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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.

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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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 Comet (86)

Thursday
Apr272017

ALERT! Comet 29P is in Outburst (13th mag)

Comet 29P at astronomical twilight in the morning, as seen from the SSO scopes. The comet is in Capriconius, not far from Deneb Algedi. The small rectangle is the field of view of T9. Click to embiggen.

Comet 29P is reported to be in outburst, the first bright outburst of the comet in its 2017 apparition. The outburst has been reported by JF. Soulier,  F. Kugel and R. Miles. Currently around magnitude 13 (up from around 15.7), the comet has a stellar appearance.

Observations are requested to monitor the evolution of the brightness and morphology of the current outburst (and potentially later ones).

Observations can be submitted to cometbase.

 The comet is visible in the morning in Capriconius, not far from Deneb Algedi and is best placed for the southern hemisphere scopes. From SSO the comet can be followed from around 3 am local time until astronomical twilight (5:10 am local, 19:10 UT). From the northern scopes the comet is just within telescope travel range at astronomical twilight.

The MPEC one line ephemeris is:

0029P         2019 03 07.7582  5.766822  0.043032   47.7745  312.3946    9.3683  20190318   4.0  4.0    29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann

Thursday
Apr132017

ALERT! Comet 41P is at Perihelion

Comet 41P as seen from Mayhill New Mexico at midnight local time (transit is at 4:16 pm Daylight savings time). The large rectangle is the field of view to T20 and 14. Click to embiggen.

Comet 41P, which has been forgotten a bit in the excitement over C/2017 E4 and C/2015 ER61, was at perihelion on April 12, at 18:03 UT. At this time it was 0.1540 AU (23.0 million km) from the Earth.

Currently the comet is reported to be visually magnitude 6.7-7.5, which will make imaging this comet straight forward. In some previous visits of the comet there have been significant outbursts around this time, so it is well worth monitoring.

It is now moving more sedately past perhelion, but star trailing will still be an issue in longer exposures. The comet is currently a fuzzy ball, with a hint of a tail.

 The comet is passing through Draco heading towards Hercules (not far from comet C/2015 V2 Johnson). On the 14th, 15th and 16th it is within 4 degrees of  the magnitude 10 Draco Dwarf galaxy and will be a good target for the wide-field T14 and T20 with some mosaic assembly required. Unfortunately the waning Moon will interfere in the late evening early morning, but the comet will be within T14 and T20 travel range by around 10pm.

On the 18th the fading comet is close (31') to magnitude 3 Beta Draconis. On the 24th the comet is within 45' of the magnitude 13 galaxy NGC 6524.

The MPEC one line ephemeris is:

0041P         2017 04 12.7518  1.045048  0.661094   62.1502  141.0731    9.2298  20170216  10.0 16.0    41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak

Wednesday
Apr052017

ALERT! Comet C/2015 ER61 PanSTARRS is in Outburst

Path of comet C/2015 ER61 as seen from SSO an hour before astronomical twilight in the morning. The large rectangle is the FOV of T8, the small that of T9. Click to embiggen.

Comet C/2015 ER61 is confirmed to be in outburst, with reports of magnitudes between 7.4 and 6.5, up from a pre-outburst level of 8.4.

Some nice pre-post image comparisons are here

http://cometografia.es/2015er61-panstarrs-20170404/ and here https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=438805123125824&set=gm.488200124683788&type=3&theater

The best view is from the Southern scopes, where the comet is above the lower limits of travel from and hour and a half before astronomical twilight. Unfortunately, for the Northern scopes, the comet is at 19 degrees above the horizon at astronomical twilight, making imaging difficult. From SSO the comet heads towards the horizon passing between Capricorius and Aquarius. It should be a reasonable target for the rest of the month. 

The comet is within wide field view of globular cluster M72 and open cluster M73 over the next two days, and the Saturn Nebula on the 9th. The comet moves relativel fast so stacking several short exposures may be best.

The MPEC one line ephemeris is:

    CK15E61R  2017 05 09.9428  1.042123  0.997309   68.1953  235.2184    6.3489  20170216  11.0  2.0      C/2015 ER61 (PANSTARRS)

Sunday
Apr022017

ALERT! Comet 41P is at closest approach to Earth

Comet 41P as seen from Mayhill New Mexico at transit (2:00 pm Daylight savings time). The large rectangle is the field of view to T20 and 14, the small that of T9. Click to embiggen.

Comet 41P comes closest to Earth on April 1, at 00:53 UT. At this time it is 0.142 AU (21,200,000 km) from the Earth. This is followed by perihelion on April 12.

Currently the comet is reported to be visually magnitude 7-7.7, which will make imaging this comet straight forward.

It is moving fast, so short exposures will be needed to reduce trailing. The comet is currently a fuzzy ball, with no clearly distinguishable tail.

 The comet is passing through Draco. On the 2nd and 3rd the comet passes close to Apha Draconis. On the 6th it is below the Ursa Minor Dwarf, and will be a good target for the wide-field T14 and T20. Unfortunately the waxing Moon will begin to interfere around this time and will be a significant problem at the time of 41P's perihelion.

The MPEC one line ephemeris is:

0041P         2017 04 12.7518  1.045048  0.661094   62.1502  141.0731    9.2298  20170216  10.0 16.0    41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak