.
We chose the comparison stars for photometric calibration in the Apass catalog, converting the Sloan’s  gand  i' magnitudes into Ic  magnitude by means of the relation given in the article "Classical and Recurrent Novae"  (Munari, JAAVSO Volume 40, 2012582). Our s
tudents attended to the process all along its parts, from scheduling run to data analysis: they obtained  the light-curve, calculated the medium magnitude and plotted the Period / Magnitude graphic.

Even with the aid of modern technologies, it is still difficult to obtain good photometrical images of stars 200,000 light years faraway. For two of the observed Cepheids (those with the shorter period) we were not able to calculate the magnitude at the minimum, as they were confused in the sky background and nearby stars.

Apart from this difficulty, the overall result was very good; the equation period-luminosity obtained (not considering the extinction factor), was:

M = -2.781log(P)+17.76

As the equation presently accepted in literature is the following:

mv = -2.78log(P)-1.35

it can be easily checked that the slope has the same value, while the difference in intercepts depends on the distance and can be used with the distance module relation to calculate the distance for SMC. The result is then d = 66.5±5 kpc, in good agreement with the value of 61 kpc presently accepted."

iTelescope.net congratulates Erika, Federica, Ahmad, Davide, Diego, Eduardo, Gioele, Marco, Paolo, and their tutors: F. Castellani, F. de Sabata Ph.D. , R. Belligoli ; M. Sergio.

Your passion for the project, respect for the early female pioneers, the history, traditions and the science method is a fine example to all STEM Educators.

We look forward to your grant application for 2016.