First Time Users

IHere is a chance to preview the Browser Astronomy Software used to control the telescope systems in a video demonstration

If this is your first visit you might ask yourself this questions; why should I rent time when I can buy my own equipment?

Just Imagine yourself using an incredible Takahashi telescope mounted on the state-of-the-art Paramount equipped with SBIG and FLI CCD Cameras.

It all starts off with your purchase of some telescope time. Your purchase M16_LRGB_MEW_150x150pg02activates an account where your balance is maintained. A userID is created along with a unique password to allow you access to the system. This information will be sent to you by e-mail shortly after you submit your purchase and your credit card transaction has been accepted.

From the comfort of your own computer’s keyboard, using your familiar browser (Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher is recommended), you can control one of these telescope systems with ease. To access the control site, simply go to the telescope URL provided to you along with your login credentials.

Once logged in you are presented with a star chart of the stars that are currently displayed over New Mexico. Also it is on this page you will be able to specify some basic information like the name of your target. You may enter objects like M16 or M13 or NGC3628. You can also enter the celestial coordinates if you know them. These would be entered in RA and Dec and there are handy instructions explaining other formats to enter target data. Next, press the “Slew To” button. The software enters the proper coordinates and slews the scope to the object of your choice, provided it is currently above the 20 degree horizon in New Mexico.

Select the time duration in seconds, 30 to 60 seconds is enough to initially view most objects. Select the centering mode by clicking on the check box M20_LRGB_MEW_150x50below the “take Image” button and then press the take image button. The system does the rest.

The telescope is directed to slew to the object, activate the camera to take the image , return a small preview image. At this point you may elect to compose the image in this mode or simply view the object.

Once you are satisfied with the composition of the object, you return to the star chart to actually take an image. After an image is downloaded from the CCD camera, click on the link provided to display your most recent image. This allows you to check to make sure everything is progressing as expected.

Adventurous astro-imager can turn on the color mode option by clicking on the ‘Turn on color’ link. This section allows you to take a series of images where you can set up the various parameters to take black & white or color CCD images.

To take a color image you need to take a series of images through a set of filters that are built into the camera assembly. The images you take are all in black & white. Even the images taken through the various colored filters appear to be black & white.

The camera control software will allow you to adjust the settings for the filters. Generally a color picture is created by taking a series of images through a red filter, a green filter and a blue filter. The red, green and blue filtered images will be combined into a color image during the image processing. Please see the image processing video’s for more details.

Your account is only charged for the time you spend using the telescope system. This is the time from when you login to the time you log out. There is an option available that will allow you to automatically log out at the end of a session.

After your imaging session is complete your files will be zipped and transferred to a high-speed FTP server. You will be provided with instructions on how to connect to the FTP server to retrieve your data. You are not charged for the time to access and retrieve your data.

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