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Bringing the Universe to Classrooms
Around the World!

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Telescopius - Astronomy Planning Made Easy

Insight Observatory recently developed a beneficial partnership with Telescopius.com (formerly known as DSO-Browser). Telescopius is a great online tool for astrophotographers who are planning an astrophotography session. The website provides plenty of useful information covering the deep-sky objects visible from your telescope's location and hosts an active community with an image gallery to share your images.

The Insight Observatory Astronomical Telescopes for Educational Outreach (ATEO) locations are listed on the Telescopius Observatory Parameters section.
The Insight Observatory Astronomical Telescopes for Educational Outreach (ATEO) locations are listed on the Telescopius Observatory Parameters section.

Since developing and releasing the ATEO Portal, Personal Image Request (PIR) and Educational Image Request (EIR) online applications for accessing Insight Observatory's three remote telescopes, we have always provided a link to Telescopius.com to allow imagers to get some recommendations of deep-sky targets. Our online applications, in text, provided the ATEO remote telescopes' geographic coordinates and locations so the user or student could enter them on Telescopius.com to view and choose targets from our two remote observatory locations. Recommending using Telescopius to our users was very helpful with selecting targets both in the classroom and for personal use.

In late February this year, Insight Observatory and Telescopius have partnered up to bring the perfect deep-sky target selection possible with the use of the ATEO remote telescope network. Insight Observatory's two remote telescope locations are now integrated into the website. When a user or student chooses one of our three telescopes to image with, then clicks telescopius.com to look for target recommendations, the location of the telescope and observatory is immediately selected. There is no longer a need to enter in the coordinates and locations manually. If you go directly to telescopius.com and click in the "Observatory Parameters" field, you will see Insight Observatory listed. When clicked on, it displays all three ATEO remote telescope locations. SkyPi Remote Observatory for ATEO-1 and ATEO-2A and Deep Sky Chile for ATEO-3. One of my personal favorite "What's in the Sky Tonight" feature is the hourly and monthly altitude graph that displays the rise, transit, and set times of a deep-sky target. That gives imager information for the best time to capture that object.

Screenshot of Telescopius.com's Telescope Simulator tool demonstrating the field of view of M45, The Pleiades through Insight Observatory's 16" f/3.7 astrograph reflector, ATEO-1.
Screenshot of Telescopius.com's Telescope Simulator tool demonstrating the field of view of M45, The Pleiades through Insight Observatory's 16" f/3.7 astrograph reflector, ATEO-1.

Telescopius' owner and developer, Sebastian Garcia, went above and beyond in addition to the features he developed previously mentioned. Sebastian also added all three ATEO remote telescopes to the Telescopius Telescope Simulator. This tool allows users and students to select a telescope and deep-sky target to analyze the field of view (FOV). There have been numerous occasions when working in the educational environment when we would receive questions from instructors asking which telescope would be the best to image certain objects. Now users and students can see how the object "fits" in the field of view of the telescope they are choosing. This makes the process of our educational programs more intuitive than they already are.

Insight Observatory would like to thank Sebastian Garcia for his contributions and efforts to our ongoing mission of "Bringing the Universe to Classrooms Around the World!"

Telescopius is a free online application and is funded largely on donations via Patreon and PayPal.

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