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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

Saturday
Aug242013

ALERT! Close approach of NEO 2013 QR1 August 25

NEO 2013 QR1 will make a close approach to Earth on August 25, 19:31 UT. The 215 meter diameter rock will come within 9 Earth - Moon distances. The Asteroid is moving at greater than 100"/ second, and is only brighter than magnitude 16 for a short while. The SSO scopes have the best view. 

You will need to generate at topocentric ephemeris using the MPC and the scopes observatory codes (I'm doing this on my iPad, so you have to look at the 1999 CF9 post for links and codes). The NEO wil cross the FOV of T9 in 5 minutes, and it takes about 4-5 minutes for the scopes to slew to position, so you will need to account for that in your setup.

http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=2013%20QR1;orb=1;cov=0;log=0;cad=1#cad

 

Thursday
Aug222013

ALERT! NEO Asteroid 1999 CF9 close approach on August 23

NEO 1999 CF9 as seen from New Mexico at 9:06 pm 22-24 August (03:06 UT 23 August - 25 August) . The crosses mark the position of the asteroid every 5 hours, click to embiggen.

Near Earth Asteroid  1999 CF9 will  come close to Earth on  August 23 at 00:28 UT at distance of 0.06 AU (around 25 Earth-Moon distances). It has an estimated diameter of  1.1 km. The asteroid is currently magnitude 14.8, and will be mag 14.8 at closest approach. It then brightens to 14.5 as it moves away. 60 second images will be reasonable when it is around mag 15, 30-10 seconds for 14.5 and brighter.

NEO 1999 CF9 is visible from all the iTelescopes as it passes through Serpens and Ophiuchus. The asteroid is higest from the Southern Scopes. It is moving moderately  fast (24.5"/min), and may be just in reach of  the tracking capability of the iTelescopes. You may need to use a topocentric ephemeris and camp out on the asteroid track.

The asteroid is high enough to image from around astronomical twilight from Mayhill, Serpio and SSO. All miss closest approach, but Mayhill is closest to closest approach (oocurs 3 hours before astronomical twilight.

Close up view of 1999 CF9 on the night of the 23rd from 9:06 pm Mayhill. Each time point is 15 minutes. The large rectangle is the field of view of iTelescope 14, small rectangle is the field of view of iTelecope 5 (chart generated with SkyMap pro, click to embiggen).

There is modest parallax effect (98"), 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, Siding Spring CodeQ62

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 probably 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 and T12 can take up to 5 minutes (depending on there being reliable stars in the field for tracking), so offset you initial position by around 4 minutes or so (this will be a significant distance) so the asteroid will be in field.

Thursday
Aug152013

ALERT! Bright (Mag 6!) Nova in Delphinus

Sky Chart of the location of the bright (now confirmed) nova in Delphinus, actually located near the Delphinus boun dary and Sagitta. The view is from Mayhill New Mexico at 21:00 local time. Click to embiggen.

Via Patrick Patrick Schmeer, a  magnitude 6 nova has been discovered  in Delphinus http://www.cbat.eps.harvard.edu/unconf/followups/J20233073+2046041.html

This nova has now been idependetly confirmed and is currently around magnitude 6.1 (Rfiltered mag) and picked up in binoculars. Image here.

Location R.A. = 20 23 30.68, Decl.= +20 46 03.7 (J2000 coordinates)

Close up of the Delphinus region showing the location of the nova, click to embiggen.

Wednesday
Aug072013

ALERT! NEO Asteroid 2005 WK4 close approach on August 9

NEO 2005 WK4 as seen from New Mexico at 2:02 am 7-11 August (08:02 UT 7 August - 11 August) . The crosses mark the position of the asteroid every 5 hours, click to embiggen.

Near Earth Asteroid  2005 WK4 will  came close to Earth on  August 9 at 05:02 UT at distance of 0.02 AU (around 8 Earth-Moon distances). It has an estimated diameter of  420 m. The asteroid is currently magnitude 15.5, it reaches mag 14.4 at closest approach then brightens to 14.0 as it moves away. 60 second images will be reasonable when it is below mag 15, 30-10 seconds for 14.5 and brighter.

NEO 2005 WK4 is only visible from the northern iTelescopes as it passes through Perseus, Aries and Pisces. It is moving reasonably fast (33.4"/min), too fast for the tracking capability of the iTelescopes. You will need to use a topocentric ephemeris and camp out on the asteroid track.

The asteroid is high enough to image from around 2:00 am to astronomical twilight from Mayhill and Serpio. Both miss closest approach (in twilight in Spain and too close to the horizon at Mayhill).

Close up view of 2005 WK4 on the night of the 9th form 2:02 am Mayhill. Each time point is 5 minutes. The large rectangle is the field of view of iTelescope 20, small rectangle is the field of view of iTelecope 5 (chart generated with SkyMap pro and the Horizons Track 1.4 add-in (click to embiggen, but use a proper topocentric ephemeris, rather than this chart, for indicative purposes only)).

There is significant parallax effect (423.36"), 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.

Basically, 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 GRAS scopes to get to tracking position. GRAS-14 can take up to 5 minutes (depending on there being reliable stars in the field for tracking), so offset you initial position by around 4 minutes or so (this will be a significant distance) so the asteroid will be in field.