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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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, with northern scopes favoured, transit is 21h 25m 28s local time from MayHill and 22h 37m 44s local time from SSO.


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 include some telescope 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, and ongoing observation is requested to follow the evolution of the outburst.

Chart by Charles Ball of outbursts of 174P.

 

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

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.

 

 

Friday
Dec012017

December Highlights: A “Christmas comet” a “rock comet”, a possible comet and Comet C/2016 R2 shows interesting activity

Full Moon 4 December, Last Quarter 10 December, New Moon is 18 December and First Quarter at 26 December.

Comet C/2017 T1 Heinze (and 2017 O1 ASSAN) from Mayhill during December.  Click to embiggen and print.

Comet C/2017 T1 Heinze is a comet that will brighten up in late December to around magnitude 11 – 10, while it will be brightest in early January (magnitude 9.8) when it passes 0.22 AU from Earth, it has been dubbed the “Christmas comet”.

Only visible from the northern hemisphere scopes in December it is highest at around 4:17 am local time at the beginning of the month and around 1:10 am 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 Hydra, cancer and Lynx ending in Camoleopardis during the month.

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)

 

Comet C/2017 O1 ASSAN from Mayhill during December. 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 22:00m local time at the beginning of the month and around 19:00 by the end of the month. It is still brighter than predicted at around magnitude 11-12

The comet remains in Cepheus, but does not really have any interesting encounters.

 The MPC one line ephemeris is:

 CK17O010  2017 10 14.7856  1.498688  0.996452   20.9082   25.8096   39.8484  20170904  11.0  4.0      C/2017 O1 (ASASSN)

 

Comet C/2016 R2 PanSTARRS as seen at 1:20 Local time for Mayhill. The Comet is currently near Orion's belt. 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 Orion’s Shield and will move into the Hyades by the months end. It is visible from both Northern and southern scopes from about an hour after astronomical twilight, being highest around 2:30 am local time at the beginning of the month to 1:20 am by the end of the month. The Northern scopes have the best view. Currently around magnitude 11.5, it should brighten to magnitude 11. Peter Carson has reported strong tail activity which has been confirmed by others.

This month it has no interesting encounters, although it is traveling through rich star fields.

The MPC one line ephemeris is:

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

 

Asteroid 2017 VT 14 as seen from the SSO at astronomical twilight.

2017 VT14 is currently classified as an asteroid, however, its orbit is more similar to cometary orbits, it passes EARTH AT 0.01 au on December 17, so it is well worth looking for cometary activity of this object around this time. The asteroid will be magnitude 16, and moving quickly, so this will be a challenging object.

Visible only from the SSO scopes it is in a good observing position from astronomical twilight to astronomical twilight from December 10 on, passing from Aquarius through Phoenix and Dorado and several other constellations. 

Observations should be reported to CometBase or Comet Watch.

The MPC one line ephemeris is:

K17V14T 22.8   0.15 K1794 344.90264  176.45930  260.96209    7.45100  0.7168335  0.15326092   3.4581866  7 E2017-WA9    31   1    9 days 0.42 M-v 3Eh MPC        0000 2017 VT14                   20171123

 

Asteroid 3200 Phaethon as seen from Mayhill New Mexico. (click to embiggen).

Asteroid Phaethon is the parent body of the iconic Geminid meteor shower. This year the asteroid will be the closest to Earth (0.07 AU) on 17 December. This is closer than it has been since its discovery. The Asteroid will be at its brightest (magnitude 10.7) on the 15. 

Phaethon comes closer to the sun than any other nnamed asteroid, its perihelion is only 0.14 AU, well inside the orbit of Mercury. It is hypothesised that theis cliose approach caused the surface layers of Phatheon to break off, resulting in the dust that forms the Geminids. Whil not spectacular of coming close to interesting objects, it would be good to watch this historic approach. Best visible from the Northern scopes from around astronomical twilight in the evening until astronomical twilight in the morning.

The MPC one line ephemeris is:

03200   14.6   0.15 K1794 261.42473  322.17360  265.23070   22.25321  0.8899365  0.68767612   1.2711986  0 MPO421661  3744  32 1983-2017 0.47 M-v 3Eh MPC        0000   (3200) Phaethon           20171103

Asteroid 89 Julia is at opposition on December at at magnitude 9 in Pegasus.
Iconic deep sky objects that are in a good position for imaging for the northern telescopes include Orions Nebula  which transits at 0h 13m 34s and the Cone nebula which transits at 0h 13m 34s. For the SSO telescopes the Tarantula Nebula transits at 1h 20m 24s, and there are many worthwhile targets nearby in the Large Magellanic cloud.
Wednesday
Nov082017

November Highlights: C/2017 O1, C/2016 R2, C/2015 V2, 62P

Full Moon 4 November, Last Quarter 11 November, New Moon is 18 November and First Quarter at 27 November.

