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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)

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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.

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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)

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Sky Alerts

Dr Ian Musgrave  - iTelescope Science Advisor

An avid amateur astronomer, Ian writes the weekly sky updates for ABC Radio Science and is science adviser to iTelescope. When not staring at the sky he is an equally enthusiastic molecular pharmacologist at the University of Adelaide, Australia.

You can follow Ian Musgrave on his Astroblog for daily posts about astronomy, biology and life, the Universe and everything.

"Over at Astroblog I largely guide people to the view of the sky as seen with the unaided eye. But I’m also an iTelescope.Net user, and I’m very honoured to have been invited to highlight some of the interesting objects that can be seen through the iTelescopes.

While many people are familiar with the larger, more glamorous objects in the night sky that make good iTelescope targets, there are a host of lesser known, interesting objects that are well worth chasing such as fast moving Near Earth Objects, Novae and Comets."  Twitter @ianmusgrave

Wednesday
Jun082011

June Highlights, M51 and C/2009 P1

Images of M51 and its supernova taken of 4 June, left image taken with GRAS-05 1x120 second exposure with a clear filter, right image taken with GRAS-07 1x300 second luminance exposure (click to embiggen).

The stand-out target for June is of course M51. The supernova detected in it is of course a key reason for this. As of writing the supernova is still bright seven days out from the original detection, and there is a need for long term follow-up of this supernova (and I repeat my call for images of M51 in the critical period when it was first detected, and Rochester Astronomy is also looking for submissions).

However, M51 – the whirlpool galaxy, is a classic and beautiful target in its own right. Colour images of this galaxy are particularly nice.

Chart showing location of C/2009 P1 Garrad during June. Rectangles are the field of view of GRAS-05 (click to embiggen).

While there are an abundance of comets about, most are below magnitude 13. 2011 C1 McNaught is relatively bright, but does not rise above 20 degrees above the horizon before astronomical twilight. 2009 P1 Garrad is around magnitude 10, and is above 20 degrees at astronomical twilight.

On the border between Pisces and Aquarius, it is within GRAS-05 range of the 13th magnitude galaxyNGC 7428 on July 15. Unfortunately, the nearly full Moon is still up (although close to the western horizon).

On the 23rd and 24th it is within GRAS-05 range of a group of small galaxies the brightest being magnitude 13 NGC 7396. Howevere at this time the last quarter Moon is high in the sky.

You can download the MPEC elements or use the one-line elements below.

CK09P010  2011 12 23.6711  1.550503  1.001071   90.7477  325.9975  106.1778  20111225   4.0  4.0      C/2009 P1 (Garradd)

Tuesday
Jun072011

A cornucopia of comets!

 While we are focused on M51, a whole slew of new comets have been found. Rob McNaught heads further into the record books with the discovery of his 62nd comet C/2011 L3 (McNaught), as well as C/2011 L1 (McNaught) and C/2011 L2 (McNaught). L3 will brighten to magnitude 15.5 and pass through some interesting territory. The others will dim.

left - Chart showing comet C/2011 L3 McNaught at its brightest in July. The rectangle is the field of view of GRAS-05. Click to embiggen.

Also recently discovered are C/2011 K1 (Schwartz-Holvorcem) and P/2011 JB15 (Spacewatch-Boattini). Sadly the latter two are quite dim, less than magnitude 19, and will only get dimmer. If you are in the mood to image these comets, then you can get their elements from the MPEC, or use the one line elements below.

    PK11J15B  2012 01 14.1201  5.031649  0.314584  110.0201  153.8299   19.1477  20120203   9.0  4.0      P/2011 JB15 (Spacewatch-Boattini)
    CK11K010  2011 04 21.8688  3.374619  1.000000  167.0949   70.7416  122.5704            12.0  4.0      C/2011 K1 (Schwartz-Holvorcem)
    CK11L030  2011 08 10.3466  1.924978  1.000000   27.6321  307.7604   87.0923            12.5  4.0      C/2011 L3 (McNaught)
    CK11L010  2011 01 01.1286  2.419874  1.000000  301.2999  251.4265   70.8617            11.0  4.0      C/2011 L1 (McNaught)
    CK11L020  2011 10 31.7554  1.964888  1.000000  256.1834  131.3307  104.0231            12.5  4.0      C/2011 L2 (McNaught)

Sunday
Jun052011

Crowdsourcing the M51 Supernova

As I mentioned in the M51 Supernova alert, I'd like to try crowd sourcing the supernova. I'd like to invite any iTelescope users who have taken images of M51 between May 28 (when no supernova was present) and June 2 and beyond, to submit them to us so we can do public astrometry on them and follow the supernova out burst (and hopefully catch it at its earliest stages).

Send your images to us via the iTelescope user image upload

http://www.global-rent-a-scope.com/gras-user-image-upload/

We'll keep you posted on the progress of the project.

As ell, I'd like to encourage everyone with images of M51 from May 28 on to submit them to the Flikr group astrometry, which automatically performs astrometry on the images,

Cheers! Ian

Friday
Jun032011

ALERT! Supernova in M51

French amateurs have reported what appears to be a supernova in M51 (2 June 2011 at 00:52 UTC). Details (in French) and images here.

UPDATE: Type II supernova confirmed. details here.

Image from T-07 by Pete Poulos  showing the supenova. Could any GRAS users who have before and after pictures of M51 spanning May28 to now submit them so we can do a crowdsourced follow-up of the supernova

Another before and after Image via digital sky.