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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 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.

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

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).
Thursday
Nov142013

ALERT! Comet C/2013 V3 Nevski is bright

Close up of  C/2013 V3 Nevski as seen from the Northern Hemisphere scopes at astronomical twilight in the morning. The large rectangle is the field of view of  the T14 instrument. The small rectangle is the field of view of  the T5 instrument. The comet passes some interesting territory as it brightens. Click to embiggen.

C/2013 V3 Nevski is part of the mornings "comet convoy", just below the head of Hydra and moving into Leo.

Although it is supposed to be magnitude 15 and dimming, recent reports have put it between magnitude 11 and 10.  This makes a fine addition to our crew of morning comets.

MPEC one line elements:

CK13V030  2013 10 27.8308  1.391295  1.000000  337.4282  101.5936   31.5445            14.0  4.0      C/2013 V3 (Nevski)

Hat tip to Rolando Ligustri

Monday
Nov112013

V2830 AQUILAE = NOVA AQUILAE 2013

V2830 AQUILAE = NOVA AQUILAE 2013 = PNV J19023335+0315190

As first announced on CBET 3691, S. Nakano reported the
discovery by Koichi Itagaki (Teppo-cho, Yamagata, Japan) of a
possible nova (mag 13.8) on an unfiltered CCD frame taken on Oct.
28.443 UT using a 0.21-m reflector; Itagaki measured the variable's
position as R.A. = 19h02m33s.35, Decl. = +3o15'19".0 (equinox
2000.0).  The new object was designated PNV J19023335+0315190 when
it was posted at the Central Bureau's TOCP webpage.  It was
confirmed spectroscopically as a "Fe II"-type nova close to maximum
brightness on Nov. 3.764 by U. Munari (Padua Observatory).
Additional observations are given on CBET 3691.  N. N. Samus writes
that this nova has been given the permanent GCVS designation V2830
Aql.

Monday
Nov042013

November Highlights: C/2012 S1 ISON, C/2013 R1 Lovejoy, C/2012 X1 and 154P Brewington

The New Moon is 3 November, First Quarter is 10 November, Full Moon 18 November and Last Quarter 26 November.

This month sees a "comet convoy" (the term coined by Stuart Atkinson), of C/2012 X1 LINEAR, 2P/Enke, C/2012 S1 ISON and 2013 R1 Lovejoy all heading towards the eastern horiozon.

C/2012 S1 ISON as seen from November 3 from Mayhill New Mexico at astronomical twilight as it passes through Virgo. The small rectangle is the field of view of T5 and the large rectangle T14. Click to embiggen.

Comet C/2012 S1 ISON is making it's long awaited approach to the Sun. Currently at the lower end of predictions, its magnitude is reported to be between 9.5 to 8, depending on the instrument aquisition system used. 

It has a nicely developed coma and tail, and is expected to brighten substantially over the next few weeks (provided it doesn't disintegrate). However, it rapidly gets too low for most iTelescopes.

Only visible in the northern iTelescopes, ISON is currently 30 degrees above the horizon at astronomical twilight, by the 12th it is only 22 degrees, so that most scopes will need to go into nautical tilight to catch it. By the 15th it is only 17 degrees above the horizon at astronomical twilight. This means that only T4 can get it under dark skies, but by then it should be around magnitude 5, and short exposures during nautical twilight should be feasible.

By the 20th it is only 12 degrees above the horizon at nautical twilight, far too low for the iTelescopes. Although at magnitude 4 the adventurous may try going deeper into the twilight with T4.

As the comet is passing through Virgo it comes close to several galaxies. On November 9 ISON is just under a degree from magnitude 10.3 galaxy NGC 3640.

From November 13 to November 22 the comet passes close to a galaxy almost every day. But the galaxies are all faint and you have to image the comet progressively deeper into the twilight, so they represent a significant challenge.

2P/Enke brightens rapidly as it too heads for perihelion. However, at only 13 degrees above the horizon at astronomical twilight at the start of the month from the northern scopes, even lower from the Southern Hemisphere, and rapidly lowering, this comet is virtually the province of T4, and then only early in the month.

C/2012 X1 LINEAR is still in outburst, having brightened almost 250 fold to magnitude 8, it shows a pronounced coma which is slowly dissipating. However, it is also only 14 degrees from the horizon at astronomical twilight, making it a difficult target. However, it hovers around 15-18 degrees above the horizon for ost of the month, so it is feasible to image. Given the interest in this comet, imaging it's developing coma and following it's brightness is of interest.

 Comet C/2013 R1 Lovejoy as seen at astronomical twilight in the morning from the New Mexico scopes. The small rectangle is the field of view of T5 and the large rectangle T14.Click to embiggen.

Terry Lovejoy's fourth comet is performing better than expected. Currently magnitude 7, it is expected to reach magnitude 5 in December.

Initially the comet is visible from both the northern and SSO scopes, as the month progresses the northern scopes are  favoured. the SSo will be unable to image the comet from just after mid month. At its brightest, the comet will only be visible from the northern scopes (and in a very good position for imaging).

Currently in Cancer, the comet is close to the Beehive cluster on the 7th and 8th. This will be an excellent imaging opportunity for T14 and T20.

Lovejoy also comes near to several galaxies. Most are over a degree away and rather faint, but some good targets are on November 13, when Lovejoy is 0.34 degrees from magnitude 12 NGC 3032. On November 17 it is 0.14 degrees from magnitude 11.3 NGC 3432 and on November 19 the comet is 0.24 degrees from magnitude 10.8 NGC 3665.

Some encounters with brighter galaxies are an opportunity for imaging with T14 and T20. On the 23rd it is 1.51 degrees from   magnitude 8.2 M94. Then on the 25th it is 0.85 degrees from magnitude 8.6 M63.

 

C/2012 V2 LINEAR as seen at Astronomical twilight (4:32 am) on November 5-30 from Siding Spring Observatory as it passes through Crux. The small rectangle is the field of view of T9. Click to embiggen.

C/2012 V2 is much brighter than anticipated, currently around magnitude 10, it is only visible from the SSO scopes, and never rises very high. It will be best seen at astronomical twilight in the morning.

Sadly, T12 is off for servicing, and so the passage of this comet through the rich fields around Crux will go largely unrecorded.

On November 14 it is 0.19 degrees from open cluster NGC 4230 (mag 9). On November 25 the comet is 1.87 degrees from the open cluster NGC 4755  (mag 4.2). On the 26th it is 0.82 degrees from open cluster NGC 4852 (mag 9).

Comet 154P Brewington is is around magnitude 10, expected to rise to magnitude 9 this month. It is visible from all the iTelescopes. It has no interesting encounters, but is reasonably placed in the head of Pegasus for imaging in the early evening.