Rent-a-scope, a telescope time rental service, based in Mayhill, New Mexico, USA is proud to make this unprecedented historical announcement. As of about October 1, 2006, Amateur, professional and the general public will have the ability to access via the internet from their own personal computers, using a simple internet browser, a remote telescope network that will permit astronomical imaging and research 24 hours a day. Not only that but users will also have access to both the northern and southern hemispheres (weather permitting)..
Rent-a-scope, a major provider of astronomical observing resources for members of the RAS Observatory of New Mexico and the general public, announced today a unique plan to implement global access to a series of astronomical installations in strategically placed time zones. The location of these participating installations will offer users and observers access to highly sophisticated remote astronomical imaging platforms that possess an amazing degrees of pointing and tracking accuracy. Outfitted with chilled CCD cameras and special imaging and scientific filters, users will be able to conduct research and capture amazingly detailed images of a variety of deep space objects.
Arnie Rosner, the creator of the Rent-a-scope program commented, "This amazing service was only made possible through the incredible vision and genius of several manufacturers and software companies. In New Mexico, the remarkable Takahashi telescopes are mounted on remotely operated state-of-the-art robotic Paramounts telescope mounts. These high performance devices are produced by Software Bisque of Colorado, http://www.bisque.com/ and equipped with sensitive electronic detectors by SBIG (Santa Barbara Instrument Group) http://www.sbig.com/ and FLI (Finger Lakes Instruments) http://www.fli-cam.com/ ." It was noted that In Australia, AREO8, a 12.5" RCOS telescope system, produced by RCOS optical systems http://www.rcopticalsystems.com is the featured instrument of that installation.
Rosner also added, "Some of the equally incredible filters have been made possible by manufacturers like Astrodon http://www.astrodon.com/ and Custom Scientific http://www.customscientific.com/ ." Rosner went on to say, "Our telescope systems are hosted by Mike and Lynn Rice of New Mexico Skies, an Astronomer’s guest observatory http://www.nmskies.com/webpage/. Due to the fantastic support and up-time, in the last few years alone, our users and researchers successfully captured over 15,000 hours of astronomical data with our Rent-a-scope systems. Not wishing to rest on our laurels," Rosner quipped, "we decided to go all out and go global."
Arnie explained further, "Due to an exceptional set of circumstances, all of the right pieces fell into place and collectively, Eddie Trimarchi, Queensland, Australia, Brad Moore, Victoria, Australia and Ido Bareket of Macabim, Israel all agreed to form our affiliation. We are now known as a global telescope network called Global Rent-a-scope."
At present seven of the eight systems are online. AREO7 is in the process of adding the finishing touches. We expect all systems will be operating and available by October 1, 2006.