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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.

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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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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.

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

Entries in alert (135)

Monday
Jan272014

ALERT! Conjunction of Comets C/2013 R1 and C/2012 X1

C/2013 R1 Lovejoy and C/2012 X1 LINEAR over the next few weeks as seen from Mayhill NM. The rectangles represent the field of view of T14.

On 6 February (06:08 UT) comets C/2013 R1 Lovejoy and C/2012 X1 LINEAR will be in conjunction in longitude  with a separation of 2° 09' 13". On 7 February (01:24 UT) they will be closest together at 2° 06' 51".

The comets are around magnitude 11, and are currently near 72 Oph (Lovejoy) and magnitude 4.2 IC 4665 (LINEAR). They can be captured in a mosaic using T12, with careful postioning of the image centres. See this zooamble example from Jahn Jost.

Over the next week the comets will draw closer together, by around  2 Febrauary both comets will (just) be in the same T14 frame, of course being best on 6-7 February.

Stacks of 120 sec exposures should work well. Howevere the pair are only 29°-30° above the horizon at astronomical twilight in the morning, just above the 25° limit of T14, so exposure time is limited.

Ephemerides and orbital elements suitable for importing into planetarium programs for planning shots can be found at the Minor Planet Ephemeris service.

Thursday
Jan232014

ALERT! Bright Supernova 2014J in Galaxy M82!

Supernova 2014J in galaxy M82 imaged using iTelescope T5. The image is a stack of 2 x 60 second unfiltered images.  The supernova is indicated by the arrows. Click to embiggen

A bright new Type 1a supernova has been discovered in the galaxy M82, it has now been given the permanent designation of SN 2014J. Currently around magnitude 11 (I get it a little bit brighter), it is expected to brighten over the coming days, and may reach the binocular visible level of magnitude 8.

The supernova was discovered by accident, during a workshop on CCD imaging techniques. It is one of the closest supernova to us in recent decades.

 Chart of the region around M82, the circle indicates the field of view of 10x50 binoculars. Click to embiggen.

Unfortunately it is only visible from the northern hemisphere, in the Constellation of Ursa Major, not far from the brightest star in Ursa Major, Dubhe. The Galaxy M82 is reasonably bright, at magnitude 8.6, and the brightening supernova can be picked up with relatively short exposures. At the moment the best time to image the supernova is between 12:00 am and 2:000 am, when it is high in the sky. 

There is a nice animation here. Some confirmation images from the Remanzacco Observatory are here, and Peter Lake gives a nice overview of supernova hunting.
For imaging the supernova, I'm going to steal Jeff Wood's comment on a post in the facebook group iTelescope Club.
Imaging it from NMS, I would use T11 or T21, and for a "pretty" image, would shoot it pretty deep if you wanted to catch the central jets in addition to the nova. (See Adam Block's image). http://www.caelumobservatory.com/gallery/m82.shtml Going deep also may catch some IFN (integrated flux nebula) which is visible nearby. If all you want is to highlight the nova in a pretty color picture, you can likely "get away" with 180 (T21) or 300 (T11) second exposures in Luminance, and binned color in RGB. Note that T21 will bloom on the foreground stars, while T11 will not. I would shoot a minimum of 12 luminance images, and at least 4 each of RGB, with a preference for 6 frames each. For a "great" image you're looking at 40 to 60 minutes of Luminance, and 60 to 120 minutes of color total. For an APOD.... substantially more, and add a "hook" to make it dramatic.

If anyone has images of M82 from between the 13th and the 15th, have a look to see if you can see the start of the supernova.

Wednesday
Dec182013

December/January Highlights: C/2013 R1 Lovejoy, C/2012 X1, C/2013 V3 Nevski and 154P Brewington

As I've been off for work and being sick, I'm going to roll the remainder of December with January. Sorry

The Full Moon is 17 December and Last Quarter 25 December. New Moon is 1 January, First Quarter is 8 January, Full Moon 16 January and Last Quarter 24 January.

C/2012 S1 ISON has disintegrated, several attempts have been made to find the remnants, if there are any, they are below magnitude 22.

Comet C/2013 R1 Lovejoy as seen at astronomical twilight in the morning from the New Mexico scopes.  Click to embiggen.

Terry Lovejoy's fourth comet is still performing well than expected. Currently around magnitude 5 it has an awesome tail with great detail spanning several imaging fields.