Comet C/2017 O1 ASSAN from Mayhill during November. 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 the brightest comet in the skies at the moment. Only visible from the northern hemisphere scopes it is visible from astronomical twilight to astronomical twilight being highest at around 1:20 am local time at the beginning of the month and around 23:00 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 O1 ASSAN is dimming after perihelion, but will remain above magnitude 12 for some time.

 The comet passes through Camoleopardis into Cepheus, but does not really have any interesting encounters.

 The MPC one line ephemeris is:

 CK17O010  2017 10 14.7849  1.498711  0.996568   20.9079   25.8102   39.8491  20170904  11.0  4.0      C/2017 O1 (ASASSN)

 Comet C/2016 R2 PanSTARRS as seen at 1:20 Local time for Mayhill. The Comet is currently near Orion's belt. 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 Orion’s Belt. It is visible from both Northern and southern scopes from about an hour after astronomical twilight, being highest around 2:30 am local time at the beginning of the month to 1:20 am by the end of the month. The Northern scopes have the best view. Currently around magnitude 12, it should brighten to magnitude 11. This month it has no interesting encounters, although it is traveling through rich star fields.

The MPC one line ephemeris is:

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

 

Comet C/2015 V2 Johnson as seen at 4:00 AEDST from SSO. The Comet is currently near the Pavo/Telescopium border, and is visible only from the SSO scopes. The large rectangle is the field of view of T12 the small that of T09.  Click to embiggen.

Currently around magnitude 11, dimming to magnitude 12 by the end of the month, it is traversing the Pavo/Telescopium border and is best seen in the early evening, just after astronomical twilight. There is only about an hour window before it is too low for the scopes to image.

On the 18th the comet is 16’ from the 12th magnitude galaxy NGC 6699. It is 3 degrees from the magnitude 5.3 globular cluster NGC 6752 on the 23rd. On the 24th it will be 0.2 degrees from the magnitude 11 galaxy NGC 6753, this should be a good imaging opportunity. .

The MPC one line ephemeris is:

CK15V020  2017 06 12.3402  1.636978  1.001691  164.8964   69.8492   49.8774  20170904   5.0  4.0      C/2015 V2 (Johnson)

Path of 62P/Tsuchinshan and 24P/Schaumasse as seen from Mayhill New Mexico at Astronomical twilight in the morning. The large rectangle is the field of view of T14, the smaller T5. Click to embiggen.

 62P/Tsuchinshan is currently around magnitude 11.3 and should remain around magnitude 11 for the rest of the month. It is 0.8 degrees from the galaxy M95 (M 9.8) on the 10th, on the 11th it is 0.6 degrees from the galaxy M96 (M 9.3) and 0.2 degrees from galaxy M105 (M 9.5). On the  22nd it is 0.3 degrees from iota Leonis.

The comet is only visible from the northern telescopes, as it travels through Leo and into Virgo. It is high enough for the iTelescopes from about 2 hours before astronomical twilight.

 The MPC one line ephemeris for 62P/Tsuchinshan is:

0062P         2017 11 16.1224  1.383816  0.597503   30.3510   90.2440    9.7080  20170904   8.0 10.0    62P/Tsuchinshan

 24P/Schaumasse is currently around magnitude 10 and remains this bright for most of the month. It is only visible from the northern telescopes, as it travels through Leo and into Virgo. It is high enough for the iTelescopes from about 1 hour before astronomical twilight.

The MPC one line ephemeris for 24P/Schaumasse is:

0024P         2017 11 16.9245  1.206340  0.704606   58.0562   79.6298   11.7346  20170904   6.5 14.0    24P/Schaumasse

 On 3 November 44 Nysa is at opposition at magnitude 9.6 in Cetus. On the 8th 28 Doris is at opposition near the Cetus/Aries border at magnitude 10.9. On the 17th 42 Isis is at opposition at magnitude 10.4 in Taurus.

Iconic deep sky objects that are in a good position for imaging for the northern telescopes include the Andromeda galaxy which transits at 22h 4m 5s and the California nebula which transits at 1h 28m 10s. For the SSO telescopes 47 Tucana transits at 21h 33m 2s.