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  • “Shadows around Jupiter: Callisto eclipses Ganymede“: online event more > on 02 Apr 2015 20:45
    in 4 days and 02:43 hours.
  • 4 April 2015: Total Lunar Eclipse – online event more > on 04 Apr 2015 12:00
    in 5 days and 17:58 hours.
  • “Online Messier Marathon – 7th edition!“: online event more > on 11 Apr 2015 20:30
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    Archive for the ‘free’ Category

    “Shadows around Jupiter: Callisto eclipses Ganymede” – online event (2 April 2015)

    "Shadows around Jupiter: Callisto eclipses Ganymede": poster of the event (2 Apr. 2015)

    “Shadows around Jupiter: Callisto eclipses Ganymede”: poster of the event (2 Apr. 2015)

    an official event for Global Astronomy Month (April 2015)

    *** Join it LIVE here! ***

    These months, thanks to favorable geometrical conditions, we are enjoying mutual occultations and eclipses among the Galilean satellites. Some of these events are truly spectacular, as we showed the last time this conditions arose (2009).

    This time, there is another great coincidence: 2015 has been named International Year of Light (IYL2015) by United Nations, “[...] recognizing the importance of light and light-based technologies in the lives of the citizens of the world and for the future development of global society on many levels”. Quite interestingly, late in the XVII Century, the Galilean Moons were vital to make possible the first serious experimental determination of the speed of light. So, our event is perfectly on time!

    On 2 April 2015, starting at 18:45 UT, we will see live how Callisto will gradually cast its shadow to Ganymede, the largest moon in our Solar System.

    *** Join it LIVE here! ***

    Join us on April 2, starting at 18:45 Universal Time! You just need to access our online webTV, click here!

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    Support The Virtual Telescope Project!

    If everyone reading this right now would donate something, our fundraiser would be done in a few days. Please, donate and receive an exclusive, AMAZING image of potentially hazardous asteroid 2004 BL86 taken taken by the Virtual Telescope!

    donate now (you can adjust the amount later)

     

    Online Messier Marathon – 7th edition! – 11 April 2015

    Online Messier Marathon – 7th Edition!

    Online Messier Marathon – 7th Edition!

    an official event for Global Astronomy Month (April 2015)

    *** Join it LIVE here! ***

    Would you like to explore the many treasures of the famous Messier Catalogue from home? Would you like to see as many of them as possible, in a single night? This is what is called a Messier Marathon!

    After the unprecedented success of previous editions, even for Global Astronomy Month 2015 (GAM 2015, April 2015), we will offer an Online Messier Marathon, using our robotic telescopes, providing real time images and live comments. All this while chatting and sharing your passion and excitement with friends from all around the world.

    Join us on April 11, starting at 18.30 Universal Time! You just need to access our online webTV, click here!

    Don’t miss Global Astronomy Month, and be ready to celebrate the Universe with us!

    Back to “Upcoming Events”


     



    Support The Virtual Telescope Project!

    If everyone reading this right now would donate something, our fundraiser would be done in a few days. Please, donate and receive an exclusive, AMAZING image of potentially hazardous asteroid 2004 BL86 taken taken by the Virtual Telescope!

    donate now (you can adjust the amount later)

     

    4 April 2015: Total Lunar Eclipse – live event, online!

    *** Join it LIVE here! ***

    4 April 2015 Total Lunar Eclipse: poster

    4 April 2015 Total Lunar Eclipse: poster

    an official event for Global Astronomy Month (April 2015)

    *** Join it LIVE here! ***

    Next 4 April 2015, the Moon will offer an amazing total eclipse, well visible from the Americas, Australia and Asia. The Virtual Telescope Project was asked by many people to plan something, also because April is Global Astronomy Month, so we will do it again: an international team will cover this marvelous event and we will share it live, wherever you are on this planet.

    The esperienced “cosmic” team making the live event is composed so far by:

    • astrophotographer: Dean Hooper (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia);
    • astrophotographer: Matthew Wastell (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia);
    • astrophotographer: Duncan Waldron (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia);
    • astrophotographer: Chris Stockdale (Latrobe Valley Astronomical Society, “Hazelwood Observatory”, near Morwell, Victoria, Australia)
    • astrophotographer: Joaquin Fabrega Polleri (Asociacion Panameña de Aficionados a la Astronomia, Panama);
    • astrophotographer: Gary Varney (South Florida Amateur Astronomers Association, Florida);
    • astrophotographer:  Bill Longo (Toronto, Canada)
    • astrophotographer: Ron Delvaux (Delvaux Observatory, Arizona)
    • astrophotographer: John W. Johnson (Omaha Astronomical Society, Nebraska)
    • astrophotographer: Marcy Malavasi (Altair , Costa Rica)
    • coordinator and live comment: astrophysicist Gianluca Masi (The Virtual Telescope Project, Italy).

