Quantcast

 

OBSERVATORY COMMAND CENTER

HELP

Welcome to the Observatory Command Center! As a community member, you can command robotic telescopes at world class observing sites like the Canary Islands, off the west coast of Africa.

Make your own reservation now by clicking a GREEN Available Slot in the schedule. If all the slots are booked, move ahead a day in the schedule by clicking the red date flags.
Continue
Now select an object to be viewed using Quick Pick or Choose From List. These lists represent celestial objects that are in the night sky during your selected viewing time.

Members can also point the telescopes by entering a Catalog Number or Coordinates which will provide access to additional features such as processing recipes, auto-snap, and calibrated FITS images.

Once your slot is confirmed, the telescope will point to that object at the designated time. Both PNG and FITS image files are saved in My Pics for easy retrieval. Continue
Advanced users have access to additional features, including adjusting the processing recipes, auto-snap and calibrated FITS images. Click the Advanced button to review further.
Continue
It's that easy! Become a community member today to confirm your reservation.

Become a Member
Canary Islands Reservations
Image: Mercury from Orbit, NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center
Whats Up This Week

If you'd like to know some of the best objects to image this week, check out the What's Up This Week page in the Clubhouse.
Don't miss Comet Siding Spring pass the beautiful globular cluster on Friday night.

[ close ]
Canary Islands Observatory
Missions offline during daylight hours
Chile Observatory
Missions offline during daylight hours.
Auto-Snap

Auto-Snap will automatically save all of the images from this mission to your My Pics area. No need to snap, or even enter the Mission Interface. Just check the Auto-Snap box and then view your images after the mission is complete.

Color Mode
THIS FEATURE WILL BECOME AVAILABLE IN A FUTURE RELEASE

Normal color imaging is achieved by taking a long monochrome exposure through a luminance filter, which is essentially clear, but with UV and IR blocking. This is then colorized by adding shorter monochrome exposures taken through red, green, and blue filters. However, it is possible to obtain different results by following the same exposure and processing routines, just substituting a different filter for the Luminance exposure. This is often called a "filtered luminance" process, but that's a bit of a misnomer since a normal luminance exposure uses a filter as well.

RRGB

Using a red filter will intensify emission nebulae and help eliminate Moon glare, which is predominantly blue in color. It is also used frequently for planetary imaging where the planet can be too bright with a normal luminance filter. This mode does not work well with galaxies and reflection nebulae which have significant amounts of blue light.

HαRGB

Using a hydrogen-alpha narrowband filter for luminance further intensifies emission nebulae but results in a fainter overall image since the Hα admits so much less light. Again, does not work well with galaxies and reflection nebulae, although it does highlight the emission nebulae and star-forming regions in distant galaxies.

Monochrome Filter
THIS FEATURE WILL BECOME AVAILABLE IN A FUTURE RELEASE

Monochrome imaging takes just one long exposure (or a stack of several shorter ones) through just a single filter. The resulting image is monochrome (greyscale), even through is it taken through a color filter. Using this technique, images from several missions taken through different filters can be combined offline to achieve the equivalent of a much longer color exposure (up to 30 minutes or more). It is also possible to use narrowband or photometric filters on some scopes to create false color images.

Deliver Calibrated FITS Images

Images are normally delivered in a lossless PNG format, after various image processing recipes have been applied. FITS (Flexible Image Transport System) images on the other hand, are raw files representing the direct output of the CCD camera, with no image processing applied. These images have, however, been calibrated, meaning that dark, flat and bias frame processing has already been applied. Note that specialized astronomical image processing software is required to read FITS images.

If selected, the FITS images will be downloaded generally within 24 hours and will be available from a link next to the PNG image in your My Pics area. You will also be informed via email when the images are ready.

NOTE: Auto-Snap must be enabled to get FITS images.

Processing Recipes

All recipes use a long luminance exposure followed by shorter red, green, and blue exposures. The monochrome luminance is delivered first, followed by a merged LRGB. The exact exposure times and processing vary by system. For instance, on the Canary Islands dome 1 HM system, two luminance exposures, each similar in length to the single exposure on other systems, are taken and stacked for the final luminance image. On photographically slow systems (such as the f/11 Canary Islands dome 2 HM), the color images are taken at a higher binning and a gaussian blur is applied before the merge to reduce color noise.

