Try it for Free

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 13 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 half metre (20”) 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.

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 any one of our three 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.


ITelescope Net

Create your badge

Visit our Google+ Page!



 

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
Oct302014

ALERT! Possible Supernovae in M61, NGC 4080; possible Nova in Aries

Three bright objects 2 possible supernova and one possible nova have just ebb reported.

First is a magnitude 13.6 potential supernova in M61, PSN J12215757+0428185:
Possible Supernova (13.6 mag) in M61

R.A. 12h21m57.57s Decl. +04°28'18.5" (J2000.0) 2014 Oct. 29.8376 UT, 13.6 mag (CCD, unfiltered)

Discovered by Koichi Itagaki, Yamagata, Japan. Discovery image is at http://www.k-itagaki.jp/images/4303.jpg

The next is MASTER OT J120451.50+265946.6 – possible supernova (13.9 mag) in NGC 4080 (ATel #6634): http://www.astronomerstelegram.org/?read=6634

Both these supernova are only visible from the northern scopes, and  very low to the horizon (16 degress at astronomical twilight just before sunrise). So very difficult targets for the iTelescopes.

The possible nova in Aries is much more achivable. and is high for a good chunk of thenigh from both northern and southern scopes.

PNV J03093063+2638031: possible "nova" (11.0 mag) in Aries discovered by Seiji Ueda (Hokkaido, Japan)

R.A. 03h09m29.86s Decl. +26°38'04.49" (J2000.0)
2014 Oct. 29.630 UT, 11.2; 29.815, 11.0 (CCD, unfiltered). Image at at
http://meineko.sakura.ne.jp/ccd/PNV_J03093063+2638031.jpg

Hat tip to Patrick Schmeer at Variable Star Astronomy.

Sunday
Oct262014

ALERT! Observations of Comet C/2014 Q3 Borisov Requested

Path of C/2014 Q3 Borisov as seen from Mayhill New Mexico at astronomical twilight. Click to embiggen.

Comet C/2014 Q3 Borisov is a comet that was thought to get no brighter than magnitude 13. Currently visual observers have been reporting it to be magnitude 10-12, with a visible coma.

There has been a call for observations of 2014 Q3 Borisov. I people would like to keep a watch on the evolution of this comet, and pass the results on to comets-ml, comet-obs or the Comet Observation Database.

The comet is only visible form the northen iTelescopes, best in the early morning being highest just before astronomical twilight.

Higher power view of the path of C/2014 Q3 Borisove as sen from Mayhill New Mexico at Astronomical twilight. The large rectangle is the field of view of T14, the smaller T5. Click to embiggen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My image of C/2014 Q3 taken with T5 on 27-10-14 around 1 am. Stack of 7 x 60 second clear exposures SUMMED in ImageJ.

Tuesday
Sep302014

October Highlights: C/2013 A1, C/2014 E2, C/2012 K1 and C/2013 V5

First Quarter is 1 October, Full Moon 8 October (and Lunar Eclipse), Last Quarter 16 October, New Moon is 24 October and First Quarter again at 31 October.

C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) is dealt with in detail here.

Chart of C/2014 E2 from SSO during October. The large rectangle is the field of view of T12. Click to embiggen and print.

C/2014 E2 (Jacques) continues to put on a nice  display while continuing to fade. The comet is now around magnitude 11. The ion tail is gone but there is still a nice well developed coma.

The comet is now well visible from the northern and SSO scopes as it passes through Aquila, although still best from the northern scopes, where it can be imaged for most of the night. C/2014E2 has only a couple of nice encounters this month.

The comet passes 9' from the open cluster NGC 6756 (mag 11) on October 15. Then on October 28-30 the comet is less than 45' from the globular cluster NGC 6760 (Mag 9)

The MPC one line ephemeris is

CK14E020  2014 07 02.5184  0.663957  0.999145  344.0479   56.3952  156.3925  20141209  11.0  4.0      C/2014 E2 (Jacques)

Comet C/2012 K1 PanSTARRS from SSO during October. The large rectangle is the field of view of T12. Click to embiggen and print.

Comet C/2012 K1 PanSTARRS is now high enough in  the southern morning skies to image. It currently is showing a great double tail. Currently magnitude 6.9, it is brightening slowly towards a predicted maximum of around 6 late this month.

The comet passes through Puppis, coming close to a number of nice clusters.

On October 14-15 the comet is one degree from NGC 2482 a mag 7.3 open cluster. On the 16th it passes 10' from the open cluster Tr9 (mag 8.2).

On the 17th it is within T12 distance of a number of open clusters, including NGC  2483 (mag 7.6) and NGC 2453 (mag 8.3). On the 21st the comet is within 2 degrees of Cr 132 and Cr 140 (Magnitude 3.5).

On the 23rd the comet is at the edge of Cr 139. This will be a difficult shot as the open cluster is very bright (magnitude 2.1) and care is needed to make sure the stars don't over expose while imaging the fainter comet.

The MPC one line ephemeris is:

CK12K010  2014 08 27.6553  1.054542  1.000172  203.1082  317.7384  142.4285  20141209   4.5  4.0      C/2012 K1 (PANSTARRS)

Chart of C/2013 V5 from SSO during October. The large rectangle is the field of view of T12. Click to embiggen and print.

Comet C/2013 V5 (Oukaimeden) has emerged from the evening twilight and is now accessible to the SSO scopes. However, it is a race between the rising comet and the rising twilight. By around mid October the comet will once again be too low for the SSO scopes at astronomical twilight.

The comet is currently around magnitude 7 in Hydrus, heading for Libra and Saturn.

