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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)

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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.

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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)

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Monday
Feb122018

February Highlights: Comet C/2016 R2 and its amazing tail, Ceres past opposition.

Last Quarter Moon  8 February, New Moon is 16 February and First Quarter at 23 February. (note no full Moon this month)

Comet C/2016 R2 PanSTARRS as seen at astronomical twilight for Mayhill. The Comet is currently near the Pleiades. The large square is the field of view of T14. Click to embiggen.

Comet C/2016 R2 PanSTARRS is close to the Pleiades. It is visible from both Northern and southern scopes from astronomical twilight, The Northern scopes have the best view. Being highest around 19h 13m local time at the beginning of the month (at around 80 degrees above the horizon) to 17h 30m pm by the end of the month. The comet is within northern iTelescope travel range until around 12 am local time. 

For the SSO scopes there is a narrow window of opportunity of less than half an hour at astronomical twilight in the evening which ends around mid-month.

Currently C/2016 R2 PanSTARRS around magnitude 12, at the limit of the “bright” designation. It remains around this bright for the rest of the month.

Although dim, long exposures will reveal the comets tail. The tail has been putting on some amazing displays, such as dramatic disconnection events, rotating and knotting and is continually evolving. See images here and here and here. Well worth following nightly. This comet is somewhat high in CO giving it a nice blue colour, and may be best visualised using blue filters.

This month the comet has no interesting encounters. Although near the Pleiades, it is far enough away from the Pleiades that wide-field scopes such as T14 or T20 will not include it, but a mosaic may be of interest to try.

The MPC one line ephemeris is:

    CK16R020  2018 05 09.5812  2.602295  0.996517   33.1937   80.5696   58.2198  20170904   7.0  4.0      C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS)

Comet C/2017 T1 Heinze is bright at around magnitude 11, but not visible from SSO and too low in the twilight for the northern hemisphere scopes. 185P is also brightening but too low for the travel range of the iTelescopes this month.

 

The minor planet Ceres is past opposition and fading from Magnitude 6.9 to 7.2. Ceres is between the tip of the sickle of Leo and iota Cancerii, 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 20h 25m 27s and the Cone nebula which transits at 21h 31m 4s (both substantially after astronomical twilight). For the SSO telescopes the Tarantula nebula is still in a good position and transits at 21h 44m 7s, just before astronomical twilight.

Friday
Feb092018

Chasing the Space X Roadster

Chart of the position of the Space X roadster as seen from SSO at 3:00 am local daylight saving time (16:00 UT). The large rectangle is the filed of view of T12, the small that of T31.

The open circle is the Location of the roadster accounting for parallax of the SSO observatory, the closed circle the unpeturbed position (the crosses mark the movement of the roadster over several hours, the positions are offset from the predicted positions, yeh, its complicated I know. Click to embiggen).

If you have been living under a rock, you will have missed the fact that Elon Musk launched his roadster convertible, playing David Bowies "Space Oddity" and with "Don't Panic" displayed on the dashboard, on a Mars orbit trajectory on top of the Falcon Heavy rocket.

Although a dim magnitude 15 and getting dimmer, it has been imaged by several amateurs including  iTelescope user Alan Ferguson.

If you wish to try imaging yourself, the car is not far from Libra, and is high enough for imaging from around 2:30 am local time, there is still substantial parallax involved, you will need a perturbed ephemeris, I have used the JPL horizons ephemeris generator.

https://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/horizons.cgi

use -143205 as the object ID, and Q62 as the observatory ID.

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the most recent ephemeris for the next few days.