Note that several bright objects, such as the Orion Nebula, the Andromeda Galaxy, and most planets use custom imaging and processing routines tailored specifically for each object. These targets should be imaged using the "Choose from List" option in order to employ the custom processing. None of the recipes available for catalog and coordinate missions will image these targets well.

The general differences between processing recipes are as follows:

Generic Recipe

A low contrast linear stretch is applied to both the delivered luminance image and the merged LRGB image.

Bright Star Recipe

A low contrast stretch with a high gamma is applied to darken the sky background. On some systems, the high-mag scope is disabled due to blooming issues.

Open Cluster Recipe

Similar to the Generic Recipe.

Globular Cluster Recipe

An FFT based DDP algorithm is applied to aid in resolving both the cluster center and edges. After DDP, a high gamma stretch is used with parameters similar to those used for the Moon.

Bright Galaxy or Comet Recipe

A kernel low-pass DDP helps to resolve the bright nucleus. A low-contrast stretch with a high gamma is applied to the delivered luminance image. The merged LRGB image receives a low-contrast stretch with a low gamma and localized contrast enhancement.

Faint Galaxy or Comet Recipe

A medium contrast stretch with a low gamma is applied to dig out faint details.

Large Bright Nebula Recipe

A low contrast, low gamma stretch is applied to the luminance images. After color merging, a high gamma stretch is used. This recipe assumes there is little to no dark background sky in the image.

Small Bright Nebula Recipe

A low gamma Moon stretch is applied to the luminance images. After color merging, a linear stretch is used. This recipe is designed mainly for planetary nebulae.

Faint Nebula Recipe

A medium contrast stretch with low gamma is applied.

on
Please complete your reservation within the next

Selected Target

Visible Targets:
Catalog:
format:
example:
Designation:

Processing:  
RA:    h    m    s   (J2000.0)
Dec:    °    '    "
RA:       Dec:  
Target Name:  (optional)

Processing:  
 Auto-Snap 
Color Mode 
LRGB
RRGB
HαRGB
Monochrome Filter 
Luminance
Red
Green
Blue

