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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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iTelescope News & Updates 


Sunday
Apr032011

A Quick Look Inside M42 from iT-17 Spain

Comparison of RGB image and HeII-SIII-SII narrowband. The HeII is represented in green for better visibility. It is amazing how stars pop out from deep underneath the nebula when using extended red FLI CCD with a HeII filter.

 

  The FLI ProLine E2V CCD47-10-1-109 CCD has extended red sensitivity when compared to standard CCD's. This false-color image of Orion nebula  was taken using FLI ProLine E2V CCD47-10-1-109 CCD. The picture was created from images taken through narrow-band filters  of SII, SIII and  HeII at 10124 A (green). The background stars (green) show clearly in the one micron image: these stars are dimmed by foreground dust at shorter wavelengths and are not seen in a standard `true color' image which is shown in comparison. This is an impressive achievement for a 17 inch Planewave telescope with an FLI extended red CCD.

Wednesday
Mar302011

Reserving a Table with a View

We have made a few rather interesting and useful changes to the new Telescope Reservation and LAP (Launch A Plan) services in the past 24 hours that members should be made aware of.

iTelescope members can always operate the Remote Telescopes LIVE with our Advanced ACP Interface. You can easily reserve time on the telescopes, and now by linking to a LAP (Launch A Plan) you can collect your data and images whilst away from your computer or even fast asleep.

Changes:

  • If your Reservation or LAP is unable to be start due to roof closed conditions and have selected the new “Auto-Schedule” option, then your booking will be pushed forward in 24 hour increments until a similar and vacant time slot is found for your session.
  • LAP Plans or Reservations that are due to start during a roof closed condition will remain activeduring the closed period. So if the roof does suddenly open during your booking you will be able to commence your plan/booking normally. Accounts are not charged during this waiting period.
  • You will be notified via Email of such events.

Telescope Reservations cannot be made within Two Hours of Telescope Local Time. Bookings should be cancelled at least 4 hours prior to the intended start time. Contact iTelescope support for help at anytime.

 

Tuesday
Mar222011

iTelescope Upgrades - Release Notes

iTelescope.Net is the process of rolling out major software upgrades to its telescope systems bringing many new exciting features. The rollouts will be complete over the next few days.

Major Features Include:

  • New Reservation System, with Plan Generator
  • New Smart Autoguiding System
  • New Focusing System
  • New Improved User Interface
  • Many more system wide improvements

Feature Details:

