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and Homes Around the World!

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

ATEO-1 Nightly Rentals Now Available!

Insight Observatory's 16" f/3.7 astrograph reflector remote telescope is now available for full nightly rentals at discounted rates.

Astronomical Telescope for Educational Outreach (ATEO-1) is now available for full nightly rentals.
Astronomical Telescope for Educational Outreach (ATEO-1) is now available for full nightly rentals.

This 16" f/3.7 astrograph reflector remote telescope, designated the Astronomical Telescope for Educational Outreach (ATEO-1), is hosted at SkyPi Remote Observatory located at an elevation of 7,778 ft in the dark skies of New Mexico. This telescope went online back in August 2017 and is accessible remotely via the internet for students, amateur astronomers, and astrophotographers to conduct astronomical research and deep-sky imaging.

M81 and M82 - Bode's and Cigar Galaxies  (upper left),  M13 - Globular cluster in Hercules (lower left), and M63 - The Sunflower Galaxy in Canes Venatici (right). All image data acquired on ATEO-1 and processed by Utkarsh Mishra.
M81 and M82 - Bode's and Cigar Galaxies  (upper left),  M13 - Globular cluster in Hercules (lower left), and M63 - The Sunflower Galaxy in Canes Venatici (right). All image data acquired on ATEO-1 and processed by Utkarsh Mishra.

You may now rent a full night on this remote imaging system to gather image data in addition or as an alternative to purchasing imaging credits. Nightly rental use of the telescope can be for conducting research and deep-sky imaging for a flat discounted rental rate. These rental rates are depended upon the time of year the telescope is reserved. Discounted nightly rental rates cannot be applied with other running discounts and promotions.

If bad weather becomes a factor for your reserved night, you will be contacted either to reschedule or cancel without penalty. If your nightly imaging rental encounters unforeseen weather during the imaging run, we would then continue the imaging run the following night to complete the equivalent of a full nights worth of imaging hours.

Available slots are limited, so please Contact Us today for more information on pricing and details!
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Monday, June 1, 2020

What's In The Sky - June 2020

Get ready for summer stargazing! With the weather warming up, June is a great time of year to enjoy relaxing evenings under starry skies with your telescope or astronomy binoculars. Here are a few of Orion Telescopes and Binoculars top picks for June 2020 stargazing and observing:

Solar System Trio

Rising in the southeast on June 7th and 8th, Jupiter, Saturn, and the Moon are well placed for observing, with 5 degrees of separation between Jupiter and Saturn. On the 7th the Moon approaches Jupiter with a separation of 6 degrees, and on the 8th it is 4.5 degrees away from Saturn. They will rise around 11pm, and reach their highest point in the sky around 4am, providing ample observing time. Grab a planetary guide set to identify surface details or a Barlow lens for high magnification viewing!

M13 - The Great Globular Cluster in Hercules imaged on Insight Observatory's 16" f/3.7 astrograph reflector (ATEO-1). Image data acquired by Muir Evenden and processed by Utkarsh Mishra.
M13 - The Great Globular Cluster in Hercules imaged on Insight Observatory's 16" f/3.7 astrograph reflector (ATEO-1). Image data acquired by Muir Evenden and processed by Utkarsh Mishra.

Summer is Globular Season!

Globular star clusters are densely packed balls of stars that are concentrated towards the center of the Milky Way. June skies offer some of the finest globular cluster viewing opportunities. While you can detect most globular clusters in 50mm or larger binoculars, a moderate to high-power eyepiece in a 6" or larger telescope offers the best chance to resolve individual stars. In the constellation Hercules, look for M92 and the "Great Cluster" M13. In Scorpius, look for M4 and M80. The constellation Ophiuchus is home to six globulars - M10, M12, M14, M107, M9, and M19. Can you spot them all?

Summertime Staycation

Take advantage of the New Moon on June 20th and the galaxies and globular clusters visible for a great Staycation at home! Not only will the dark skies of the moonless night provide great opportunities to see fainter objects more clearly, but the warm June weather will make it easy to enjoy starry sights all night long. The New Moon also brings an annular solar eclipse, but this is only visible from parts of Africa and Asia.

M51 - The Whirlpool Galaxy in Canes Venatici (left) and M101 - The Pinwheel Galaxy (right) in Ursa Major imaged on Insight Observatory's ATEO-1 by Michael Petrasko (M51) and Utkarsh Mishra (M101).
M51 - The Whirlpool Galaxy in Canes Venatici (left) and M101 - The Pinwheel Galaxy (right) in Ursa Major imaged on Insight Observatory's ATEO-1 by Michael Petrasko (M51) and Utkarsh Mishra (M101). 

Swirling Spirals

Around 10pm in mid-June, two glorious, face-on spiral galaxies M51 and M101 will both be in a great position for viewing and imaging. Look for M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy, to the southwest of the star Alkaid at the end of the Big Dipper's "handle". Scan the sky to the northeast of Alkaid to find M101, the Pinwheel Galaxy. Under very dark skies, these distant galaxies can barely be detected in smaller telescopes, but a 10" or larger reflector will reveal much more impressive views. If you're viewing from an especially dark location, try to resolve the delicate spiral arms of M51 in a 10" or larger telescope.


Orion Telescopes and Binoculars 10" Dobsonian Telescopes
Orion Telescopes and Binoculars 10" Dobsonian Telescopes

Gems of the Summer Triangle

By 10pm in mid-northern latitudes, the Summer Triangle, comprising beacon stars Vega (in Lyra), Deneb (in Cygnus), and Altair (in Aquila), will be fully visible above the horizon. Several celestial gems lie within its confines, including the Ring Nebula (M57), the Dumbbell Nebula (M27), open star cluster M29, and the visually challenging Crescent Nebula (NGC 6888). To catch a glimpse of the elusive Crescent, you'll almost certainly need an Orion Oxygen-III Filter in a larger telescope.

Summer Sky Challenge

Discovered in 1825 by the German astronomer Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von Struve, NGC 6572 is bright enough to be seen in a humble 60mm refractor telescope from a dark sky site; but it is very, very small! At only 8 arc-seconds in size, it takes a lot of magnification to distinguish this from a star. The easiest way to find it is to look in the target area for a green star. NGC 6572 is one of the most intensely colored objects in the night sky. Some say this is green, some say it is blue; what do you think?

All objects described above can easily be seen with the suggested equipment from a dark sky site, a viewing location some distance away from city lights where light pollution and when bright moonlight does not overpower the stars.
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