Itelescope images good enough for photometry?

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Sun, 03/17/2024 - 07:20



I'd like to come back to variable star observing but I'm unable to set up an observation site.

Apparently there are people using services like Itelescope to gather images to analyze.

I was wondering if this is a viable option to get scientific valid data.

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Yes, iTelescope instruments…

Yes, iTelescope instruments are used for scientific photometry all the time, to get examples you could google "iTelescope Atel" to get a few "Astronomer Telegrams" describing the kind of research that was done with them. Not all telescopes of iTelescope come equipped with photometric filters tho, and those that are tend to be in the upper aperture ( ==> higher price) range. Also I think it's fair to say that the camera equipment, calibration pipelines, pricing models and the software environment at iTel are tuned towards producing long exposures (several minutes), so things like exoplanet transit work that requires tons of images with relatively short exposures might not work so well, at least for most of their 'scopes.

A very nice "feature" of iTelescope is that members (which involves a membership fee depending on a subscription plan) can use even the bigger scopes for "free" (in terms of no usage fee on top of the membership fee) during nights around full moon, when all the "pretty picture" astrophotographers will stay away to wait for a better night. But often when following transient events or making regular observations of variable stars, you cannot afford the luxury to choose when to observe.

I think at least one of scopes in Siding Springs has a low resolution diffraction grating which can be used for basic spectroscopy, but I never worked with it.



American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)

As an AAVSO…


As an AAVSO member you may request observations from the AAVSONet group of telescopes. We have both small (180mm Takahashi Epsilon) and larger (up to 61cm aperture) telescopes in both the northern and southern hemispheres. See: . There is no cost beyond basic membership.

Personally, I get images of over 10 stars I follow every clear night when they are over the horizon.

No muss, no fuss.




American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
AAVSOnet is awesome!

Hello Peter,

I want to thank you for your hint about AAVSOnet...

I got a mini observation plan accepted and I have just started receiving the images

For someone like me that is unable to set up an observation site it's a great solution

Thanks again