O-III
S-II
Photometric U
Photometric B
Photometric V
Photometric R
Photometric I
Deliver Calibrated FITS Images 
Page last refreshed ago.
No Pending Reservations for
  Wednesday, August 27th
20:27 UTC
1:27pm PDT / 4:27pm EDT
Saturn
Scheduled by SLOOH
20:32 UTC
1:32pm PDT / 4:32pm EDT
Saturn
Scheduled by SLOOH
20:37 UTC
1:37pm PDT / 4:37pm EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
20:42 UTC
1:42pm PDT / 4:42pm EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
20:47 UTC
1:47pm PDT / 4:47pm EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
20:52 UTC
1:52pm PDT / 4:52pm EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
20:57 UTC
1:57pm PDT / 4:57pm EDT
Snake Nebula (Barnard 72)
Scheduled by SLOOH
21:02 UTC
2:02pm PDT / 5:02pm EDT
M51
Reserved by SuzieH
SLOOH member since September 1st, 2007
21:07 UTC
2:07pm PDT / 5:07pm EDT
Whirlpool Galaxy (M51)
Reserved by CharityS
SLOOH member since July 2nd, 2014
21:12 UTC
2:12pm PDT / 5:12pm EDT
21h 47m 48s +57° 42' 44"
Reserved by JosephC
SLOOH member since March 11th, 2014
21:17 UTC
2:17pm PDT / 5:17pm EDT
21h 57m 34s +67° 08' 25"
Reserved by JosephC
SLOOH member since March 11th, 2014
21:22 UTC
2:22pm PDT / 5:22pm EDT
22h 26m 26s +57° 13' 10"
Reserved by JosephC
SLOOH member since March 11th, 2014
21:27 UTC
2:27pm PDT / 5:27pm EDT
22h 32m 01s +63° 11' 30"
Reserved by JosephC
SLOOH member since March 11th, 2014
21:32 UTC
2:32pm PDT / 5:32pm EDT
Globular Cluster M75
Scheduled by SLOOH
21:37 UTC
2:37pm PDT / 5:37pm EDT
22h 50m 01s +60° 17' 54"
Reserved by JosephC
SLOOH member since March 11th, 2014
21:42 UTC
2:42pm PDT / 5:42pm EDT
Molecular Cloud Nebula (Barnard 68)
Reserved by EmmanuelC
SLOOH member since October 15th, 2012
21:47 UTC
2:47pm PDT / 5:47pm EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
21:52 UTC
2:52pm PDT / 5:52pm EDT
16h 29m 24s -26° 25' 55"
Reserved by NigelH
SLOOH member since August 13th, 2014
21:57 UTC
2:57pm PDT / 5:57pm EDT
20h 21m 42s +31° 03' 29"
Reserved by RichardT
SLOOH member since January 1st, 2012
22:02 UTC
3:02pm PDT / 6:02pm EDT
18h 47m 40s -20° 29' 42"
Reserved by JorgeC
SLOOH member since June 6th, 2014
22:07 UTC
3:07pm PDT / 6:07pm EDT
Globular Cluster M15
Scheduled by SLOOH
22:12 UTC
3:12pm PDT / 6:12pm EDT
Inkspot Nebula (Barnard 86)
Reserved by EmmanuelC
SLOOH member since October 15th, 2012
22:17 UTC
3:17pm PDT / 6:17pm EDT
23h 28m 00s -1° 15' 00"
Reserved by KevinF
SLOOH member since April 15th, 2006
22:22 UTC
3:22pm PDT / 6:22pm EDT
23h 28m 00s -1° 15' 00"
Reserved by KevinF
SLOOH member since April 15th, 2006
22:27 UTC
3:27pm PDT / 6:27pm EDT
23h 28m 00s -1° 15' 00"
Reserved by KevinF
SLOOH member since April 15th, 2006
22:32 UTC
3:32pm PDT / 6:32pm EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
22:37 UTC
3:37pm PDT / 6:37pm EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
22:42 UTC
3:42pm PDT / 6:42pm EDT
Wild Duck Cluster (M11)
Scheduled by SLOOH
22:47 UTC
3:47pm PDT / 6:47pm EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
22:52 UTC
3:52pm PDT / 6:52pm EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
22:57 UTC
3:57pm PDT / 6:57pm EDT
Dark Comet Nebula (Barnard 93)
Reserved by EmmanuelC
SLOOH member since October 15th, 2012
23:02 UTC
4:02pm PDT / 7:02pm EDT
Andromeda Galaxy (M31)
Reserved by MartinS
SLOOH member since November 18th, 2012
23:07 UTC
4:07pm PDT / 7:07pm EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
23:12 UTC
4:12pm PDT / 7:12pm EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
23:17 UTC
4:17pm PDT / 7:17pm EDT
Eagle Nebula (M16)
Scheduled by SLOOH
23:22 UTC
4:22pm PDT / 7:22pm EDT
0h 05m 41s +45° 48' 37"
Reserved by RichardH
SLOOH member since May 26th, 2014
23:27 UTC
4:27pm PDT / 7:27pm EDT
0h 08m 33s +40° 01' 43"
Reserved by RichardH
SLOOH member since May 26th, 2014
23:32 UTC
4:32pm PDT / 7:32pm EDT
0h 10m 03s +46° 23' 25"
Reserved by RichardH
SLOOH member since May 26th, 2014
23:37 UTC
4:37pm PDT / 7:37pm EDT
0h 18m 42s +25° 45' 01"
Reserved by RichardH
SLOOH member since May 26th, 2014
23:42 UTC
4:42pm PDT / 7:42pm EDT
0h 31m 56s +28° 30' 35"
Reserved by RichardH
SLOOH member since May 26th, 2014
23:47 UTC
4:47pm PDT / 7:47pm EDT
Cocoon Nebula (IC 5146)
Reserved by EmmanuelC
SLOOH member since October 15th, 2012
23:52 UTC
4:52pm PDT / 7:52pm EDT
Dumbbell Nebula (M27)
Scheduled by SLOOH
23:57 UTC
4:57pm PDT / 7:57pm EDT
0h 47m 59s +51° 26' 41"
Reserved by RussellG
SLOOH member since May 26th, 2014
00:02 UTC
5:02pm PDT / 8:02pm EDT
0h 49m 27s +75° 37' 42"
Reserved by RussellG
SLOOH member since May 26th, 2014
00:07 UTC
5:07pm PDT / 8:07pm EDT
1h 10m 34s +51° 00' 48"
Reserved by RussellG
SLOOH member since May 26th, 2014
00:12 UTC
5:12pm PDT / 8:12pm EDT
1h 13m 21s +71° 36' 58"
Reserved by RussellG
SLOOH member since May 26th, 2014
00:17 UTC
5:17pm PDT / 8:17pm EDT
1h 24m 20s +58° 56' 47"
Reserved by RussellG
SLOOH member since May 26th, 2014
00:22 UTC
5:22pm PDT / 8:22pm EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
00:27 UTC
5:27pm PDT / 8:27pm EDT
Veil Nebula (East) (NGC 6992)
Scheduled by SLOOH
00:32 UTC
5:32pm PDT / 8:32pm EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
00:37 UTC
5:37pm PDT / 8:37pm EDT
20h 03m 04s +59° 06' 55"
Reserved by Łukasz_M
SLOOH member since January 19th, 2010
00:42 UTC
5:42pm PDT / 8:42pm EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
00:47 UTC
5:47pm PDT / 8:47pm EDT
20h 03m 04s +59° 06' 55"
Reserved by Łukasz_M
SLOOH member since January 19th, 2010
00:52 UTC
5:52pm PDT / 8:52pm EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
00:57 UTC
5:57pm PDT / 8:57pm EDT
20h 03m 04s +59° 06' 55"
Reserved by Łukasz_M
SLOOH member since January 19th, 2010
01:02 UTC
6:02pm PDT / 9:02pm EDT
Veil Nebula (West) (NGC 6960)
Scheduled by SLOOH
01:07 UTC
6:07pm PDT / 9:07pm EDT
20h 03m 04s +59° 06' 55"
Reserved by Łukasz_M
SLOOH member since January 19th, 2010
01:12 UTC
6:12pm PDT / 9:12pm EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
01:17 UTC
6:17pm PDT / 9:17pm EDT
20h 03m 04s +59° 06' 55"
Reserved by Łukasz_M
SLOOH member since January 19th, 2010
01:22 UTC
6:22pm PDT / 9:22pm EDT
Fireworks Galaxy (NGC 6946)
Reserved by EdwinS
SLOOH member since August 17th, 2014
01:27 UTC
6:27pm PDT / 9:27pm EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
01:32 UTC
6:32pm PDT / 9:32pm EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
01:37 UTC
6:37pm PDT / 9:37pm EDT
Andromeda Galaxy (M31)
Scheduled by SLOOH
01:42 UTC
6:42pm PDT / 9:42pm EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
01:47 UTC
6:47pm PDT / 9:47pm EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
01:52 UTC
6:52pm PDT / 9:52pm EDT
Heart Nebula (IC 1805)
Reserved by EdwinS
SLOOH member since August 17th, 2014
01:57 UTC
6:57pm PDT / 9:57pm EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
02:02 UTC
7:02pm PDT / 10:02pm EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
02:07 UTC
7:07pm PDT / 10:07pm EDT
22h 09m 23s +55° 45' 24"
Reserved by EmmanuelC
SLOOH member since October 15th, 2012
02:12 UTC
7:12pm PDT / 10:12pm EDT
Globular Cluster M71
Scheduled by SLOOH
02:17 UTC
7:17pm PDT / 10:17pm EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
02:22 UTC
7:22pm PDT / 10:22pm EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