On October 1 it is 39' from the globular cluster NGC 5694 (mag 10.2). On October 11 it is 9' from the globular cluster NGC 5897 (magnitude 8.4).

The MPC one line ephemeris is:

CK13V050  2014 09 28.2233  0.625482  0.998670  314.5748  278.6157  154.8844  20141209   9.0  4.0      C/2013 V5 (Oukaimeden)

C/2012 X1 LINEAR is around magnitude 12, and fading slowly. Visible in the evening to early morning sky for the SSO scopes, it moves through Indus with no interesting encounters. 

CK12X010  2014 02 21.6239  1.598693  0.989755  132.0988  113.1459   44.3660  20141209   8.0  4.0      C/2012 X1 (LINEAR)

On October 4 39 Laetita is 0.5 degrees from the NGC6455, and on October 5 Ceres  is 0.4 degrees from Saturn.

Monday
Sep292014

Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring Meets With Mars (19 October 2014)

Binocular scale image showing the path of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring and Mars during October.  Click to embiggen and print.

The pair are at their closest on October 19, when at 18:51 UT they will be a mere 1' 51" apart. Unfortunately, this will only effectively be seen from Africa. From the SSO scopes the closest the pair get is 18' 38" before the limit of western travel is reached.

Unless you have been living in a cave this past year you will know this October is the month that comet Siding Spring comes close to Mars.

 

Simulated view in Celestia of Siding Spring passing Mars. Although the tail appears to pass beteen Mars and Phobos this is a rendering artifact. The comet is well beyond Demios (the dot near the centre).

Passing 138,800 Km from Mars, comet Siding SPring comfortably misses the red planet. For comparison. Mars's outermost Moon Demios circles the planet at around 20.000 km from Mar's surface (on the other had, the average Earth-Moon distance is 384,400 Km). 

A small flotilla of spacecraft are getting ready to either observe or avoid the comet. While the comet itself will miss Mars, the planet may be enveloped in its coma, and there is the possibility that cometary dust and debris will damage the spacecraft. Nonetheless, we are preparing for a bonanza of space based observations.

Chart of the path of C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) from 29 September to 13 October, as seen from the SSO scopes at the end of Astronomical twilight. The large rectangle is the field of view of T12 and the small that of T9. Click to embiggen and print.

As well as all these spacecraft, amateurs and professional alike are eagerly watching the comet. in the lead-up to the encounter, and will be watching the encounter itself and its aftermath.

The comet would be interesting in its own right being relatively bright (around magnitude 9) and passing through some stunning astronomical territory.

Indeed, this very plethora of celestial gorgeousness can be a problem, the rich stellar backgrounds make seeing the comets tail somewhat difficult.

Comet Siding Spring near the globular cluster NGC 6496 on 26 September. 10x60 second luminance  exposures on T12, SUMMED in ImageJ.

You may need to do a MEDIAN combine when stacking images to bring the tail out at its best (messes up the pretties but you can do a separate image emphasising the clusters and so on).

As well as the standard Luminance exposures, if you can take some RBV images that would help the science missions as well (allowing definition of dust to gas ratios etc).

Chart of the path of C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) and Mars from 13 September to November, as seen from the SSO scopes at the end of Astronomical twilight. The large rectangle is the field of view of T12 and the small that of T9. Click to embiggen and print.

The biggest challenge will be getting images of Mars and Siding spring in the same frame.

With the comet around magnitude 9, and Mars at magnitude 0.9 the difference is enormous. As well, the CCD's on the iTelescopes are highly sensitive. To take an image of Saturn on T27, ype de Lang used an exposure of 0.009 sec (!!!). Other approaches are to use a shorter exposure combined with an extreme filter like a hydrogen filter. Even then Mars will be tiny in all the iTelescopes!

Mars imaged for 1 second using the Ha filter on T9.

Whichever approach you use, you can't get the comet without over-exposing the planet, so you will have to assemble images from separate exposures (ie maybe shoot 10x60 second exposures for the comet and say 2-3 0.009 second exposures of the planet). Obviously some practise will be required to the the exposure parameters right before the night of the actual encounter. 

Outside of the big day there are several nice encounters with clusters and such.

On October 3 the comet is around one degree from the open clusters  NGC 6400 (Mag 8.8) and Cr 338 (Mag 8.0). Outside of T12 a mosaic may be the best way to approach this.

On October 4-6 the comet is within T12 distance of the large and beautiful open cluster Ptolemy's cluster (and a number of smaller ancillary ones). This is best taken as a T12 mosaic with come judicious exposure juggling.

On the 8-9th the comet is within 30' of the Butterfly Cluster M6 (it actually crosses the cluster, but this won't be seen from the SSO scopes) and NGC 6416. However, the Full Moon will be a problem (except early on the 8th, during the total Lunar Eclipse :-)

On the 11-13th the comet is within T12 distance of the open clusters Tom Thumb Cluster (Mag 8.2), Cr 347 (mag 8.8) and Cr 351 (Magnitude 9.3). The comet is fading so longer exposures or more stacking shots will be needed to bring out the comet, but will also bring out the background stars, obscuring the comet tail.

Large mutipanel mosaics with T12 will bring in the Triffid and Lagoon nebulas, however, the shortening length of time before the comet goes below the travel of the itelescopes limits these kinds of mosaics.

On the 21st the comet will be within 19' of the globular cluster NGC 6401 (Mag 7.4).

The MPC one line ephemeris is

CK13A010  2014 10 25.3017  1.398713  1.000431    2.4225  300.9763  129.0428  20141209   8.2  2.4      C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring)