Oana Sandu


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Have you made your mind up which Remote Observing Program to take part in? If you're going to have "The Universe at your Command", you may want to read up on how to use this Web-based technology.

The Virtual Telescope is a project of the Bellatrix Astronomical Observatory in Italy. Managed by Gianluca Masi, it consists of a complete observatory that is remotely accessible through the Internet. With cutting-edge technology, assistance from professional astrophysicists and a broad range of capabilities, it is one of the most advanced facilities of its kind in the world, yet it is still simple to use.

As a registered user you gain full access to the telescope and its instruments via your Internet-connected computer. The free RealVNC software is used to access and control the instruments at the remote facility. Registered users receive a copy of the program that runs on their computer's operating system. Once connected, your monitor displays the desktop of the telescope control computer as though you were at the observatory. The powerful and intuitive graphical interface gives you full control of the Virtual Telescope. The control software consists of two software packages from Software Bisque - TheSky6, Professional edition to point the telescope and CCDSoft to control the telescope camera and take images.

For a step-by-step introduction, download the complete guide. It's interesting reading about how it works, but even more fun actually using it!


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