02:27 UTC
7:27pm PDT / 10:27pm EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
02:32 UTC
7:32pm PDT / 10:32pm EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
02:37 UTC
7:37pm PDT / 10:37pm EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
02:42 UTC
7:42pm PDT / 10:42pm EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
02:47 UTC
7:47pm PDT / 10:47pm EDT
Bubble Nebula (NGC 7635)
Scheduled by SLOOH
02:52 UTC
7:52pm PDT / 10:52pm EDT
M33
Reserved by StevenS
SLOOH member since January 28th, 2007
02:57 UTC
7:57pm PDT / 10:57pm EDT
M33
Reserved by StevenS
SLOOH member since January 28th, 2007
03:02 UTC
8:02pm PDT / 11:02pm EDT
M33
Reserved by StevenS
SLOOH member since January 28th, 2007
03:07 UTC
8:07pm PDT / 11:07pm EDT
M33
Reserved by StevenS
SLOOH member since January 28th, 2007
03:12 UTC
8:12pm PDT / 11:12pm EDT
M33
Reserved by StevenS
SLOOH member since January 28th, 2007
03:17 UTC
8:17pm PDT / 11:17pm EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
03:22 UTC
8:22pm PDT / 11:22pm EDT
Helix Nebula (NGC 7293)
Scheduled by SLOOH
03:27 UTC
8:27pm PDT / 11:27pm EDT
Cetus A (M77)
Reserved by CharityS
SLOOH member since July 2nd, 2014
03:32 UTC
8:32pm PDT / 11:32pm EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
03:37 UTC
8:37pm PDT / 11:37pm EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
03:42 UTC
8:42pm PDT / 11:42pm EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
03:47 UTC
8:47pm PDT / 11:47pm EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
03:52 UTC
8:52pm PDT / 11:52pm EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
03:57 UTC
8:57pm PDT / 11:57pm EDT
Spiral Galaxy NGC 2146
Scheduled by SLOOH
04:02 UTC
9:02pm PDT / 12:02am EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
04:07 UTC
9:07pm PDT / 12:07am EDT
22h 55m 42s +63° 39' 00"
Reserved by BernardD
SLOOH member since August 23rd, 2008
04:12 UTC
9:12pm PDT / 12:12am EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
04:17 UTC
9:17pm PDT / 12:17am EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
04:22 UTC
9:22pm PDT / 12:22am EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
04:27 UTC
9:27pm PDT / 12:27am EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
04:32 UTC
9:32pm PDT / 12:32am EDT
Pacman Nebula (NGC 281)
Scheduled by SLOOH
04:37 UTC
9:37pm PDT / 12:37am EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
04:42 UTC
9:42pm PDT / 12:42am EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
04:47 UTC
9:47pm PDT / 12:47am EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
04:52 UTC
9:52pm PDT / 12:52am EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
04:57 UTC
9:57pm PDT / 12:57am EDT
M42
Reserved by NigelH
SLOOH member since August 13th, 2014
05:02 UTC
10:02pm PDT / 1:02am EDT
Available!
Click here to reserve this slot
05:07 UTC
10:07pm PDT / 1:07am EDT
Pleiades (M45)
Scheduled by SLOOH
05:12 UTC
10:12pm PDT / 1:12am EDT
Tulip Nebula (NGC 2174)
Reserved by AlexanderS
SLOOH member since March 12th, 2013
05:17 UTC
10:17pm PDT / 1:17am EDT
Cone Nebula (NGC 2264)
Reserved by AlexanderS
SLOOH member since March 12th, 2013
05:22 UTC
10:22pm PDT / 1:22am EDT
Betelgeuse (Alpha Orionis)
Reserved by AlexanderS
SLOOH member since March 12th, 2013
05:27 UTC
10:27pm PDT / 1:27am EDT
Uranus
Scheduled by SLOOH
05:32 UTC
10:32pm PDT / 1:32am EDT
Uranus
Scheduled by SLOOH
05:37 UTC
10:37pm PDT / 1:37am EDT
Jupiter
Scheduled by SLOOH
05:42 UTC
10:42pm PDT / 1:42am EDT
Jupiter
Scheduled by SLOOH
05:47 UTC
10:47pm PDT / 1:47am EDT
Jupiter
Scheduled by SLOOH
about | team | partners | careers | advertiser | private-screening | contact-us