*******************************************************************************
Ephemeris / WWW_USER Fri Feb  9 08:29:46 2018 Pasadena, USA      / Horizons    
*******************************************************************************
Target body name: SpaceX Roadster (spacecraft) (-143205) {source: tesla_s3}
Center body name: Earth (399)                     {source: DE431mx}
Center-site name: iTelescope Obs., Siding Spring
*******************************************************************************
Start time      : A.D. 2018-Feb-09 00:00:00.0000 UT      
Stop  time      : A.D. 2018-Feb-11 00:00:00.0000 UT      
Step-size       : 30 minutes
*******************************************************************************
Target pole/equ : No model available
Target radii    : (unavailable)                                                
Center geodetic : 149.064400,-31.273358,1.1649936 {E-lon(deg),Lat(deg),Alt(km)}
Center cylindric: 149.064400,5457.31536,-3292.440 {E-lon(deg),Dxy(km),Dz(km)}
Center pole/equ : High-precision EOP model        {East-longitude +}
Center radii    : 6378.1 x 6378.1 x 6356.8 km     {Equator, meridian, pole}    
Target primary  : Earth
Vis. interferer : MOON (R_eq= 1737.400) km        {source: DE431mx}
Rel. light bend : Sun, EARTH                      {source: DE431mx}
Rel. lght bnd GM: 1.3271E+11, 3.9860E+05 km^3/s^2                              
Atmos refraction: NO (AIRLESS)
RA format       : HMS
Time format     : CAL 
RTS-only print  : NO       
EOP file        : eop.180208.p180502                                           
EOP coverage    : DATA-BASED 1962-JAN-20 TO 2018-FEB-08. PREDICTS-> 2018-MAY-01
Units conversion: 1 au= 149597870.700 km, c= 299792.458 km/s, 1 day= 86400.0 s 
Table cut-offs 1: Elevation (-90.0deg=NO ),Airmass (>38.000=NO), Daylight (NO )
Table cut-offs 2: Solar elongation (  0.0,180.0=NO ),Local Hour Angle( 0.0=NO )
Table cut-offs 3: RA/DEC angular rate (     0.0=NO )                           
**************************************************************************************************************
 Date__(UT)__HR:MN     R.A._(ICRF/J2000.0)_DEC  APmag  S-brt            delta      deldot    S-O-T /r    S-T-O
**************************************************************************************************************
$$SOE
 2018-Feb-09 00:00 *m  14 31 28.11 -27 05 28.4  16.76   n.a. 0.00432427631023   3.9499937  95.6456 /L  84.1053
 2018-Feb-09 00:30 *m  14 31 29.94 -27 03 42.7  16.78   n.a. 0.00437187201277   3.9612644  95.6697 /L  84.0785
 2018-Feb-09 01:00 *m  14 31 33.87 -27 01 56.3  16.80   n.a. 0.00441956809942   3.9666548  95.6864 /L  84.0590
 2018-Feb-09 01:30 *m  14 31 39.87 -27 00 11.1  16.83   n.a. 0.00446729307175   3.9660569  95.6958 /L  84.0469
 2018-Feb-09 02:00 *m  14 31 47.88 -26 58 28.6  16.85   n.a. 0.00451497474993   3.9594654  95.6979 /L  84.0420
 2018-Feb-09 02:30 *m  14 31 57.82 -26 56 50.6  16.87   n.a. 0.00456254150601   3.9469770  95.6929 /L  84.0443
 2018-Feb-09 03:00 *s  14 32 09.54 -26 55 18.3  16.89   n.a. 0.00460992347549   3.9287876  95.6810 /L  84.0534
 2018-Feb-09 03:30 *m  14 32 22.91 -26 53 53.2  16.92   n.a. 0.00465705372798   3.9051882  95.6627 /L  84.0690
 2018-Feb-09 04:00 *   14 32 37.74 -26 52 36.4  16.94   n.a. 0.00470386937941   3.8765595  95.6386 /L  84.0905
 2018-Feb-09 04:30 *   14 32 53.83 -26 51 29.0  16.96   n.a. 0.00475031262968   3.8433647  95.6091 /L  84.1173
 2018-Feb-09 05:00 *   14 33 10.97 -26 50 31.7  16.98   n.a. 0.00479633171098   3.8061420  95.5749 /L  84.1487
 2018-Feb-09 05:30 *   14 33 28.94 -26 49 45.3  17.01   n.a. 0.00484188173393   3.7654950  95.5369 /L  84.1841
 2018-Feb-09 06:00 *   14 33 47.49 -26 49 10.2  17.03   n.a. 0.00488692542004   3.7220836  95.4957 /L  84.2226
 2018-Feb-09 06:30 *   14 34 06.39 -26 48 46.7  17.05   n.a. 0.00493143371038   3.6766125  95.4523 /L  84.2634
 2018-Feb-09 07:00 *   14 34 25.38 -26 48 35.0  17.07   n.a. 0.00497538624295   3.6298208  95.4075 /L  84.3057
 2018-Feb-09 07:30 *   14 34 44.22 -26 48 34.9  17.09   n.a. 0.00501877169152   3.5824697  95.3621 /L  84.3485
 2018-Feb-09 08:00 *   14 35 02.67 -26 48 46.2  17.11   n.a. 0.00506158796110   3.5353304  95.3171 /L  84.3910
 2018-Feb-09 08:30 *   14 35 20.50 -26 49 08.4  17.13   n.a. 0.00510384223742   3.4891724  95.2732 /L  84.4324
 2018-Feb-09 09:00 C   14 35 37.50 -26 49 41.1  17.15   n.a. 0.00514555088821   3.4447506  95.2314 /L  84.4719
 2018-Feb-09 09:30 N   14 35 53.46 -26 50 23.4  17.17   n.a. 0.00518673921704   3.4027936  95.1923 /L  84.5086
 2018-Feb-09 10:00 A   14 36 08.20 -26 51 14.4  17.19   n.a. 0.00522744107213   3.3639913  95.1567 /L  84.5418
 2018-Feb-09 10:30     14 36 21.55 -26 52 13.2  17.20   n.a. 0.00526769831389   3.3289838  95.1253 /L  84.5708
 2018-Feb-09 11:00     14 36 33.38 -26 53 18.6  17.22   n.a. 0.00530756014812   3.2983504  95.0987 /L  84.5951
 2018-Feb-09 11:30     14 36 43.57 -26 54 29.3  17.24   n.a. 0.00534708233293   3.2725994  95.0773 /L  84.6142
 2018-Feb-09 12:00     14 36 52.03 -26 55 44.1  17.25   n.a. 0.00538632627007   3.2521592  95.0617 /L  84.6275
 2018-Feb-09 12:30  r  14 36 58.71 -26 57 01.7  17.27   n.a. 0.00542535799373   3.2373704  95.0521 /L  84.6349
 2018-Feb-09 13:00     14 37 03.56 -26 58 20.5  17.29   n.a. 0.00546424707153   3.2284788  95.0487 /L  84.6360
 2018-Feb-09 13:30     14 37 06.60 -26 59 39.4  17.30   n.a. 0.00550306543479   3.2256307  95.0518 /L  84.6307
 2018-Feb-09 14:00     14 37 07.85 -27 00 56.7  17.32   n.a. 0.00554188615699   3.2288694  95.0613 /L  84.6190
 2018-Feb-09 14:30     14 37 07.36 -27 02 11.3  17.33   n.a. 0.00558078220087   3.2381330  95.0770 /L  84.6010
