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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.

 


Wednesday
Aug202014

Science Teacher PD with Dr Pamela Gay

We are very excited to announce that we are working with Scienceworks and University of Melbourne to put on a brilliant science event for Science Teachers.

In October, Dr Pamela Gay is visiting Australia for the dedication of iTelescope.net's Burnell, Cannon, Leavitt (BCL) 27" Telescope, the Siding Spring Open Day and Starfest on Oct 3rd-5th, and a week of activities in Melbourne from October 7th to 11th 2014.

On Friday, 10th October, there will be an all day professional development session for Science and Astronomy educators at one of Melbourne's premier science venues - Scienceworks Museum. There will be three sessions covering specific activities, and classroom techniques linked to the Australian Curriculum and the Australian Professional Standards for Teaching. Morning tea and lunch are included and there is included entry to the debut session of the new Planetarium show "Starlight".

One of the sessions will cover how classroom teachers can get access to telescopes for their schools and Scienceworks staff will give an overview of all the science offerings available at the Melbourne Planetarium and  Scienceworks Museum.

If you're a Science Teacher or know a science teacher (please share) - Don't miss this great day with Dr Pamela Gay, Dr Katie Mack and amateur astronomer and IT Industry veteran Peter Lake.

Full details and download of the event flyer are here.

All proceeds raised will go towards curriculum development at Cosmoquest.org.

We wish to thank Scienceworks and University of Melbourne for their assistance and contributions towards the day. It will be a great opportunity to look at all the science programs at the Scienceworks Museum, Melbourne Planetarium and the University of Melbourne's Telescopes in Schools program.

An earlybird booking of only $85 is available until 16th September.

BOOK NOW!!!!

 

Monday
Mar032014

2014 Year of Southern Comets and PACA

UPDATE: June 2014

Well we are underway. and planning our observations. If you are particpating please log your obs sessions in the calendar below. (Once you have registered you will be given access rights).

 

2014 is well and truly underway with exciting opportunities to participate in some brilliant science here at iTelescope.net. Whilst the OSIRIS-REx Target Asteroids mission continues to be a great success, we have the opportunity to add an additional two science missions to our activities.

During 2013 the amateur astronomy community made a significant contribution to the study of Comet ISON and many other comets. The importance of this effort was realised by many of the major science organisations like NASA, Space Science Institute, ESA and others. The contribution of amateur astronomers to science has never been in question but with increasing budgetary pressure on many space missions, it has never been more important than now.

 

Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) enters the picture, discovered by Rob McNaught from Siding Spring Observatory E12 in January 2013. Image credit: P.Lake on T31

On October 19th 2014, Comet Siding Spring will pass very very close to Mars. It's MOID (minimum orbit intersect distance) has been studied carefully over the past 12 months and has been refined down to an approach distance of 135,000 klms with a absolute minimum possible distance of around 83,000 klms. The trajectory of the comet as it passes mars is almost head to head with a relative speed of 56 klms per second.

IMAGE CREDIT: ESA - M. Khan

In December a paper The meteoroid fluence at Mars due to Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) 2013, Moorhead, Weigert & Cooke, indicated that from initial calculations by the authors potentially damaging particles could be released from the coma at a density of 0.15 per square meter.

The NASA MAVEN probe arrives two weeks before the Comet's passage and Comet Siding Spring will only be visible from Southern Telescopes with fairly low horizon limits for most of this time. Four NASA spacecraft will be orbiting Mars at the time of the comet's pass and ESA's Mars Express. ESA discuss some of the issues about orientating Mars Express on their blog.

Mission scientists clearly have some choices to make about how to best mitigate the risk. One such option for NASA would be altering the orbit of the MAVEN probe to ensure that MAVEN is directly behind Mars at the most risky time of the comet's passage.

You don't make these decisions lightly, and it may not be required. NASA and the other mission controllers need the help of amateur astronomers and professionals to identify the potential risks (and they are still just potential risks) to the spacecraft that might come from any sudden change in the activity of the comet.

IMAGE CREDIT: Dr Ian Musgrave  "Astroblogger" created this image in the Celestia software app.

MAVEN is being sent to Mars to study the volatile evolution of its atmosphere, one senses that they are getting more than what they might have initially bargained for, but what an opportunity! The Indian MOM probe will also arrive a couple of days after the MAVEN probe. If anything happens to the comet such as an outburst or breakup, or a change in how much dust or gas it gives off, all these are vital data that must be tracked to ensure to the success of both missions. Anything that does happen must be well understood. We all know from the ISON experience and the history of other comets that anything can and does regularly happen!

Already a number of iTelescope.net members have been participating in the data gathering. Today we announce a partnership with the Space Science Institute called PACA - Pro-Am Collaborative Astronomy that will bring together the professionals and amateurs to collaborate the science and image gathering and results output of this clearly important activity. The European Space Agency also have the Rosetta spacecraft chasing Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko around the Sun as it goes through perihelion. Again, Comet 67P will largely only be visible from the Southern Hemisphere. Both comets will be targets of this important collaboration.

The amateur community has access to portable telescopes, great flexibility and the ability to go low to the horizon. This is not always possible in professional observatories. The PACA team require long term, continuous coverage of the Comets. In particular they need astrometry and R and V filter data and if possible other B,I filter data. It is also a good opportunity for amateurs to learn from the professional astronomers and possibly gain some recognition as co-authors of any papers published from the results.

IMAGE CREDIT: P.Lake Comet Siding Spring as observered in 4 different photometry filters March 5th 2014.

In order to manage this we need to co-ordinate a small to medium sized team of commited observers and arrange target coverage and observation plans, collect and assess reference stars, and provide the data for scientists to do the "scary math" ;-)

The key objective is to gain an understanding of the dust release rates of the coma and any changes. The technique to do this is called the AfRho calculations - "A" is the albedo of the dust, "f" the fill factor of the comet's flux and rho (the greek letter of the alphabet that looks like a lower case "p") is complex but together they measure the dust discharge rate of the coma. There are certain techniques to obtain these variables and make the calculations needed. (I have learnt some new things already).

If you are a reasonably experienced observer and understand photometery, we would love to have you as part of the core iTelescope.net team that will be part of this partnership. We are looking for a commited group of about 10-15 (max) observers to be part of the program. You can register here.

iTelescope.net will assist with some points or a discounted rate for this activity as part of our science program, details will be made available once you have registered. There are some terms and conditions.

IMAGE CREDIT: P.Lake R band photometry in VPhot using reference stars from AAVSO's APASS Catalog

Padma Yanamandra-Fisher from the Space Science Institute will be travelling to Australia for the NACAA conference in Melbourne over Easter and will be presenting a session on the PACA initiative. Individuals who have their own telescopes, want more independence, have spectrographs on their own telescopes, or are interested in polarization studies of the coma, are welcome to participate in the PACA program outside the iTelescope.net team and can join the Facebook Page and the Flikr Page of the project without registering formally through our program.

This is a great opportunity for us to "shine" and do great science with professionals who will value your input.