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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 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.


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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

Tuesday
May062014

Comet 209P LINEAR is at Perihelion

Comet 209P LINEAR as seen from Mayhill New Mexico at astronomical twilight, the large rectangle is the field of view of T14 the small that of T20. Click to embiggen.

Comet 209P LINEAR is at perihelion on May 6 (UT). At this time it is visible in the northern scopes. It is currently at around magnitude 13-15 (reports vary) in the constellation of Ursa Major. In rapidly moves from there through Leon Minor and into Leo for its close encounter with Earth.

 

On May 29 the comet will be 0.055 AU from Earth, making it the third closest comet to Earth since 1900 and the 14th closest recorded comet to Earth.Unfortunately it is moving at a honking 25"/min, and will only be around magnitude 11, making this difficult to image.

The comet has several encounters with faint galaxies, the best being on May 13 when it is within T20 distance of NGC 2768 (magnitude 10). Later in the month it is moving rapidly amidst faint galaxies, so they will be a challenge to image.

At closest approach the comet will be a reasonable height above the horizon at astronomical twilight for the northern scopes, but will be better from the southern scopes.

Here's a nice image from iTelescoper Nirmal Paul.

MPC one line elements:

0209P         2014 05 06.3240  0.969458  0.672584  152.3931   62.8245   21.2434  20140523  17.0  2.0   209P/LINEAR

And don't forget to lookout for the possible LINEARIDS meteor shower in Camoleopardis on May 24.

 

Wednesday
Apr302014

Comet C/2012 K1 PANSTARRS and the Whirlpool Galaxy

Chart showing  C/2012 K1 PanSTARRS near the iconic Whirlpool Galaxy from Mayhill on April 30. The large rectangle is the field of view of T14. Click to embiggen

From the 30th April to the 2nd of May the brightening comet is within the T14 FOV of the Whirlpool galaxy. This should allow for some nice compositions to be made, especially now we have a respite from the Moon.

The comet is high enough to be imaged after astronomical twilight from Northern scopes, and is near the zenith early in the morning, which will give  plenty of time for imaging with the comet and galaxy high above the horizon.

Sunday
Apr062014

April Highlights: C/2012 K1, C/2012 X1, C/2014 E2, and C/2013 R1 Lovejoy

First Quarter is 7 April, Full Moon 15 April, Last Quarter 22 April and New Moon is 29 April.

Chart showing the location  of C/2012 K1 PanSTARRS from Mayhill during April. The large rectangle is the field of view of T14. Click to embiggen

Comet C/ 2012 K1 PanSTARRS it is currently crossing the Corona Borealis/Bootes border, and will spend most of April crossing Bootes.

C/2012 K1 PanSTARRS is currently around magnitude 10.4, around a full magnitude dimmer than predicted. Nonetheless the comet has a nicely developed coma and tail, and even hints of an ion tail.

It is high enough to be imaged after astronomical twilight from Northern scopes, and is near the zenith early in the morning, which will be good for imaging. The comet passes a number of small galaxies, so wide field compositions with T14 will be very rewarding.

On the 13th the comet is close to magnitude 11.3 galaxy NGC 5899, on the 23rd it is within the T5 field of view of galaxy NGC 5633, on the 27th it is within T14 distance of magnitude 11.3 galaxy NGC 5377.

This is capped off on the 30th to the 2nd of may, when the brightening comet is within the T14 FOV of the Whirlpool galaxy.

Chart of C/2014 E2 as seen from SSO, Southern Hemisphere. The Large rectangles are the field of view of T12, the small of T9. (click to embiggen).

C/2014 E2 (Jacques) is brightening and is currently around magnitude 10, a full 3 magnitudes above predicted. It appears to be a long period comet, rather than a fresh Oort cloud arrival, so it may brighten substantially.

The comet is still best seen from the SSO scopes, although the northern scopes can get a good look at it. Currently tracking along the Pyxis/Hydra border, it ends the month in Monoceros. It is higest, near the zenith from the SSO scopes, around astronomical twilight, and is visible fro a fair chunk of the night.

 

As with C/2012 K1, C/2014 E2 has several encounters with open clusters and galaxies, many of which repay widefield imaging.

On April 8 there is a great widefield shot with several galaxies in T12 range of the comet 10.3 Mag NGC 2784, 10.3 NGC 2035 and NGC 2815, and the Helix Nebula if you can fit it in. On the 14th the comet is close to the magnitude 10 open cluster Ru62. On the 20th the comet is within T12 range of magnitude 6.5 open cluster NGC 2539, and on the 22, it is close to NCG 2506, and magnitude 7.6 open cluster, a T12 shot will also include magnitude 11.6 NGC 2525.

C/2012 X1 LINEAR is still bright, around at magnitude 8.3 it is the brightest of our comets this month. It is slowly fading as it climbs higher in the morning sky.

It is seen in the early morning in Aquarius, with the SSO scopes having the best views before astronomical twilight. Unfortunately there are no really interesting encounters with this comet, athough it does comet within T12 distance of asteroid 12 Victoria on the 23rd and  24th.

 

 

Comet C/2013 R1 Lovejoy is currently around magnitude 11. Passing from Scutum into Serpens as it fades, it passes within T12 distance of the magnitude 8 open cluster NGC 6625. It is visible from both northern and southern scopes, although best from the SSO.

Comet 290P/2013 N1 (Jager) is curently magnitude 12.8, it is currently in Gemini, best seen just after astronomical twilight, and for about two hours before it passes below the telescopes travel.