 2018-Feb-09 15:00  m  14 37 05.23 -27 03 21.9  17.34   n.a. 0.00561982515599   3.2532551  95.0989 /L  84.5768
 2018-Feb-09 15:30  m  14 37 01.57 -27 04 27.1  17.36   n.a. 0.00565908398947   3.2739669  95.1267 /L  84.5468
 2018-Feb-09 16:00  m  14 36 56.51 -27 05 26.0  17.37   n.a. 0.00569862383317   3.2999005  95.1599 /L  84.5114
 2018-Feb-09 16:30  m  14 36 50.21 -27 06 17.5  17.39   n.a. 0.00573850483030   3.3305954  95.1981 /L  84.4709
 2018-Feb-09 17:00  m  14 36 42.84 -27 07 00.7  17.40   n.a. 0.00577878106404   3.3655062  95.2407 /L  84.4260
 2018-Feb-09 17:30  m  14 36 34.61 -27 07 35.1  17.41   n.a. 0.00581949958961   3.4040118  95.2872 /L  84.3772
 2018-Feb-09 18:00  m  14 36 25.71 -27 08 00.0  17.43   n.a. 0.00586069958899   3.4454264  95.3368 /L  84.3252
 2018-Feb-09 18:30 Am  14 36 16.36 -27 08 15.1  17.44   n.a. 0.00590241166612   3.4890119  95.3889 /L  84.2707
 2018-Feb-09 19:00 Nm  14 36 06.77 -27 08 20.3  17.45   n.a. 0.00594465729640   3.5339912  95.4427 /L  84.2146
 2018-Feb-09 19:30 Ct  14 35 57.17 -27 08 15.5  17.47   n.a. 0.00598744844211   3.5795623  95.4974 /L  84.1574
 2018-Feb-09 20:00 *m  14 35 47.76 -27 08 00.9  17.48   n.a. 0.00603078734155   3.6249132  95.5523 /L  84.1000
 2018-Feb-09 20:30 *m  14 35 38.76 -27 07 36.9  17.49   n.a. 0.00607466647560   3.6692364  95.6067 /L  84.0432
 2018-Feb-09 21:00 *m  14 35 30.36 -27 07 04.0  17.51   n.a. 0.00611906871204   3.7117437  95.6597 /L  83.9877
 2018-Feb-09 21:30 *m  14 35 22.74 -27 06 22.9  17.52   n.a. 0.00616396762414   3.7516806  95.7107 /L  83.9341
 2018-Feb-09 22:00 *m  14 35 16.08 -27 05 34.2  17.53   n.a. 0.00620932797617   3.7883393  95.7591 /L  83.8831
 2018-Feb-09 22:30 *m  14 35 10.50 -27 04 39.1  17.55   n.a. 0.00625510636535   3.8210718  95.8043 /L  83.8353
 2018-Feb-09 23:00 *m  14 35 06.14 -27 03 38.4  17.56   n.a. 0.00630125200653   3.8493007  95.8457 /L  83.7913
 2018-Feb-09 23:30 *m  14 35 03.09 -27 02 33.2  17.58   n.a. 0.00634770764378   3.8725293  95.8829 /L  83.7514
 2018-Feb-10 00:00 *m  14 35 01.44 -27 01 24.8  17.59   n.a. 0.00639441057016   3.8903493  95.9156 /L  83.7161
 2018-Feb-10 00:30 *m  14 35 01.21 -27 00 14.3  17.61   n.a. 0.00644129373620   3.9024480  95.9434 /L  83.6856
 2018-Feb-10 01:00 *m  14 35 02.45 -26 59 02.9  17.62   n.a. 0.00648828692590   3.9086125  95.9662 /L  83.6601
 2018-Feb-10 01:30 *m  14 35 05.15 -26 57 51.7  17.64   n.a. 0.00653531797849   3.9087326  95.9838 /L  83.6398
 2018-Feb-10 02:00 *m  14 35 09.27 -26 56 42.0  17.65   n.a. 0.00658231403442   3.9028024  95.9963 /L  83.6246
 2018-Feb-10 02:30 *m  14 35 14.78 -26 55 34.9  17.67   n.a. 0.00662920278390   3.8909189  96.0038 /L  83.6144
 2018-Feb-10 03:00 *s  14 35 21.58 -26 54 31.3  17.68   n.a. 0.00667591369669   3.8732804  96.0064 /L  83.6091
