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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 19 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.

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

Sunday
Apr122015

ALERT! Comet C/2015 G2 MASTER (Formerly M503ujx) Close to the Helix Nebula April 19-22.

Comet C/2015 G2 MASTER (formerly M503ujx) as seen from the SSO scopes at astronomical twilight in the morning, the large rectangle is the field of view of T12, the small that of T9. Also nearby are 88P/Howell and C/2013 US10 Catalina. Click to embiggen.

The presumed comet M503ujx has been confirmed as a comet and is now C/2015 G2 MASTER (potential comet XMAAS is now C/2015 F5 (SWAN-XINGMING)). It is visible high in the eastern morning skies from the SSO scopes, being around 39 degrees above the horizon at astronomical twilight, and remains high for most of April, disappearing in mid May to reappear in the evening sky.

Between the 19th and 22nd of April the comet is within T12 distance of the Helix nebula. On the 19th it is 1 degree away from the Helix Nebula, on the 20th it will be 33' from the nebula and on the the 21st it will be 43' away.

The ephemeris lists the comet as being magnitude 11 at this time. But currently it is around magnitude 9, about 2.5 magnitudes above the ephemeris predictions. It may possibly reach magnitude 6 in mid-May evening skies, passing through Eridanus and Lepus.

The Helix Nebula is magnitude 7.9, a stack of 10-15 1 -2 minute exposures may bring them both out nicely (Rolando Ligustri may advise differently).

MPC one line ephemeris:
    CK15G020  2015 05 23.8022  0.779770  1.000000  257.4779  110.0566  147.5512  20150627  11.0  4.0      C/2015 G2 (MASTER)

 

 

Thursday
Apr092015

UPDATE! Preliminary Orbital Elements for Comet M503ujx

Comet M503ujx as seen from the SSO scopes at astronomical twilight in the morning, the rectangle is the field of view of T12. Click to embiggen.

Maciej Reszelski has produced some preliminary orbital elements for comet M503ujx (see below). The comet currently comes to perihelion on May 21.

Despite the magnitudes listed on the map, Michael Mattiazzo suggests it may possibly reach magnitude 6 in mid-May evening skies, passing through Eridanus and Lepus, with an Earth approach of 0.47AU.

Orbital elements: M503ujx
Perihelion 2015 May 21.866977 +/- 541 TT; Constraint: e=1
Epoch 2015 Apr 8.0 TT = JDT 2457120.5 Earth MOID: 0.1310 Reszelski
q 0.780478 +/- 4.35
H 9.9 G 0.15 Peri. 255.985 +/- 900
Node 109.350 +/- 80
e 1.0 +/- 0 Incl. 149.288 +/- 700
Thursday
Apr092015

ALERT! New potential comets XMAAGS and M503ujx, Observation Requested.

There has been a flurry of new bright (ie brighter than magnitude 13) comets and potential comets discovered. Unfortunately most of them are not in a good position for iTelescope observation. The new potential comet XMAAGS is in Pegasus, and never gets high in the night sky for observation. However, M503ujx is in a good position for the SSO scopes at astronomical twilight in the morning.

Location of potential comet M503ujx as seen from the SSO scopes at astronomical twilight in the morning. At the moment it is in the same field of view as comet 88P/Howell from T12.

Currently around magnitude 11, it is 32 degrees above the eastern horizon at astronomical twilight in the morning.

Ephemeris of M503ujx for SSO (MPC observatory code Q62) derived from the Possible Comet Confirmation Page http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/iau/NEO/pccp_tabular.html

