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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 19 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.

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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)

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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

Monday
Jun152015

ALERT! Close aproach of asteroid 1566 Icarus

 Asteroid 1566 Icarus as seen from Mayhill New Mexico from astronomical twilight from  June 16 to June 23

Asteroid 1566 Icarus will  make a rare close approach to Earth on 15:39 UT 16 June at distance of 0.053 AU. It is brightest between the 17th -19th though. With an estimated diameter of 1 Km it is one of the largest objects to get close to Earth this year.

The asteroid is currently magnitude 14.6, and will brighten to around 13.5. It's distance and slow brightening means there is plenty of time to catch 1566 Icarus.

It is well placed to be visible from the Northern Hemisphere scopes initially, although it will also be visible briefly at astronomical twilight from the SSO scopes when it is brightest.

At magnitude 14.5 -13.5 60 second or shorter exposures may be reasonable, tracking should not be an issue.

Asteroid 1566 Icarus is visible for the rest of the month for northern scopes as it passes from Urda Major to Canes Venatici to Bootes then Virgo.

The asteroid is visible from astronomical twilight until early morning for several weeks.

There is minimal parallax issues with 1566 Icarus, and tracking will work well. The MPC one line ephemeris is

01566   16.9   0.15 K156R  47.21833   31.37408   88.01999   22.83120  0.8269260  0.88051584   1.0780641  0 MPO298968   742  32 1949-2014 1.18 M-v 3Eh MPC        0000           (1566) Icarus     20140624

 

Sunday
May102015

May Highlights: Comets 29P, C/2015 G2, C/2014 Q2, 88P

Last Quarter Moon 11 May, New Moon is 18 May,  First Quarter 26 May and Full Moon 3 June.

Comet 29P as seen from the SSO scopes at 10pm in May. Click to embiggen.

29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann is in outburst. Rising from a magnitude of aroun 15.5 on May 6 to it's current 11.7. The coma is still expanding and further observations are requested. This is not the outburst that Richard Miles predicted, but a later one, possibly from a site he has labelled D. This chart of recent outburst magnitudes may be of interest. 

The MPC one line ephemeris is:

0029P         2019 04 04.8131  5.761153  0.041659   49.8027  312.4086    9.3771  20150627   4.0  4.0    29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann

Comets C/2015 G2 MASTER as seen from the SSO scopes at aastronomical twilight in the evening from 17 May on, the large rectangle is the field of view of T12, the small that of T9. Click to embiggen.

C/2015 G2 MASTER leaves the morning skys and is now entering the evening skys, but will not be high enough for observation from the SSO scopes until May 17.It will be first visible in Lepus, then move through Canis Major to Monocerous.

Currently around magnitude 6, the comet should remain at magnitude 6-7 as it enters the SSO scopes field of view.

On the 17th the comet is 37' from the 11 th magnitude galaxy NGC 1744. On the 18th the comet is with T12 distance of thee M7.7 globular cluster M79. On the 22nd it is within T12 range of the M8.6 open cluster  M22. Then on the 28th with, a bit of mosaic building, you can get the M7.8 open cluster M50. the M7.2 open cluster NGC 2335 (and a bunch of smaller clusters), and the M5.9 open cluster NGC 2309 in a nice shot.

MPC one line ephemeris:

    CK15G020  2015 05 23.7679  0.779946  1.002854  257.4398  110.0789  147.5433  20150627   9.0  4.0      C/2015 G2 (MASTER).

Comet 88P Howell is high enough in the sky to be imaged by the Southern iTelescopes before astronomical twilight in the morning. It moves from Pisces to Cetus. Currently magnitude 9, it will brighten up to magnitude further in the coming months but remain a Southern object. It has no notable encounters this month. However it June you may be able to make a mosaic with Uranus.

The MPC one line ephemeris is:
0088P         2015 04 06.2346  1.358594  0.563017  235.9180   56.6974    4.3825  20150408  11.0  6.0    88P/Howell

Comet C/2013 US10 promises to become reasonably bright later on in the year (magnitude 5 November-December). Currently it is magnitude 10.7 and is visible in the SSO scopes before astronomical twilight in the morning. During the month it rises higher in the morning skies and becomes more accessible.
The MPC one line ephemeris is:
    CK13U10S  2015 11 15.7157  0.822955  1.000324  340.3584  186.1439  148.8783  20150627   9.0  4.0      C/2013 US10 (Catalina)


Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy as seen at astronomical twilight in the evening from New Mexico during May. The comet is currently in Cephus and will move into Ursa Minor. The large rectangle is the field of view of T14. Click to embiggen.

Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy is no longer the spectacle it was. However, it is still a very nice target. It is currently around magnitude 9. 

It is now circumpolar, visible only in the Northern scopes. It is at it's highest shortly after astronomical twilight in the evening, and for around an hour before astronomical twilight in the morning.

The comet is within T14 distance of the mag 8.1 open cluster NGC 118 from May 16-24.

The MPC one line ephemeris is:

    CK14Q020  2015 01 30.0678  1.290375  0.997720   12.3958   94.9757   80.3013  20150627   2.7 10.0      C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)

 There are several other comets, but these are all below magnitude 12, or lower.

An NEO asteroid encounters that may be of interest (from space weather):

5381 Sekhmet
May 17
62.8 LD
2.1 km
Tuesday
Apr142015

ALERT! Comet C/2015 F4 Jacques amongst the Galaxies 

Comet C/2015 F4 Jacques near the galaxies PGC 64456 and PGC 64450 as seen from the Siding Spring Observatory at 2:00 am local time on April 18. The rectangle is the field of view of T9. Click to embiggen. 

Denis Denisenko on comets-ml has alerted us to a challenging but interesting imaging opportunity.

Comet C/2015 F4 Jacques comes within 4' of galaxy IC 4991 (PGC 64450 mag ) and even closer to the smaller and fainter PGC 64456 (mag 14.3) on April 17th at about 16h UT. This translates to 2:00 am on the 18th at the SSO scopes.

The comet is in Saggitarius, and is best imaged from the SSO scopes, the observational window runs from around 1 am on the 18th to astronomical twilight on the 18th at just after 5:00 am.

Currently magnitude 15.7, you will need fairly long exposures to bring out the comet, so not smearing the galaxies will prove a challenge if you are tracking on the comet. There are other galaxies so a bit of composition off the comet may be worthwhile.

The MPC one line ephemeris is:

    CK15F040  2015 08 09.7260  1.679893  1.000000   34.4654  286.4132   48.3598  20150627  11.0  4.0      C/2015 F4 (Jacques)

Monday
Apr132015

Citizen Science Project - Watching for Outbursts of comet 29P

Comet 29P as seen from the SSO scopes at midnight in April. Click to embiggen.

Richard Miles has made a prediction at the recent British Astronomical Association meeting the comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann will have an outburst on 23 April +/- 3 days.

A request for observations has been made, for observations of 29P for the last 10 days of April. Catching an outburst would be very important for our understanding of these events in a comets life.

So, if you can, try and make observations of the comet in this time frame. On March 16 the comet was magnitude 16, and should be up to magnitude 15.5 now, an outburst of 1-2 magnitudes should be captureable with the iTelescope scopes.

The MPC one line ephemeris is:

0029P         2019 04 04.8131  5.761153  0.041659   49.8027  312.4086    9.3771  20150627   4.0  4.0    29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann