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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

Thursday
Jan042018

January Highlights: Comet Comet C/2017 T1 Heinze at its closest approach, Comet C/2016 R2 shows interesting activity and Ceres at opposition.

Full Moon 2 January, Last Quarter 9 January, New Moon is 17 January and First Quarter at 25 January, back to Full Moon on 31 January (Blue Moon and Total Lunar eclipse).

Comet C/2017 T1 Heinze from Mayhill during January. The large rectangle is the field of view of T14. Click to embiggen and print.

Comet C/2017 T1 Heinze should brighten up in January to around magnitude 10. It will be brightest on 4 January (magnitude 9.8) when it passes 0.22 AU from Earth. Only visible from the northern hemisphere scopes in January it is highest at around 11:30 pm local time at the beginning of the month and around astronomical twilight in the evening by the end of the month. Its magnitude has been variously reported to be between 8.8 and 10, still brighter than predicted. Comet C/2017 T1 Heinze will rapidly move into the Southern hemisphere after this. The comet moves rapidly through Lynx , Camoleopardis, Cassiopeia and Lacerata during the month.

During its passage through Cassiopeia it passes close to several small open clusters, but the comet is moving quickly, and imaging the clusters will be tricky.

The MPB one line Ephemeris is:

    CK17T010  2018 02 21.7121  0.580624  1.000243   96.9222  102.3168   96.8292  20170904  14.5  4.0      C/2017 T1 (Heinze)

Comet C/2017 O1 ASSAN from Mayhill during January. The large rectangle is the field of view of T14, the small rectangle that of T5. Click to embiggen and print.

Comet C/2017 O1 ASSAN is fading. Only visible from the northern hemisphere scopes it is visible from astronomical twilight to astronomical twilight being highest at around astronomical twilight local time at the beginning of the month. It is still brighter than predicted at around magnitude 12

 The comet in Ursa Major, close to Polaris, which will make imaging difficult. It is close to the Magnitude 8.1 open cluster NGC 188 on the 6th.

The MPC one line ephemeris is:

    CK17O010  2017 10 14.7856  1.498684  0.996430   20.9082   25.8094   39.8483  20170904  11.0  4.0      C/2017 O1 (ASASSN

Comet C/2016 R2 PanSTARRS as seen at midnight Local time for Mayhill. The Comet is currently in the Hyades. The large square is the field of view of T14, and the small square the field of view of T5. Click to embiggen.

Comet C/2016 R2 PanSTARRS is passing through the Hyades towards the Pleiades. It is visible from both Northern and southern scopes from about an hour after astronomical twilight, being highest around 21h 33m 38s local time at the beginning of the month to 19h 22m 25s pm by the end of the month. The Northern scopes have the best view. Currently around magnitude 11, it remains this bright for the rest of the month. The comets tail, although short, has been putting on interesting displays, such as dramatic disconnection events, and is continually evolving, worth following nightly. This month it has no interesting encounters, although it is traveling through rich star fields.

The MPC one line ephemeris is:

    CK16R020  2018 05 09.5811  2.602301  0.996519   33.1935   80.5695   58.2198  20170904   7.0  4.0      C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS)

 

The minor planet Ceres comes to opposition late Jan, when it will reach magnitude 6.9. Creses is just below the tip of the sickle of Leo, but has no really interesting encounters.

 

Iconic deep sky objects that are in a good position for imaging for the northern telescopes include the orion Nebula which transits at 22h 46m 48sand the Cone nebula which transits at 23h 52m 37s. For the SSO telescopes the Tarantula nebula transits at 23h 46m 5s.

Friday
Dec222017

ALERT! Comet C/2017 T1 Heinze near M44 for Christmas

Comet C/2017 T1 Heinze as seen at 2:22 pm Local time for Mayhill, NewMexico, when it is at transit. The Comet is near M44, the Beehive cluster. The large square is the field of view of T14, and the small square the field of view of T5. Click to embiggen.

Comet C/2017 T1 Heinze is currently in cancer and will pass close to M44, (the Beehive Cluster) on Christmas Day.

From the northern hemisphere it is in range of the scopes from around 10:00 pm local time until astronomical twilight in the morning. It is highest at transit (2:22 am).

For Southern scopes it is in range from 1 am local time until astronomical twilight in the morning, being highest at 3:45 am local time. The Northern scopes have the best view

Imaging the comet and M44 will need wide field imagers like T12, T14 or T20, or assembly of mosaics with narrower field scopes. Getting the balance between the “bright” (magnitude 5-6) stars of the Beehive and the fainter magnitude 11 comet. You may need to shoot short exposures of the cluster and longer exposures of the comet then assemble them into one picture.

Comet C/2017 T1 Heinze as seen at 3:45 pm Local time for SSO, when it is at transit. The large square is the field of view of T12. Click to embiggen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The MPC one line ephemeris is:

CK17T010  2018 02 21.7136  0.580751  1.000503   96.9069  102.3228   96.8246  20170904  12.5  4.0      C/2017 T1 (Heinze)

Wednesday
Dec202017

ALERT! Comet C/2016 R2 in Outburst (and keep an eye on 174P/Echeclus)

Comet C/2016 R2 PanSTARRS as seen at 22:40 Local time for Mayhill, NewMexico, when it is at transit. The Comet is currently near the Hyades. The large square is the field of view of T14, and the small square the field of view of T5. Click to embiggen.

Comet C/2016 R2 PanSTARRS is currently near the Hyades. It is visible from both Northern and southern scopes from astronomical twilight (northernscopes) about an hour after astronomical twilight (Southern scopes), being highest around 22:40 am local time for northern scopes and 23:45 local time from SSO. The Northern scopes have the best view.

The comet is currently in outburst, having brightened to nearly magnitude 9, a full magnitude brighter than the predicted maximum. The tail is showing some interesting structure and is well worth following (see these gifs for the 18th, here and here, and this image from the 19th). It is possible the comet will continue to brighten.

The MPC one line ephemeris is:

CK16R020  2018 05 09.5796  2.602313  0.996530   33.1930   80.5696   58.2198  20170904   7.0  4.0      C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS)

174P/Echeclus is developing a very distinctive coma, and is staying reasonably bright after its outburst, so it is well worth keeping an eye on too. Details here.

Tuesday
Dec122017

ALERT! 174P/Echeclus in outburst and showing coma, observations required. 

Comet 174P/Echeclus from Mayhill  at transit (21h 29m 25s local time). Click to embiggen and print.

AS many of you are aware, the Centaur and sometimes comet 174P has brightened to magnitude 14, up from 17.8.

It is visible from both northern and southern scopes at the base of Cetus (near Mu Ceti), with northern scopes favoured, transit is 21h 25m 28s local time from MayHill and 22h 37m 44s local time from SSO. The comet is moving slowly, so may be difficult of discern on a single image, comparing images over several days will help.


Comet
174P/Echeclus high power scope spotting image, the comet is near Mu Ceti. The small rectangle is the field of view of T5. Click to embiggen and print

The outburst has been confirmed by several people including some itelescope users.

A major question is if there has been any outgassing to create a coma and the evolution of such a coma.

Coma observations have now been reported from independent sites, and ongoing observation is requested to follow the evolution of the outburst.

MPC one line ephemeris is:

0174P 2015 04 21.1812 5.814420 0.455667 162.8046 173.3329 4.3445 20170904 9.4 2.0 174P/Echeclus

Chart by Charles Ball of outbursts of 174P.