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Thread: Anyone ever use a remote observatory?

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    ashleyy's Avatar
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    Question Anyone ever use a remote observatory?



    Has anyone ever used one of these?

    I found a fairly affordable place that has telescopes in a number of remote dark locations and they only charge you based on the time value of the exposures you schedule. I really think I want to try it because it would give me an opportunity to image at a dark location with some pretty serious equipment.

    I mean don't get me wrong, most of what I love about astronomy and astro-imaging is the appeal of setting up and running your own equipment... but the appeal of a darker location and superior equipment really interests me, but obviously if I were to use something like that it would supplement the stuff I do from home.

    Any thoughts?
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    Default Re: Anyone ever use a remote observatory?

    I looked into this a while ago. NASA has a free one you can try at http://mo-www.harvard.edu/OWN/. I've used it a few times but never got very good results. In reading forum (this and other) posting regarding this subject the general feeling I got was that a lot of people consider it a "cheat." I don't necessarily agree but for me most of the fun is running the equipment. PP is a necessary evil.

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    Default Re: Anyone ever use a remote observatory?

    On the consumer side, I've used both iTelescope.net, and SLOOH. The iTelescope.net is by far the best of breed.

    I use a remote observing facility weekly, our 0.8m system here at McDonald.

    I don't know why someone would consider it "cheating".... you still have the all the work to do in post, and you are conducting the observation. It would be no different than using a backyard observatory that you installed (or had installed), and using it via networked interfaces.

    It saves lots of time, cost, and siting headaches, along with getting around the lack of dark sky and good weather observing location that you may lack.
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    Default Re: Anyone ever use a remote observatory?

    I've tried a couple of different sites and was quite happy with the value for the money. Gives you a chance to get a photograph through scopes I know I'll never afford and in locations (like the southern hemisphere) that, although I travel there, would not want to ship my own equipment to and from.

    I have found it a nice thing to do on cloudy nights or when I want to see something that is out of reach for my equipment or locale. An additional plus....it's fun!

    Enjoy!
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    Default Re: Anyone ever use a remote observatory?

    Quote Originally Posted by AustinPSD View Post
    On the consumer side, I've used both iTelescope.net, and SLOOH. The iTelescope.net is by far the best of breed.

    I use a remote observing facility weekly, our 0.8m system here at McDonald.

    I don't know why someone would consider it "cheating".... you still have the all the work to do in post, and you are conducting the observation. It would be no different than using a backyard observatory that you installed (or had installed), and using it via networked interfaces.

    It saves lots of time, cost, and siting headaches, along with getting around the lack of dark sky and good weather observing location that you may lack.
    Thanks for the tip on iTelescope.net. I'm going to check them out.

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    Default Re: Anyone ever use a remote observatory?

    I've used itelescope but I'm not very good at it and I keep getting white lines on my image. Not sure why I keep getting those.

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    Default Re: Anyone ever use a remote observatory?

    I regularly use a remote observatory located in my backyard. Using someone else's remote observatory would be no different except for the payment and the fact that, if something doesn't work, it's not my problem.

    I should check them out for access to southern hemishpere objects.
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    Default Re: Anyone ever use a remote observatory?

    My own is remote about 300m from house, but I keep looking into SLOOH and others, just never pull the trigger. Please if you do pull the trigger on a remote experience let us know how it goes. I do not think it is cheating. I think it is being opportunistic, and well worth it to take advantage of what this new world has to offer.
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    Default Re: Anyone ever use a remote observatory?

    I would use one, heck I have already begun shopping around for dark sky sited pier to lease just to have the weather and capability to have system run fully automated routines. Long term I will be leasing a pier for sure. My work hours give me very little free time and weather dampens those occassions often. I have found dark sky sited obervatory buildings(shared) with pier includes remote access and key access starting in the 300 dollar a month range.

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    Default Re: Anyone ever use a remote observatory?

    I just registered for iTelescope.net (thanks AustinPSD for the suggestion), and was able to play with it a tiny bit tonight... it's really nice. It will just be a decent learning curve to familiarize myself with their interface, but it seems really promising. The only problem is that I now have too many options, haha. I'm going to try to image Lovejoy on Friday... which we'll see how that goes. Planning images with different time zones for a moving comet is slightly confusing, so hopefully my calculations are correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaltonSkyGazer View Post
    I would use one, heck I have already begun shopping around for dark sky sited pier to lease just to have the weather and capability to have system run fully automated routines. Long term I will be leasing a pier for sure. My work hours give me very little free time and weather dampens those occassions often. I have found dark sky sited obervatory buildings(shared) with pier includes remote access and key access starting in the 300 dollar a month range.
    I'd be curious to now how that works out for you... it sounds like a really interesting idea.
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