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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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Members in Focus

Astronomy by iTelescope.Net Members

As part of an iTelescope initiative we want to help put YOU our members in the spotlight!

If you really want the world to see and read about your own astronomical story and achievements, then lets us know! We will publish a short article about you and your adventures in astronomy! Write as much as you feel like, but we will also need a few images. Pictures of yourself doing astronomy and some of your favourite astroshots!

Send your story to Pete today!

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Monday
Oct042010

Rolando Ligustri - The Comet Man 

Master Imager, Rolando Ligustri, Comet Researcher, Italy.

 

"My love affair with astronomy began in 1973. However it was in 1986 (the return of comet Halley) that I purchased my first serious telescope. It was with this instrument I took various pictures of deep sky objects; some of them were published in 'l'Astronomia' and 'Orione', two Italian astronomy magazines.

"In 1995 I bought my first CCD camera and with the help of two astronomers, G.Cremonese and M.Fulle I followed comet Hale Bopp with narrow band filters over the next year. These narrow band filters were centered about frequencies of 647nm and 627nm.

My research was unique in that I was the only one using these specialized filters to make observations. From 1997 I started to follow and study comets on a regular basis, producing a lot of pictures. Many of these images were published on a variety of international websites and in various international magazines (also on Sky and Telescope). A Google search on my name will retrieve about 20.000 citations about astronomy.

"In 2000 I started making photometric measurements producing hundreds of notations published on ICQ and BAA websites. During the same year I started to produce astrometric measurements that were published by the Minor Planet Center. In 2003 I joined the C.A.R.A. project http://cara.uai.it .

"In cooperation with C.A.R.A., we have produced an article regarding comet 9P (Tempel) that was published in the prestigious magazine ICARUS. Moreover I received an honorable mention and big thanks from the NASA people responsible for mission Deep Impact.

"In 1999 I was given the responsibility of the comet section of U.A.I. http://comete.uai.it On our association's website, you can find images of more then 90 comets I captured during this timewww.castfvg.it/fotoccd.htm#comete. Some of my personal goals included establishing a baseline for comet 67P. My work in this area was further confirmed by other astronomers.

"As I was a co-discoverer of some NEOCP objects I was also awarded the second place in a contest by ESA. This was in conjunction with taking pictures of the Rosetta spacecraft. This will be an example for my future work. I think I will follow various comets for the C.A.R.A. project and also to follow objects reported on NEOCP.

"For several years I had heard about a very high quality remote telescope system called iTelescope.Net. Some amateur astronomers I knew used the system. Personally I was a little afraid to use this system as it sounded too complicated. So after waiting and thinking and waiting but not using it my friend Stefano Padovan, who had just become an affiliate with iTelescope, insisted I try the iTelescope T5 (Epsilon 250 in New Mexico). Wow! I discovered a new world!

"To use the different systems (equipped with state of the art telescopes mostly by Takahashi, RCOS and Planewave systems all on Paramount remote telescope mounts and SBIG- FLI CCD cameras) is really maybe…too simple. Thanks to dedicated, extremely user-friendly software, within just a few minutes you find yourself directing the telescope system to slew to the subject, center it, focus it (most of the times it is already focused) and you can start shooting. Meanwhile, while the system is automatically carrying out your instructions in the background, you can download your raw files or view a jpg preview so you can adjust the imaging session to suit your specific requirements.

"It is so unbelievable! The efficiency is truly remarkable. In just a few minutes you can do everything. No need to go out, drive a car in the cold winter, let the system cool down, center, shoot, maybe clouds roll in and spoil your session, go back home…this is much easier. Of course is different to be out in the field but sometimes when we need images and here in Europe is often cloudy, this type of an approach really helps.

"Moreover thanks to the kindness of the boss of iTelescope Mr Brad Moore and his support crew. we can ask anything of him. If we need a different dark or flat frame (that they are not already on the ftp server week by week) iTelescope will do it for you.

"The system is continually expanding and growing bigger and bigger; in fact right now there are 7 different telescopes in New Mexico plus in Australia and three in Spain. After that who knows? Maybe there will be even more to come.

"In conclusion it is enough to simply say the system is very good and you are able to shoot 24 hours a day all around the world."

Rolando Ligustri

C.A.R.A. http://cara.uai.it 
CAST: Circolo AStrofili Talmassons

See Rolando's Hartley 2 image in National Geographic.

 

 

 

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