    If you want be part of the team, please let us know.

    Join us on April 4, starting at 10:00 Universal Time! You just need to access our online webTV, click here!

    *** Join it LIVE here! ***

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    Support The Virtual Telescope Project!

    If everyone reading this right now would donate something, our fundraiser would be done in a few days. Please, donate and receive an exclusive, AMAZING image of potentially hazardous asteroid 2004 BL86 taken taken by the Virtual Telescope!

    donate now (you can adjust the amount later)

     

    20 March 2015: Partial Solar Eclipse – live event, online!

    *** Enter the LIVE event here ! ***

    20 March 2015 Solar Eclipse: poster

    20 March 2015 Solar Eclipse: poster

    *** Join it LIVE here! ***

    Next 20 March 2015, the Sun will offer a wonderful eclipse, going to be total in a narrow strip on the northern polar region, being partial in most of Europe and surroundings. The Virtual Telescope Project will cover it live, sharing the event in real-time with the world, via its web TV.

    The online coverage is scheduled for 20 March 2015, starting at 08:15 UT.

    *** Join it LIVE here! ***

     

    Call for eclipse observers.

    At Virtual Telescope we will be broadcasting the 20 Mar. solar eclipse live, via the web. Our event is already getting planetary exposure. We would like to involve other observers spread above Europe, willing to send us their images while they are taking them, so that we can show them to the world in real time. Of course, we will properly credit every contributors. Such an international cooperation was experimented by The Virtual Telescope Project several times, always providing a giant return.

    Joining these plans is extremely easy, you should be only able to send images while you are observing the eclipse.

    If you are interested, please just let us know by email to info@virtualtelescope.eu

    *** Enter the LIVE event here ! ***

    Join us on March 20, starting at 08:15 Universal Time! You just need to access our online webTV, click here!

     

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    Support The Virtual Telescope Project!

    If everyone reading this right now would donate something, our fundraiser would be done in a few days. Please, donate and receive an exclusive, AMAZING image of potentially hazardous asteroid 2004 BL86 taken taken by the Virtual Telescope!

    donate now (you can adjust the amount later)

     

    Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (357439) – 2004 BL86: an unforgettable experience and event

    Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (357439) – 2004 BL86: 26 Jan. 2015, 22:07 UT

    Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (357439) – 2004 BL86: 26 Jan. 2015, 22:07 UT

    After waiting for weeks, it finally happened: on 26 Jan. 2015 the potentially hazardous asteroid (357439) - 2004 BL86 made its close encounter with the Earth, putting a great show out there for those willing to have a look… and lucky enough to be under clear skies. The minimum distance from us and this 0.5 km large rock was of 1.2 millions of km, a bit more than three times the mean lunar distance.

    This rock had a huge exposure, after JPL made a press release available, explaining there were no risks at all coming from this object and underlining  it was a very welcome chance for curious people to look at it easily and for scientists to learn more about its nature (and in fact it showed to be a binary object via photometry and radar). Well, it was very well known there were no risks (2004 BL86 is an old friend of us, with a well defined orbit), but they wanted to state it clear and clear, to have no room for speculations: a lot of people always announce disasters when an asteroid comes close to us, something never happening, and those disaster fans never come back to explain while the Armageddon did not show.

    At Virtual Telescope we announced our live coverage on 6 Dec. 2014 and that opportunity was caught by many media all around the globe. The last couple of weeks were beautifully crazy, as our live feed was mentioned and linked on posts and articles on the most important websites/media of the world, including CNN, Fox, Yahoo, NBC, MSN, Space.com, National Geographic, Discovery, Ansa and more specific ones, as Sky & Telescope and Universe Today.

    The PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E robotic unit we used to show 2004 BL86

    The PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E robotic unit we used to show 2004 BL86

    Finally, the day arrived, so did the asteroid and… the clouds, too. As always in such important events, the sky was overcasted. While a huge crowd was pressing to enter our website, the clouds wanted to sit in the first row, above us. So, we had to delay the live session, though we had a chance to see the asteroid soon after it rose above our horizon, one hour before the official start. We did all the proper setup to have our  PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E robotic unit ready to track this object at its very own, fast apparent motion of  160″/minute; when it was only 13 deg above the SE horizon, we slewed our telescope to it and 2004 BL86 made us happy. Below is such a early image, where the asteroid is visible as a dot of light, in the center, with stars trailing all around. The Paramount ME robotic mount was really just perfect, as always, for this advanced task.

    Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (357439) – 2004 BL86: 26 Jan. 2015, 18:33 UT

    Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (357439) – 2004 BL86: 26 Jan. 2015, 18:33 UT

    Using those early frames, we managed to make a video with 154 images, each using an exposure time of 10 seconds. This video runs from 18:46 to 19:25 UT. Check the video below (click on the video below to get the full res file, which is 19 Mb large):

    Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (357439) – 2004 BL86: 26 Jan. 2015, from 18:46 to 19:25 UT

    Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (357439) – 2004 BL86: 26 Jan. 2015, from 18:46 to 19:25 UT

    Soon later, clouds covered everything, to the point that at the scheduled public time, we could not go live, delaying the session of 30 minutes. This happened several times, we were loosing our hopes to see something when the sky started to show stars again around 21:15 UT. We immediately opened the live feed, with thousands and thousands of viewers connected: all of them were so happy to see the asteroid, at last! There were so many people looking (with peaks of 15.000 contemporary viewers!)  that our web-server was sometimes slow, but with a bit of patience everybody had its chance to see 2004 BL86 thanks to the Virtual Telescope.

    Below is another image taken during our live feed, where the asteroid is amazingly bright and running. For 30 minutes we had continuous coverage of this spectacular object, sometimes seeing clouds crossing the field of view: this added realism to the experience. The robotic system was a joy to see in action.

    Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (357439) – 2004 BL86: 26 Jan. 2015, 21:56 UT

    Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (357439) – 2004 BL86: 26 Jan. 2015, 21:56 UT

    Among the images we captured, a few showed the bright trail of an artificial satellite, which crossed the field of view of the asteroid, an evidence that there are so many things moving in the night up there. Below is one of those frames (the asteroid is always a dot, the long and bright trail is the artificial sat):

    Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (357439) – 2004 BL86 and a satellite trail: 26 Jan. 2015, 22:07 UT

    Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (357439) – 2004 BL86 and a satellite trail: 26 Jan. 2015, 22:07 UT

    This second attempt provided 215 frames, each integrated again for 10 seconds. The resulting time span ranges from 21:16 to 22:12 UT and the video below shows clouds affecting the view, as well as a few satellites crossing the field of view. Check the video below (click on the video below to get the full res file, which is 23 Mb large):

    Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (357439) – 2004 BL86: 26 Jan. 2015, from 21:16 to 22:12 UT

    Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (357439) – 2004 BL86: 26 Jan. 2015, from 21:16 to 22:12 UT

    As I wrote, our live coverage was a planetary success: almost 260.000 unique viewers saw asteroid 2004 BL86 with the powerful eyes of the Virtual Telescope (and other almost 350.000 saw the podcast on youtube). It was a worldwide party, as the chart below easily show: every Country showing with some blue color is a place from where we had viewers. Can we say we did a global coverage?

    Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (357439) – 2004 BL86  event: geographical distribution of viewers

    Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (357439) – 2004 BL86 event: geographical distribution of viewers

    Last, but not least, those who missed the live feed can find it here, on our youtube channel:

    It was a great event, making history for its huge success and we were proud to bring it to the world and to those always looking at the wonders of the sky at night.

    Back to “Star Words”



    Support The Virtual Telescope Project!

    If everyone reading this right now would donate something, our fundraiser would be done in a few days. Please, donate and receive an exclusive, AMAZING image of potentially hazardous asteroid 2004 BL86 taken taken by the Virtual Telescope!

    donate now (you can adjust the amount later)

     

    “The turning point of comet Lovejoy: comet C/2014 Q2 at perihelion” – online observing session (30 jan. 2015)

    *** Enter the LIVE event here ! ***

    ggg

    *** Enter the LIVE event here ! ***

    After a great show over the last weeks, on 30 Jan. 2015, comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy will reach its minimum distance from the Sun, the so-called perihelion. Then, it will start its journey back to the deep, cold outer Solar System.

    At Virtual Telescope we want to celebrate with all of you the perihelion of such a wonderful comet: we will show it live, online, so that you can see it via the web, from the comfort of your home. All this for free.

    We will admire comet Lovejoy in real-time on 30 Jan. 2015, starting at 19:00 UT.

    To join, you just need to enter, at the date and time above, our webTV page here!

    Back to “Upcoming Events”



    Support The Virtual Telescope Project!

