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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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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

Sunday
Jul102011

July Highlights, M51, the Jewel Box, C/2009 P1 and a few other comets

left - Path of Comet C/2009 P1 during July. The large rectangle is the filed of view of T-14 (clcik to embiggen).

July is a good month for comets. Sadly,27P/Crommelin, which is roughly magnitude 11 now, is too low from the iTelescope systems. Comet C/2010 X1Elenin is in Leo, and is brightening significantly. It is too low to the horizon for the northern hemisphere telescopes, but for the Australian telescopes Elenin is over 30 degrees above the horizon at astronomical twilight. During its July journey Elenin comes close to several 15th and 16th magnitude galaxies. On the 18th of July, two days after the Full Moon is Australia,  Elenin is 14' from 13th magnitude NGC 3509.

C/2011 C1 McNaught is still quite bright (around magnitude 11, although the MPEC insists it is magnitude 18) and high in the morning sky, not far from Jupiter (although when I tried to image it from Mayhill I got a "The slew coordinates are below the minimum elevation limit" message when using the MPEC elements, when it should have been well above the telescope limits). On the 11th, comet C1 McNaught is 28' from the 14th magnitude galaxy UGC 1814 as well as a number of smaller galaxies. This should make a nice composition. Thereafter there isn't any particularly interesting encounters for the rest of the month.

 C/2009 P1 Garradd is the stand out comet for this month. Zooming through Pegasus, disappointingly it doesn't come close to anything interesting until quite late in the month, when  it is within a G14 field of the globular M15. There is nothing disappointing about the comet itself, with it's twin tails and increasing brightness it will be an outstanding target for months to come.

See the image taken by Rolando Ligustri using GRAS-11 for serious comet awesomeness. 

 

Supernova in M51 taken with T-05 on 7 July, RGB composite assembled with ImageJ. I think the red channel is too bright, click to embiggen.

The Supernova in M51 is still bright and a worthy imaging object. Thanks to all those who have submitted images for the crowdsourcing project. I'll do something with them when I have finished all the exam marking.

Aside from M51, there is a huge number of potential targets out there. I'm going to highlight the Jewel Box Cluster this month (I was going to do it last month, but M51 was the top story). This is a pretty little cluster with strong contrasting colours, an excellent target for colour imaging.

Unfortunately Moonlight will interfere with imaging for a while, and you have to go for it shortly after astronomical twilight at the moment, but it is well worth the effort.

Saturday
Jul092011

New Comet C/2011 N2 (McNaught)


left - Track of Comet C/2011 N2 McNaught over the next 3 months. Click to embiggen.

Rob McNaught has done it again. He has chalked up his 63rd comet, C/2011 N2 (McNaught). C/2011 N2 is currently magnitude 17.9, and sadly it will get dimmer rather than brighter. It's currently in Centaurus, and will move into Scorpius in the next few months.

Tonight (10th July) the comet is 5' from the 16th magnitude galaxy PGC 50404, so this could be a good imaging opportunity for those willing to go deep.  There are several enocunters during C/2011 N2's journey, on the 14th for example it is 6' from the 14th magnitude galaxy PGC 50658 with 4 other dimmer galaxies close by.

Again, the dimness of C/2011 N2 makes it a bit of a challege, but such a rich background could make it worth while.

You can use the MPEC elements, or use the MPCE one line elements in the comet and asteroid dialog.

    CK11N020  2011 10 09.7955  2.696257  1.000000  353.2923  272.2736   34.8945            11.5  4.0      C/2011 N2 (McNaught)

Friday
Jun242011

New Comet C/2011 M1 (LINEAR)


A new comet has been picked up by LINEAR, 2011 M1. On current elements C/2011 M1 will be brightest (M12.5) in August, but will be very close to the horizon, probably too low for the GRAS scopes - G4 may have a view.

(diagram is of 25 August and on, click to embiggen).

See the MPEC for corordinates or use the MPEC one line coordinates in the comet dialog.

 

 CK11M010  2011 09 07.5972  0.904724  1.000000  119.0400  324.6287   69.9748            12.0  4.0      C/2011 M1 (LINEAR)

Thursday
Jun092011

Coming Attraction: comet C/2011 L4 PANSTARRS

Here's one to put into your diaries. Newly discovered comet C/2011 L4 PANSTARRS. Currently an undistinguished magnitude 19 in the head of Scorpius, it seems destined for big things.

Preliminary predictions is that it will reach roughly magnitude 2 in mid to late April 2013, and will be seen best before perihelion in the southern hemipshere, then after perihelion in the northern hemisphere.

However, it is early days and the comet appears to be dynamically new, so it might get to be no more than magnitude 5. Still, on it's way to maxiumum brightness, the comet wends its way through some really beautiful territory above Scorpius, so from October 2012 on there are lots of good compositional images to be had.

Get its elements at the MPEC (they will change a bit as more data comes in, so get the latest).