The comet is visible only from the northern scopes.

Unfortunately, for the rest of December and the beginning of January it is only 19 degrees above the horizon at astronomical twilight, meaning that only T5 and T11 can image it.

The comet starts in Hercules and moves into Ophiuchus. Lovejoy has no particularly interesting encounters, but it is such a great imaging object that none are really needed.

C/2012 X1 LINEAR is still bright, around magnitude 9. It is not far from Lovejoy (see map aove) but nettwer position at around 26 degrees from the horizon at astronomical twilight. On December 20 the comet is 1 degrees from magnitude 12.7 galaxy NGC 6012. On December 26 the fading comet is near magnitude 11 planetary nebula IC 4593.

 Comet 154P Brewington is is around magnitude 10, and will fade to magnitude 11 over January. It is visible from all the nothern  iTelescopes. Despite being in a target rich area, it has no interesting encounters, but is reasonably placed for imaging in the early evening as it move from Pegasus to Andromeda.

 

 

 

Comet C/2013 V3 Nevski is brighter than predicted, around magnitude 10, but diffuse, it is well placed for the northern iTelescopes high in the morning sky, moving from Leo Minor  to  Ursa Minor.The image shows the view from Mayhill New Mexico at astronomical twilight in the morning. Click to embiggen.

On December 21 comet Nevski is 0.3 degrees from magnitude 11 galaxy NGC 3414. On December 24 it is over 1 degree from magnitude 10 galaxy NGC 3486. On 9 January it is over 1 degree from magnitude 11 galaxy NGC 3665.  On 18 January the comet is 0.5 degrees from magnitude 10 NGC 3675, then on January 22 it is 1 degree from magnitude11.6 galaxy NGC 3614, finally on January 25 it is 1.5 degrees from magnitude 10 NGC 3726.

Friday
Dec062013

ALERT! Bright Nova in Centaurus

Location of Nova Centaurus 2013 as seen looking north from Adelaide at 3:00 am ACDST local time.The location is marked with a square. Similar views will be seen at the equivalent local time in other Southern Hemisphere locations. Click to embiggen. Black and White map suitable for printing at a scale useful for binoculars, view from the Southern hemisphere, click to embiggen. The circle is the approximate field of view of 10x 50 binoculars. A high definition PDF map that is better for printing is here.

UPDATE!
the nova has now been reported to be as bright as magnitude 3.7! This makes it the brightest nova in years, and beats Nova Delpinis earlier this year.

Via John Goodrick and Carl Gruber, a  magnitude 5 nova has been discovered  in Centaurus http://www.cbat.eps.harvard.edu/unconf/followups/J13544700-5909080.html
This nova has now been independently confirmed and is currently around magnitude 5.0.  It has been imaged by many amateurs. An example image is here.
Location R.A. = 13 54 47.00, Decl.= -59 09 08.0 (J2000 coordinates)

It is bright enough to be seen with the unaided eye under dark sky conditions in the Southern Hemisphere. PDF map here. Unfortunately it is best seen in the early morning when the pointers are at their highest. Sadly, you have to wait until nearly astronomical twilight to image it in the Southern iTelescopes.



Stellarium simulation of the view through binoculars (actually this is equivalent to a few binocular fields stitched together for ease of explanation). The square is the location of the nova. The guide star HIP 66849 is indicated. Click to embiggen.

At magnitude 5 (or so) the nova is readily visible if you know where to look, but is a bit nondescript. It's best to hunt it with a printout of this binocular location map in your hand (use a torch with red cellophane over the end to not destroy you night vision, wait at least 5 minutes before searching so your eyes accommodate to the dark). However, this description may help you find it in binoculars as well.

This description will work for between 2-4 am, local time. Facing south, the southern cross is seen clearly to the south east (see top map above). Just below the cross, the two brightest stars above the horizon are beta (the top blue-white star, also known as Hadar) and alpha (the bottom orange star, aslo known as Rigel Kentaurus) Centauri.

Above and to the left of beta Centuari by about 3 finger widths is the dim star  HIP 66849. at magnitude 5.37 it is the brightest star aside from the nova that is near beta Centauri. The nova is almost directly between these two and currently just a trace brighter than HIP 66849.

Aim your binoculars at beta Centauri. Through the binoculars you will see two brightish stars off two the left. The one in the middle is the nova (again, consult the maps for guidance, it may need several back and forth for you to be sure you have seen it).
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