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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

Entries in alert (138)

Sunday
Feb092014

ALERT! New Comet C/2014 C2 STEREO

Comet C/2014 C2 in the STEREO H1 A instrument on 2/2/14,  arrowed. The vertical lines are instrument artefacts. Click to embiggen animation of 24 images from 2/2/14 to3/2/14 showing the rapid motion of the comet, click to embiggen.
Congratulations Comet Al! His keen eyes spotted a rapidly moving (and rapidly fading) comet in the STEREO H1A images, Man To Hui and Comet Al derived an orbit and it is up on the Minor Planet Centre already.

 Chart of Comet C/2014 C2 as seen from Mayhill New Mexico. Southern Hemisphere observers will not see it until it is much too faint. (click to embiggen)

Unfortunately, the comet will now only be visible from the northern hemisphere, and will be very low above the horizon at astronomical twilight from around February 14. It will probably be very faint, around magnitude 13 or less. This makes it a very difficult target.

The comet was visible in the southern hemisphere in the evening, but was low on the horizon around astronomical twilight fom January 1, and may have been too faint to observe. But Australian observers should check their images from this time.

MPEC one line Ephermeris
    CK14C020  2014 02 18.6577  0.508074  1.000000   57.5181  283.3470  135.3097            18.5  8.0      C/2014 C2 (STEREO)

Orbital elements:
    C/2014 C2 (STEREO)
T 2014 Feb. 18.65769 TT                                 MPC
q   0.5080744            (2000.0)            P               Q
                   Peri.   57.51809     -0.45953242     -0.56620958
                   Node   283.34701     -0.84240966     +0.52195234
e   1.0            Incl.  135.30975     +0.28138215     +0.63794394
From 77 observations 2014 Feb. 1-4.


Saturday
Feb012014

ALERT! NEO 2014 BW32 on 2-3Feb

NEO 2014 BW32 as seen from New Mexico at 7:00 pm 2 February (02:00 UT 3 Feb). The crosses mark the position of the asteroid every 5 minutes, the large rectangle is the field of view of T14 and the small that of T5. click to embiggen.

Near Earth Asteroid  2014 BW32 will  come close to Earth on 15:37 UT 3 Feb at distance of 0.0048 AU (around 1.9 Earth-Moon distances). It has an estimated diameter of  23m. The asteroid is currently magnitude 16.4, and will be mag 16.8 at closest approach. 60 second exposures may be reasonable but there will be substantial trailing, shorther exposures may be too dim.

NEO 2014 BW32 is visible from the northern iTelescopes as it passes through Lynx. The asteroid is visible from astronomical twilight in the evening of the 2nd (3 Feb UT) till around 5 am on  Feb 3. It is moving very  fast (117.10"/min), and is outside the reach of  the tracking capability of the iTelescopes. You will need to use a topocentric ephemeris and camp out on the asteroid track.

The asteroid goes from magnitude 16.4 to 16.6, but Mayhill misses out on closest approach which occurs after dawn on Feb 3 (15:37 UT).

There is a substantial parallax effect (1 degree), so unless your planetarium program is able to cope with close parallax (most can't), you will need to work from topocentric coordinates. For topocentric ephemerides go to http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/iau/MPEph/MPEph.html

Nth America MPC Code - H06, Spain MPC Code - I89.

Always use the latest possible orbital elements and ephemeris. The planning guides to viewing YU55 here and here will help organising topocentric ephemerides for close approaching NEO's.

You will need to use unguided exposures. Choose a point where the asteroid will pass and aim at that. Remember that it takes time for the iTelescopes scopes to get to tracking position. T14 can take up to 5 minutes (depending on there being reliable stars in the field for tracking, check you logs to see what the average slew time is), so offset you initial position by around 4 minutes or so (this will be a significant distance) so the asteroid will be in field. The asterois will cross the T5 FOV in about 15 minutes.

Thursday
Jan302014

ALERT! Supernova in M99 and "Bright" Nova in Sagittarius

Location of nova in Sagittarius as seen from the SSO southern scopes at astronomical twilight in the morning. It is well below the travel of the SSO scopes.

Hard on the heels of the bright supernova in M82 is a report of a supernova in M99, and a nova in Sagittarius.

M99 is visible in both the northern and southern scopes, it is highest shortly before astronomical twilight in the morning, at magnitude 8.9 for the galaxy and aound magnitude 15-14 for the suprnova exposures of 120-180 secs should be fine.

The Nova in Sagittarius is currently magnitude 10 and fading, it is well below the travel of all the iTelescopes unfortunately. See the chart above.

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.

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