Online Remote Telescope Services

Monday, November 13, 2017

ATEO Public Image Request Form Released

Insight Observatory is pleased to announce the release of its Public Image Request (PIR) form for use with its Astronomical Telescope for Educational Outreach (ATEO). The purpose of the form is to allow the general public to request (in a few easy steps) an image to be taken of a deep-sky object such as a galaxy, nebula, or star cluster of their choice with the organization's remote robotic telescope located in New Mexico. The service is free, however, donations can be made via PayPal in any amount to support the maintenance and hosting of the telescope.

The Public Image Request (PIR) form is the "lite" version of the telescope's portal that is nearly completed and scheduled to be released for beta testing at the end of this year. The ATEO Portal will allow users to reserve telescope time and have full control of the telescope and all of its imaging equipment.

Screenshot of the Public Image Request Form for Use with Insight Observatory's
Astronomical Telescope for Educational Outreach.

What can be imaged with the PIR form?

Currently, only deep sky objects can be imaged using the Public Image Request form. This means no planets, asteroids, comets, or other objects that cannot be found in the SIMBAD object database. Why is this? This is because the wide field of view that the ATEO captures means that in most cases targets like planets would simply appear too small in our images to be satisfactory. Also please be aware that due to the wide field, small objects (like the Ring Nebula) will appear smaller than a larger objects (like the Orion Nebula) - this may seem obvious, however, when you are used to seeing certain objects (like the Ring Nebula) close up it can be disorienting to view them on a wider scale.

How long will it take to capture and receive an image?

The total turnaround time can range from a week up to a month. A lot can depend on the weather - an unusually cloudy month can slow down the capture of images.

The Rosette Nebula (also known as Caldwell 49) - 300-Second Color
Image by Colin Stephens via the ATEO Public Image Request form.

What is the final product that will be received after the image request?

When your image is ready to download it will be in the form of a JPEG (JPG) file that can be retrieved from Dropbox (no account is required to download your image). You will receive an email notification with a link to the Dropbox folder with your file when it is ready. Your image files will remain on Dropbox for 30 days after you are notified and then removed.

Is there a restriction on the number of images that can be requested?

Yes... Simply because we want to give everyone a reasonable chance of requesting an image. Current restrictions limit the number of open (waiting to be imaged) requests to 2 per month per person, and there is a cap limit of 50 total open requests in our queue. This cap is put in place because we don't want to be in a position where our backlog of images grows beyond what we are able to capture within a reasonable timeframe.

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