Comet 134P will be around magnitude 13 in April as it slowly fades. In Virgo, it is well psoitioned for imaging most of the night, although it never gets very high. It is best in the northern scopes, althoug observable from SSO as well. It has no ineresting encounters.

Vesta and Ceres come to opposition on the 13th and 15th respectively. They have no really interesting encounters, but both fit into one T12 frame, and would make an interesting animation.

 

 

 

 

Friday
Apr042014

ALERT! AAVSO Alert Notice 500 Novae in Scorpius and Cygnus

AAVSO Alert Notice 500

Novae in Scorpius and Cygnus
April 2, 2014

1. Nova Scorpii 2014 = TCP J17154683-3128303
2. Nova Cygni 2014 = PNV J20214234+3103296


1. Nova Scorpii 2014 = TCP J17154683-3128303

Event: Nova Scorpii 2014 = TCP J17154683-3128303

Discovered by: Koichi Nishiyama (Kurume, Japan) and Fujio Kabashima 
(Miyaki, Japan)

Discovery magnitude: magnitude 10.1 unfiltered CCD, using a 105-mm 
f/4 camera lens (+SBIG STL6303E camera)

Discovery date: 2014 Mar. 26.8487 UT

Coordinates: R.A. 17 15 46.83 Dec. -31 28 30.3 (2000.0)

Spectra: E. Kuulkers (ESA/ESAC) et al. report that Nova Sco 2014 
was detected by the Swift satellite in X-rays on about March 27.17 
UT (ATel #6015); the X-ray spectrum is consistent with an expanding 
shell in a nova. A spectrum obtained on Mar. 27.8 UT by K. Ayani 
and S. Maeno (Bisei Astronomical Observatory, Ibara Okayama, Japan) 
indicates that this object is a nova in early phase. Their spectrum 
is posted at 
http://www.bao.city.ibara.okayama.jp/astro/2014/nova/TCP_J17154683-3128303_Mar27.png.
Optical and near-infrared spectra from several sources indicate a 
symbiotic nova (ATel #6025, #6032, #6034). Subsequent observations 
by Swift (K. Page et al., ATel #6035) obtained March 27-April 
indicate "a shock emerging from a secondary star wind, as expected 
in a symbiotic nova." See CBET 3841 and ATels for details.

Observing recommendations: Observations of all types (visual, CCD, 
DSLR, spectroscopy) are strongly encouraged in following the 
evolution of this nova. Filtered observations are preferred if 
possible.

Charts: Nova Sco 2014 has been added to the International Variable 
Star Index (VSX) (http://www.aavso.org/vsx). Finder charts with a
comparison star sequence may be created using the AAVSO Variable 
Star Plotter (VSP) at http://www.aavso.org/vsp.

2. Nova Cygni 2014 = PNV J20214234+3103296

Event: Nova Cygni 2014 = PNV J20214234+3103296

Discovered by: Koichi Nishiyama (Kurume, Japan) and Fujio Kabashima 
(Miyaki, Japan)

Discovery magnitude: magnitude 10.9 unfiltered CCD, using a
105-mm-f.l. f/4 camera lens (+ SBIG STL6303E camera)

Discovery date: 2014 Mar. 31.790 UT 

Coordinates: R.A. 20 21 42.32, Decl. +31 03 29.4 (equinox 2000.0)
from G. Masi, F. Nocentini, and P. Schmeer, remotely as described
below, via CBET 3842

Spectra: Spectra obtained on 2014 Apr. 1 by U. Munari et al. 
(Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Padova Astron. Obs., Italy), 
by A. Arai et al. (Nishi-Harima Astron. Obs., University of Hyogo, 
Japan), by K. Ayani (Bisei Astron. Obs., Ibara, Okayama, Japan), 
and by M. Fujii (Fujii Kurosaki Obs., Kurashiki, Okayama, Japan) 
all indicate a highly reddened classical Fe II-type nova around 
maximum. See CBET 3842 for spectra details; spectra URLs in Note f.

Observing recommendations: Observations of all types (visual, CCD, 
DSLR, spectroscopy) are strongly encouraged in following the 
evolution of this nova. Filtered observations are preferred if 
possible due to the reddened nature of this object.

Charts: Nova Cyg 2014 has been added to the International Variable 
Star Index (VSX) (http://www.aavso.org/vsx). Finder charts with a
comparison star sequence may be created using the AAVSO Variable 
Star Plotter (VSP) at http://www.aavso.org/vsp.

Observations reported to the AAVSO: 
2014 Mar. 30.769 UT, 12.4 unfiltered (Nishiyama and Kabashima, 
pre-discovery image, via CBET 3842);
Apr. 1.103 UT, 11.0 (G. Masi, F. Nocentini, and P. Schmeer; 
remotely using a 43-cm telescope + CCD near Ceccano, Italy, via 
CBET 3842);
1.109, 11.2 (VOL, W. Vollmann, Vienna, Austria);
2.0986, 11.2 (VSD, D. Vansteelant, Varsenare, Belgium);
2.177, 11.0 (SPK, P. Schmeer, Bischmisheim, Germany, via CBET 3842);
2.4097, 10.9 (KMA, M. Komorous, London, ONT, Canada);

Submit observations: Please submit observations to the AAVSO 
International Database using the name NOVA CYG 2014. Once a GCVS 
name has been assigned, please use that name.