    If everyone reading this right now would donate something, our fundraiser would be done in a few days. Please, donate and receive an exclusive, AMAZING image of potentially hazardous asteroid 2004 BL86 taken taken by the Virtual Telescope!

    donate now (you can adjust the amount later)

     

    The Geminid Meteor Shower 2014: online event – 14 Dec. 2014

    *** Enter the LIVE event here ! ***

    The Geminid Meteor Shower 2014: online event

    The Geminid Meteor Shower 2014: online event

    *** Enter the LIVE event here ! ***

    Next 14 Dec. 2014, the spectacular Geminid meteor shower will be back with its spectacular show. The winter, cold temperatures contribute in making this shower neglected by the public, while it offer bright, very enjoyable meteors. Quite interestingly, the  Geminids – so called because the apparent source of their trails is placed in the constellation of Gemini (the Twins)  - originates from an asteroid, (3200) Phaethon, this making them one of the only two showers sharing this feature.

    At Virtual Telescope we scheduled a live feed for 14 Dec. 2014, starting at 08:00 UT, when our all-sky camera will share real-time images via the audience.

    To join, you just need to enter, at the date and time above, our webTV page here!

    Back to “Upcoming Events”

      Please wait while you are redirected...or Click Here if you do not want to wait.



    Support The Virtual Telescope Project!

    If everyone reading this right now would donate something, our fundraiser would be done in a few days. Please, donate and receive an exclusive, AMAZING image of potentially hazardous asteroid 2004 BL86 taken taken by the Virtual Telescope!

    donate now (you can adjust the amount later)

     

    Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy: live observing session – 6 & 12 Jan. 2015

    *** Enter the LIVE event here ! ***

    *** Enter the LIVE event here ! ***

    A nice comet is coming for this Christmas: it is comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy. Hopefully, it will be bright enough to be seen with small telescopes and binoculars. A nice present from the sky.

    At Virtual Telescope we want to celebrate this holiday season with you and what is better than sharing a comet at Christmas? We will show it live, online, so that you can see it via the web, from the comfort of your home. All this for free.

    We will leave for this journey and observe comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy on two nights: 6 Jan. and 12 Jan. 2015. On both nights, the event will start at 19:00 UT.

    To join, you just need to enter, at the date and time above, our webTV page here!

    Back to “Upcoming Events”

      Please wait while you are redirected...or Click Here if you do not want to wait.



    Support The Virtual Telescope Project!

    If everyone reading this right now would donate something, our fundraiser would be done in a few days. Please, donate and receive an exclusive, AMAZING image of potentially hazardous asteroid 2004 BL86 taken taken by the Virtual Telescope!

    donate now (you can adjust the amount later)

     

    Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (357439) – 2004 BL86 very close encounter: online event (26 Jan. 2015)

    *** Enter the LIVE event here ! ***

    Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (357439)-2004 BL86

    Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (357439)-2004 BL86

    *** Enter the LIVE event here ! ***

     

    Next 26 Jan. 2015, at  16:20 UT, the 650-meters large potentially hazardous asteroid (PHA) asteroid  (357439) – 2004 BL86 will made a very close approach with the Earth, reaching a minimum distance of 1.1 millions of km, that is 3.1 lunar distances. The body will be as bright as mag 9.5, so easily accessible with small telescopes/binoculars.

    Of course, this is a very safe distance, but still a very spectacular circumstance, so  the Virtual Telescope Project will offer a live, online event sharing real-time images of  (357439) – 2004 BL86 with live commentary by our scientific staff.

    The online, free session is scheduled for 26 Jan. 2015, starting at 19:30 UT. At that time, the object will be at its maximum brightness, assuring a spectacular sight.

    To join, you just need to enter, at the date and time above, our webTV page here!

    Back to “Upcoming Events”



    Support The Virtual Telescope Project!

    If everyone reading this right now would donate something, our fundraiser would be done in a few days. Please, donate and receive an exclusive, AMAZING image of potentially hazardous asteroid 2004 BL86 taken taken by the Virtual Telescope!

    donate now (you can adjust the amount later)

     

    8 October 2014 – Total Lunar Eclipse: podcast

    8 October 2014 Total Lunar Eclipse: poster

    8 October 2014 Total Lunar Eclipse: poster

    Below is the podcast of our live coverage of the 8 Oct. lunar eclipse, an international, very successful campaign hosted by the Virtual Telescope

     

     

    Back to “podcasts” page

     



    Support The Virtual Telescope Project!

    If everyone reading this right now would donate something, our fundraiser would be done in a few days. Please, donate and receive an exclusive, AMAZING image of potentially hazardous asteroid 2004 BL86 taken taken by the Virtual Telescope!

    donate now (you can adjust the amount later)

     

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