International Year of Astronomy Live Telescope

Notice something new here on Universe Today? That’s right… There’s a new International Year of Astronomy logo in the right hand column and a video. If you’re wondering what “Galactic TV” is all about, then step inside…

The International Year of Astronomy 2009 is a global effort initiated by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and UNESCO to help the citizens of the world rediscover their place in the Universe through the day- and night-time sky, and thereby engage a personal sense of wonder and discovery. Here at Universe Today, we believe in those goals set forth by the IYA founders, so we teamed together to give our readership something you’ll find nowhere else on Earth (or the web) – a live view of the Cosmos via a remote telescope.

Thanks to Internet magic, Universe Today, Northern and Southern Galactic and Warren Rupp Observatory have teamed together to base a small telescope in the southern hemisphere and broadcast a live television image of what the telescope is seeing through the eyepiece camera. Around 09:00 UT, (which is local dark time in Central Victoria, Australia) broadcasting will begin – and will continue non-stop until either daylight or clouds happen. If you tune in and there’s no image, that can only mean one of three things – it’s either clouded out, it’s daylight, or the connection has reached its limits of viewers and you’ll just have to try back in few minutes.

If you’ve ever wondered what southern sky gems look like, now is your chance to see them just as they appear at the moment. All you have to do is click on “LIVE Remote Cam” below the IYA logo. While these aren’t Hubble views, the small telescope and Stellacam are providing very clear looks at objects like you’ll see on the small screen replay of Omega Centauri! Check out this larger version…

If you miss out on a live broadcast of the International Year of Astronomy telescope, don’t despair. Each time the telescope is in operation we’ll take a video recording of each object, add some Wikipedia information and store it in the IYA “Live” Telescope Library! Broadcasts from the telescope will continue for the entire 2009 year and will feature everything from galaxies to double stars.

The International Year of Astronomy 2009 is a global celebration of astronomy and its contributions to society and culture and marks the 400th anniversary of the first use of an astronomical telescope by Galileo Galilei. The aim of the Year is to stimulate worldwide interest, especially among young people, in astronomy and science under the central theme “The Universe, Yours to Discover”. What better way to celebrate than to enjoy this virtual telescope and discover the beauty with your own eyes?

Rock on….

3 Replies to “International Year of Astronomy Live Telescope”

  1. I’ve been trying so long to image Omega Centauri with my webcam, no luck.

    Please tell me how you did it!!

  2. What a great idea, especially for Northern hemisphere observers. If you can’t afford a trip to the Southern hemisphere don’t want to rent telescope time down under, UT and its’ collaborators have you covered. Good luck & clear skies!

  3. good morning, Taqyon! hope you’re watching the “jewel box” cluster float by… 😉

    as you may have guessed, the stellacam isn’t an ordinary webcam. it’s actually a CCD camera that works with a computer to quickly grab frames and average them out to produce a video image. this is why both the live broadcasts and replays aren’t a seamless, perfect still image. you will see moments of perfect clarity and focus – just as if you were at the eyepiece.

    if you’re an imager and need help, you are always welcome to join in at either northern or southern galactic. these guys are the greatest and they’ll be happy to answer all your questions and help you with your imaging!

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