  • New ACP User Interface. We have removed Advanced Mode, Regular Mode, etc and consolidated everything into a single improved ACP user interface. Included will be the ability for users to view a LIVE screen grab of the Telescope controlling PC Desktop.
  • Usage receipts. These now include thumbnails of the All Sky Camera, Seeing, Weather Station and Cloud Sensor Graph (if the site has the sensors operating) as well as a jpeg preview of all the images in your image run. Allowing you to see what the weather conditions were like during your imaging run.
  • Focusing. Systems have changed the way they focus. You now have a database of suitable focusing stars, systems will also do a quick plate solve on the focus star to ensure its right in the center of the frame to ensure field curvature will not interfere with the optimal focus position.
  • Focusing between filters. Systems now call for a focus between each filter switch to ensure that the precision of focus is maintained. You can also choose to disable this new behavior and use filter offsets instead, with our new smart plate solving it greatly reduces the time between spent focusing.
  • Optimised startup times. Systems now launch straight into centering your first target without focusing the telescope, if for some reason the initial plate solve fails we will then focus the telescope and then try to re-center the initial target.
  • Improved focusing between user sessions. Systems now keep track of the focus positions between user sessions allowing faster start up times.
  • Improved Reservation system. Its now easier to reserve time and schedule a launch a plan (LAP) session on the telescopes including new email confirmations.
  • A new Plan Generator, is now embedded into the reservation system allowing users to create plans, the system also provides a suggested start, transit and end imaging times for the selected target as well as the Sunrise and Sunset times. Making it easier than ever to schedule plans.
  • Smart Auto guiding, so it will be easier for ACP to seek out and lock onto a guide star with our new bright star detection technology. If needed ACP will slightly bump the telescope to place a bright guide star on the auto guider without compromising the framing of the main target.
  • Auto guider settling. Systems have changed the way the guider settles before starting the exposure to ensure the starting error is kept to a minimum, if the error is erratic it will choose another star to guide on, before starting the exposure.
  • Dithering. You can turn this option on when you run your plan. Dithering slightly shifts telescope by a small number of pixels between each exposure, so when you stack your images it will all but eliminate any remaining CCD artifacts.
  • Periodic focusing support. If you enable this option ACP will focus the telescope every 30 mins to ensure sharp focus is maintained over an extended imaging session.
  • Smarter plate solving. Your telescopes now remembers where the center of the target is after the initial plate solve, which makes slewing between two known targets much quicker.
  • Improved meridian flipping. Systems have greatly reduced the time it takes for telescope to flip at the meridian. On most of the systems you shouldn't have to wait at all for your target to track past the meridian before the telescope flips.
  • User Logfile format. It wil be easier to read the ACP log file, we now have a image counter which will count all your images, and will now include the Moon's position from your current target.
  • DOME Slaving (G11 only). We have improved how ACP slaves the telescope to the dome, which greatly reduces the over head waiting time for the dome to settle.
  • Image file naming format have changed. All pre-calibrated image now will have "calibrated-" as the prefix,  also grouping all your imaging files on the date of the night starting. This prevents splitting of your imaging files over two dates. We have also improved other aspects of the file structure to permit better sorting.
  • Dark/Bias Calibrations can now be taken during Roof Closed night hours by users. These are Notcharged to accounts.
  • Moon awareness. We have now made ACP moon aware. So it will alert you when your too close to the moon which may cause poor imaging results.
  • Improved aborting. It is now possible for users to abort their plan during a long exposure and it will now tell you in the log file who and why your script was aborted.
  • ACP plan compensation. We have removed this function, which means when you fire off a script that you have previously run it wont start half way though it.
  • Express mode is now called via the ACP directive #EXPRESS. Express mode will cause the systemnot to auto guide and not to plate solve your targets. The system will maintain focus via its filter offsets.
  • Larger Preview JPEG images attached to your Email as well as on the FTP server. This will allow you to download the JPEG previews to review your session.
  • Better color processing (GRAS-003). You will now also receive a color converted FITS files ready for your processing in additional to the RAW fits color file.
  • TIFF files can now be selected as a image file format in addition to FITS format.
  • Faster load time for ACP. We have optimised the code that is downloaded to your web browser providing improved faster startup times.
  • Additional FITS keys. FOCALLEN, APTDIA, APTAREA that will make it easier to plate solve your images.

NEW Scripted Plan Directives

For those users who are happy to write their own scripted plans we have made these changes and additions to the planning service. See PDF file here for details on ACP GRAS Scripting.

#EXPRESS
Express mode is now set via a plan directive. Express mode bypasses auto guiding, pointing updates and plate solving.


#TIFF
ACP will also save your images in a 16bit TIFF file format in addition to FITS format.


#VPHOT
The #VPHOT directive now will send your image files to the VPHOT server for progressing, you may have to update any scheduled VPHOT plans to include this new directive. 


#FILTEROFFSETS

We have changed the way systems now focus. Telescopes now call for a focus on each filter change to maintain a high level of focus between filters. If you want to use filter offsets instead please use this directive.


#PLATESOLVE
This directive will now plate solve all your image after the exposure.


#DITHER
We now support Dithering, if you plan to stack a large amount of images its always a good idea to turn this on as it grealy aid in the elimination of CCD artifacts. 


#AFINTERVAL

This causes the telescope to re-focus during a imaging run every 30 mins (by default). You can also add a number after the directive to change its default behavior e.g. #AFINTERVAL 15, will cause the system to focus ever 15 mins (Minimum 5).

We ask users that discover any bugs or issues with the changes to contact Support.

Thanks to our iTelescope Tech Dept for the hard work!