Date       UT      R.A. (J2000) Decl.  Elong.  V        Motion     Object     Sun         Moon
            h                                        "/min   P.A.  Azi. Alt.  Alt.  Phase Dist. Alt.
...  ...
2015 04 08 18     21 59 43.7 -16 04 14  52.0  11.9    1.40  121.7  276  +22   -30    0.83  080  +73
2015 04 08 19     21 59 48.7 -16 04 59  52.1  11.9    1.40  121.8  269  +34   -18    0.83  080  +63
2015 04 08 20     21 59 53.6 -16 05 43  52.1  11.9    1.40  121.9  260  +47   -05    0.83  079  +52
2015 04 08 21     21 59 58.5 -16 06 27  52.1  11.9    1.39  121.9  247  +60   +08    0.82  079  +40
2015 04 08 22     22 00 03.4 -16 07 11  52.1  11.9    1.39  121.9  224  +70   +20    0.82  078  +27
2015 04 08 23     22 00 08.4 -16 07 56  52.2  11.9    1.40  121.9  177  +75   +31    0.82  078  +15
2015 04 09 00     22 00 13.3 -16 08 40  52.2  11.9    1.40  121.8  132  +69   +41    0.81  077  +03
2015 04 09 01     22 00 18.3 -16 09 24  52.2  11.9    1.40  121.7  111  +58   +49    0.81  077  -08
2015 04 09 02     22 00 23.3 -16 10 08  52.2  11.9    1.41  121.5  099  +46   +52    0.81  076  -19
2015 04 09 03     22 00 28.3 -16 10 53  52.3  11.9    1.42  121.4  090  +33   +49    0.80  076  -28
2015 04 09 04     22 00 33.3 -16 11 37  52.3  11.9    1.42  121.2  083  +20   +43    0.80  075  -36
...  ...
Please pass any observations on to comets-ml, comet-obs or the Comet Observation Database.

In case you want it, a computed ephemeris of XMAAGS from Jose Pablo Navarro Pina
Orbital elements: XMAAGS

Perihelion 2015 Mar 28.055926 +/- 0.0817 TT = 1:20:32 (JD 2457109.555926)

Epoch 2015 Apr 7.0 TT = JDT 2457119.5 Earth MOID: 0.4433 Ju: 0.6318

M 0.18492 +/- 0.06 Me: 0.0543 Sa: 0.4913 Find_Orb

n 0.01859617 +/- 0.00595 Peri. 13.14207 +/- 0.49

a 14.1097797 +/- 3.01 Node 287.64174 +/- 0.20

e 0.9754959 +/- 0.00519 Incl. 149.31536 +/- 0.09

P 53.00 H 9.4 G 0.15 U 9.3

q 0.34574614 +/- 0.000496 Q 27.8738134 +/- 5.8
Tuesday
Apr072015

ALERT! 2063 Bacchus 7 April to 25 April

Asteroid 2063 Bacchus as seen from Mayhill New Mexico from astronomical twilight from  April 7 to April 25

Asteroid 2063 Bacchus will  come close to Earth on 19:13 UT 7 April at distance of 0.195 AU (around 76 Earth-Moon distances). It is brightest between the 13th -19th though. With an estimated diameter of 1.6 Km it is one of the largest objects to get close to Earth this year.

The asteroid is currently magnitude 16.6, and will brighten to around 16.4. It's distance and leasurly brightening means there is no real hurry to catch Bacchus.

It is well placed to be visible from the Northern Hemisphere scopes initially, although it will also be visible briefly at astronomical twilight from the SSO scopes when it is brightest.

At magnitude 16 90 second exposures may be reasonable, tracking should not be an issue.

Higher power view of Asteroid 2063 Bacchus as seen from Mayhill New Mexico from astronomical twilight from  April 7 to April 12. Click to embiggen.

Asteroid 2063 Bacchus is visible for most of the month for northern scopes as it passes from Auriga to Lynx to Cancer then Leo.

The asteroid is visible from astronomical twilight until early morning for several weeks until the asteroid enters Cancer.

There is minimal paralax issues with Bacchus, and tracking will work well. The MPC one line ephemeris is

02063   17.2   0.15 K156R 128.60484   55.31730   33.10719    9.43285  0.3493643  0.88065083   1.0779540  1 MPO313434   393  16 1977-2014 0.64 M-h 3Eh MPC        0000           (2063) Bacchus    20141026