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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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Saturday
Feb252012

February-March Highlights, C/2009 P1 Garradd C/2011, W3 and more

Comet C/2009 P1 Garradd near M92, taken with iTelescope T05, cick to embiggen.

The first Quarter Moon is Thursday March 1, the Full Moon is March 8 and the lst quarter Moon is March 15. While the Moon is a great hindrance to many of us imagers (especially the comet folks), the narrow band folks have a lot better time of it.

Comet C/2009 P1 Garradd has been delighting us for quite some time now, its encounter with the globular cluster M92 producing some outstanding images. Rolando Ligustri has been following the comets evolution with terrific results.

Garradd will bring us more delights,  on the 25-26th it will be close to magnitude 11 NGC 6015, then on February 29 it will be close to magnitude 12 NGC 5949. Currently magnitude 6.6, it doesn't dip below 7 for the rest of March. Garradd is a moorning comet for February and most of March, so you need to be imaging  from 2 am on.

Chart of C/2009 P1 Garradd in early March as seen from Mayhill, New Mexico at astronomical twilight, large rectangle is the Field of View of T14, the medium rectangle is the FOV of T20 as representative of the various iTelecope instruments available (click to embiggen).

The stand out encounter will be in early March, when the comet moves across the face of the Ursa Minor Dwarf. On  Mar 02 at 12:55 UT the comet will be  0° 09' from the galaxy centre. Great compositions will be had before and after then of course. As always the latest elements for C/2009 P1 Garradd are from the MPEC.

After this it's quiet for a while (although the comet is a marvellous target by itself). Then on March 13 the comet is 45' from the magnitude 10 galaxy NGC 4236-1, although the Moon is still before first quarter, the comet is now rising early enough for good imaging to be had before Moon rise.

UPDATED: On 20-21 21-22 March the comet is within T14 distance of the 10th magnitude galaxy Coddington's Nebula (IC 2574).  On 21-22 March it is also within T20 distance of the globular cluster NGC 3231.

There are quite a few evening comets, but they are very difficult. Comet 21P is too low at astronomical twilight for the iTelescope scopes. C/2012 C2 Bruenjes has faded considerably, it appears it was discovered at outburst, and is now below magnitide 17. It will also be below the tracking range of iTelescope scopes. C/2010 G2 Hill is roughly magnitude 13, but will quickly go below the tracking range of all scopes except T11 at astronomical twilight  in early March.

Comet P/2012 A3 SOHO is now quite difficult, being below magnitude 14, but is is getting respectably high in the sky. On March 21 it is almost on top of the bright nebula vdB37, so some deep imaging would be nice.

Comet 78P Gehrels is between magnitudes 11 and 12, and has some interesting encounters. Between March 25-27 it is wwithing T14 range of Jupiter (although the proximity of the Moon on the 26th rules out imaging). The contrasts in brightness means that good shots are improbable unless you do mosaics.

Chart of 78P Gehrels as seen in early March from Mayhill NM. The large rectancel is the field of view of T20 and the small rectangle is the field of view of T05. Click to embiggen.

On March 3 it is 31' from NGC 990 (magnitude 12.5), then on 10 March it is 1' from magnitude 14 NGC 1117A, on 11 March it is 19' from magnitude 112 NGC 1134 and 5' from magnitude 14 NGC 1127. Deep sky imaging scopes (T11, T5, T4 etc.) should be good for these encounters.

Comet C/2001 W3 Lovejoy has faded considerably, and seems to consist entirely of tail. It is still observable, but seems to be some distance away from its predicited position.

The supernova in NGC 3239 is still bright and worth imaging in the deep sky scopes (someday soon I'll publish my light curve).

 

 

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