 2018-Feb-10 03:30 *m  14 35 29.58 -26 53 32.3  17.70   n.a. 0.00672237921378   3.8501818  96.0043 /L  83.6085
 2018-Feb-10 04:00 *m  14 35 38.68 -26 52 38.8  17.71   n.a. 0.00676853588131   3.8220095  95.9979 /L  83.6123
 2018-Feb-10 04:30 *m  14 35 48.74 -26 51 51.6  17.73   n.a. 0.00681432540988   3.7892344  95.9876 /L  83.6199
 2018-Feb-10 05:00 *   14 35 59.61 -26 51 11.2  17.74   n.a. 0.00685969564274   3.7524037  95.9738 /L  83.6311
 2018-Feb-10 05:30 *   14 36 11.14 -26 50 38.3  17.76   n.a. 0.00690460141901   3.7121315  95.9570 /L  83.6453
 2018-Feb-10 06:00 *   14 36 23.16 -26 50 13.2  17.77   n.a. 0.00694900531899   3.6690887  95.9377 /L  83.6620
 2018-Feb-10 06:30 *   14 36 35.49 -26 49 56.3  17.79   n.a. 0.00699287828131   3.6239921  95.9167 /L  83.6805
 2018-Feb-10 07:00 *   14 36 47.97 -26 49 47.6  17.80   n.a. 0.00703620008252   3.5775921  95.8943 /L  83.7003
 2018-Feb-10 07:30 *   14 37 00.42 -26 49 47.3  17.81   n.a. 0.00707895967282   3.5306611  95.8714 /L  83.7207
 2018-Feb-10 08:00 *   14 37 12.66 -26 49 55.0  17.83   n.a. 0.00712115536229   3.4839806  95.8485 /L  83.7412
 2018-Feb-10 08:30 *   14 37 24.52 -26 50 10.7  17.84   n.a. 0.00716279485553   3.4383288  95.8261 /L  83.7611
 2018-Feb-10 09:00 C   14 37 35.85 -26 50 33.9  17.85   n.a. 0.00720389513293   3.3944673  95.8050 /L  83.7798
 2018-Feb-10 09:30 N   14 37 46.49 -26 51 04.0  17.87   n.a. 0.00724448218046   3.3531295  95.7857 /L  83.7968
 2018-Feb-10 10:00 A   14 37 56.30 -26 51 40.6  17.88   n.a. 0.00728459057085   3.3150076  95.7687 /L  83.8114
 2018-Feb-10 10:30     14 38 05.16 -26 52 23.0  17.89   n.a. 0.00732426290193   3.2807415  95.7546 /L  83.8233
 2018-Feb-10 11:00     14 38 12.96 -26 53 10.2  17.90   n.a. 0.00736354909953   3.2509078  95.7438 /L  83.8318
 2018-Feb-10 11:30     14 38 19.62 -26 54 01.4  17.92   n.a. 0.00740250559473   3.2260097  95.7366 /L  83.8367
 2018-Feb-10 12:00     14 38 25.05 -26 54 55.7  17.93   n.a. 0.00744119438774   3.2064683  95.7335 /L  83.8376
 2018-Feb-10 12:30  r  14 38 29.21 -26 55 52.2  17.94   n.a. 0.00747968201203   3.1926151  95.7346 /L  83.8343
 2018-Feb-10 13:00     14 38 32.07 -26 56 49.8  17.95   n.a. 0.00751803841482   3.1846852  95.7402 /L  83.8264
 2018-Feb-10 13:30     14 38 33.63 -26 57 47.5  17.96   n.a. 0.00755633577196   3.1828132  95.7504 /L  83.8141
 2018-Feb-10 14:00     14 38 33.89 -26 58 44.3  17.97   n.a. 0.00759464725628   3.1870300  95.7652 /L  83.7971
 2018-Feb-10 14:30     14 38 32.91 -26 59 39.2  17.98   n.a. 0.00763304578049   3.1972614  95.7845 /L  83.7756
 2018-Feb-10 15:00     14 38 30.72 -27 00 31.2  17.99   n.a. 0.00767160273596   3.2133289  95.8083 /L  83.7496
 2018-Feb-10 15:30     14 38 27.42 -27 01 19.5  18.00   n.a. 0.00771038675040   3.2349522  95.8364 /L  83.7193
 2018-Feb-10 16:00  m  14 38 23.09 -27 02 03.2  18.01   n.a. 0.00774946248631   3.2617533  95.8684 /L  83.6850
 2018-Feb-10 16:30  m  14 38 17.84 -27 02 41.6  18.02   n.a. 0.00778888950308   3.2932630  95.9041 /L  83.6471
 2018-Feb-10 17:00  m  14 38 11.82 -27 03 14.0  18.03   n.a. 0.00782872120399   3.3289285  95.9431 /L  83.6059
 2018-Feb-10 17:30  m  14 38 05.14 -27 03 39.9  18.04   n.a. 0.00786900388828   3.3681235  95.9849 /L  83.5618
 2018-Feb-10 18:00  m  14 37 57.97 -27 03 58.8  18.05   n.a. 0.00790977592695   3.4101583  96.0291 /L  83.5153
 2018-Feb-10 18:30 Am  14 37 50.45 -27 04 10.6  18.06   n.a. 0.00795106707840   3.4542928  96.0751 /L  83.4670
 2018-Feb-10 19:00 Nm  14 37 42.75 -27 04 15.0  18.07   n.a. 0.00799289795743   3.4997495  96.1224 /L  83.4173
 2018-Feb-10 19:30 Ct  14 37 35.03 -27 04 12.0  18.08   n.a. 0.00803527966803   3.5457273  96.1704 /L  83.3669
 2018-Feb-10 20:00 *m  14 37 27.44 -27 04 01.6  18.09   n.a. 0.00807821360735   3.5914159  96.2185 /L  83.3164
 2018-Feb-10 20:30 *m  14 37 20.16 -27 03 44.2  18.10   n.a. 0.00812169144436   3.6360108  96.2663 /L  83.2661
 2018-Feb-10 21:00 *m  14 37 13.31 -27 03 20.1  18.11   n.a. 0.00816569527338   3.6787274  96.3131 /L  83.2168
 2018-Feb-10 21:30 *m  14 37 07.04 -27 02 49.8  18.12   n.a. 0.00821019793917   3.7188149  96.3584 /L  83.1690
 2018-Feb-10 22:00 *m  14 37 01.48 -27 02 13.8  18.13   n.a. 0.00825516352667   3.7555699  96.4018 /L  83.1231
 2018-Feb-10 22:30 *m  14 36 56.73 -27 01 32.7  18.14   n.a. 0.00830054800530   3.7883488  96.4428 /L  83.0796
 2018-Feb-10 23:00 *m  14 36 52.90 -27 00 47.4  18.15   n.a. 0.00834630001495   3.8165785  96.4809 /L  83.0388
 2018-Feb-10 23:30 *m  14 36 50.07 -26 59 58.6  18.16   n.a. 0.00839236177804   3.8397667  96.5159 /L  83.0013
 2018-Feb-11 00:00 *m  14 36 48.28 -26 59 07.2  18.17   n.a. 0.00843867011997   3.8575098  96.5474 /L  82.9671
$$EOE
**************************************************************************************************************

SOLAR PRESENCE (OBSERVING SITE) Time tag is followed by a blank, then a solar-presence symbol: '*' Daylight (refracted solar upper-limb on or above apparent horizon) 'C' Civil twilight/dawn 'N' Nautical twilight/dawn 'A' Astronomical twilight/dawn ' ' Night OR geocentric ephemeris LUNAR PRESENCE WITH TARGET RISE/TRANSIT/SET MARKER (OBSERVING SITE) The solar-presence symbol is immediately followed by another marker symbol: 'm' Refracted upper-limb of Moon on or above apparent horizon ' ' Refracted upper-limb of Moon below apparent horizon OR geocentric 'r' Rise (target body on or above cut-off RTS elevation) 't' Transit (target body at or past local maximum RTS elevation) 's' Set (target body on or below cut-off RTS elevation)

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)