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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.

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.

Sky Tours Live Streams

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.

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 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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« ALERT! 174P/Echeclus in outburst and showing coma, observations required. | Main | November Highlights: C/2017 O1, C/2016 R2, C/2015 V2, 62P »
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.

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