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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

Sunday
Aug242014

August-September Highlights: C/2013 A1, C/2014 E2, C/2012 X1 and C/2012 K1, 

New Moon is 26 August, First Quarter is 2 September, Full Moon 9 September, Last Quarter 16 September and New Moon is 24 September.

Chart showing the location  of C/2013 A1 Siding Spring as seen from SSO, Southern Hemisphere. The Large rectangle is the field of view of T12. (click to embiggen).

C/2013 A1 Siding Spring is currently around magnitude 9, about a magnitude below predicted, and brightening.

It is high enough to be imaged from 10 pm on from the SSO scopes, and this will improve as the weeks go on.

The stand out encounter is between 28-31 August when the brightening comet meets the Small Magellanic cloud.

On 29 August the comet passes over the magnitude 6.8 globular cluster NGC 362 at around 2 am. From 28 August the comet is within T12 range of the actual SMC, although the comet is at its deepest in the cloud on the 29th around astronomical twilight.

On the 31st the comet is 37' from the heart of the amazing globular cluster 47 Tucana. This will be a great composition in T12 (and mosaics in more narrow field instruments will be nice too). These encounters all occur while the Moon is early waxing, so should be no issue with Moonlight interference.

On 13 September the brightening comet meets the magnitude 8 galaxy NGC 6744, then on 20 September it is close to the  magnitude 8 globular cluster NGC 6584. On the 26th September it is within 0.8 degrees of the magnitude 8.6 globular cluster  NGC 6496.

It you are willing to make mosaics, on the 14-15 the comet is within 3 degrees of mag 5.3 globular cluster NGC 6752, then on the 20th it is 5 degrees from NGC 6397, another mag 5.3 globular cluster.

As marvelous as this all is, this is the prelude to C/2013 A1 Siding Spring passing through the cluster rich tail of Scorpios and meeting with Mars in October.

The MPC one line ephemeris is

CK13A010  2014 10 25.3042  1.398732  1.000417    2.4224  300.9763  129.0433  20141209   6.0  4.0      C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring)

Chart of C/2014 E2 from Mayhill during August-September. The large rectangle is the field of view of T14. Click to embiggen.

C/2014 E2 (Jacques) has been putting on quite a nice little display. The comet is now around magnitude 6.4 with a nicely developed coma and thin but spectacular ion tail.

After it's spectacular encounters earlier in August, it finished August in a spectacular fashion too.

On August the 30th comet C/2014 E2 passes through the Elephant Trunk Nebula, IC 1369. While extensive the nebula is relatively faint, and will require some exposure juggling to bring out the comet and the nebula to their best. The colourful nebula will make deep colour imaging attractive.

The comet then passes close to some cluster rich sections of Cygnus. On September 6 it passes within T14 range of a number of complex nebula (including IC1311 and the gamma Cygnus nebual) and faint open clusters.

On September 15 the comet is one degree from the open cluster Stock 1, then on the 19th it passes through the outer reaches of the diffuse open cluster Brocchi's cluster. This will make a nice composition, probably also a mosaic. 

The comet also comes relatively close to several dim clusters along the way, so imaging the comet will often have an interesting backdrop.

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)

C/2012 X1 LINEAR is around magnitude 10, and fading slowly. Visible in the evening to early morning sky for the SSO scopes, it moves from Grus to 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)

Comet C/2012 K1 PanSTARRS returns to the southern morning skies in September, but it is only high enough for the SSO scopes from September 23. It is brightening slowly towards a predicted maximum of around 6 in October.

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

On September 39 Laetita is 0.4 degrees from the Omega Nebula, and on September 26 29 Amphrite is 0.6 degrees from the globular cluster NGC 6528.

Friday
Aug222014

C/2013 V5 Oukaimeden near the Rosette Nebula (morning August 23-25)

C/2013 V5 Oukaimeden near the Rosette Nebula as seen from the SSO scopes from 23 August on. The large rectangle is the field of view of T12 (click to embiggen).

C/2013 V5 Oukaimeden is currently visible from both the northern and southern iTelescopes, but in the northern scopes it is just at the limit of lowest travel at the start of astronomical twilight, while in the Southern scopes it is well above the horizon (around 27 degrees) at the start of Astronomical twilight.

The comet is around magnitude 9, and on the mornings of August 23 and 24 it is within T12 distance of the Rosette Nebula, which will make for a splendid composition.

C/2013 V5 Oukaimeden as seen from the SSO scopes from 23 August on. (click to embiggen).

The comet will rapidly brighten, possibly reaching a peak magnitude of 5.5. It quickly becomes too low for the northern scopes, but remains within the SSO sights until mid September. At this time it should be around magnitude 6.

After the 25th, it only has a few encounters with bright objects. The most notable being the magnitude 6.5 open cluster NGC 2530, when the comet is around magnitude 6.5 as well on the 9th of September.

The current MPC one line ephemeris is

CK13V050  2014 09 28.2244  0.625504  0.998675  314.5738  278.6157  154.8845  20141209   9.0  4.0      C/2013 V5 (Oukaimeden)

 

 

 

Wednesday
Aug202014

Another potential bright comet for 2015, C/2014 Q1 PanSTARRS

Chart of comet C/2014 Q1 PanSTARRS in July as seen from the Southern Hemisphere (click to embiggen).

Another new comet that has the potential to be quite bright is C/2014 Q1 PanSTARRS. It comes within around 0.3 AU of the sun (although the orbit needs further refinement, it is close enough to get brigh, but far enough to be unlikley to disintegrate).

While the comet may become as bright as magnitude 3 at closest approach, this is a very unfavourable apparition from the point of view of the Earth.

Prior to closest approach the northern hemisphere has a very restricted view, at closest approach in July the comet is hidden by the Sun.

After closest approach the comet is only readily visible from the Southern Hemisphere. For iTelescopes, the comet is only accessible in late July when it will have faded to magnitude 6 or less (still impressive in the scopes, if all goes well, but you know what they say about comets).

The current MPC one line ephemeris is

 CK14Q010  2015 07 02.3553  0.348075  1.000000  117.3089    9.9740   41.5510             8.0  4.0      C/2014 Q1 (PANSTARRS)

Wednesday
Aug202014

PACA_Rosetta67P, request for 67P observations

Chart of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. (click to embiggen).

The professional amateur collaboration observing comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko has put out a request for images of 67P over the next few nights to compliment the Hubble images that will be taken in the next few days. More on the Pro Am collaboration here.

They would prefer primarily r-band images for comparison of dust estimates.

67P is a difficult target, faint at magnitude 18 and in a rich stellar field, but it has been done with iTelescope equipment by our very own Peter Lake (he use 12x300 sec images).

The MPC one line ephemeris is:

0067P         2015 08 13.0734  1.243251  0.640967   12.7869   50.1411    7.0401  20141209  11.0  4.0    67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko