NGC 7006 in Delphinus: an image for the 9th birthday for the Virtual Telescope Project
It was 21 Aug. 2006 when I launched the Virtual Telescope Project. It was the beginning of one of the most intriguing adventures of my astronomical life. That far day, I was only thinking of a remote facility I could use for my very personal, scientific needs. But very soon my dream became much more bigger and I invented a format to bring real time images of the sky with live commentary by a professional astrophysicist skilled in science communication. Something never seen before in the world. All this asking for nothing to people to join and offering some exclusive services helping the project to survive.
It is extremely hard to summarize what happened in this last year: we showed the Universe to millions of individuals from basically every Country on this planet, for free. Some of those events were simply invented by the Virtual Telescope Project, others cosmic phenomena were exclusively covered by us and all this had an immense return on the most important media of the world.
I will prepare a deep report about last year activities, but I wanted to thank all of you for making possible for the Virtual Telescope to become the most popular, rewarded and considered facility in the world doing live astronomy online, as well as first rate astrophysics, without any official/formal funding. So, we wish to thank those few people supporting us by donations: if the Virtual Telescope is around, it is mainly thanks to them.
With the image of the globular cluster NGC 7006 above we wish to share with you our happiness for these amazing none years. The image comes from the average of fifteen, 300-seconds exposures, unfiltered, remotely collected with the PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E robotic unit part of the Virtual Telescope Project. Binning 1×1, resulting scale of 0.8″/pixel.
The globular cluster NGC 7006 is quite far from us: placed at about 135.000 light years from us, this object is quite neglected by amateurs because it is small and faint. The amazing optics of the 17″ telescope provided a great view, with a lot of galaxies all around.
Happy 9th Birthday, Virtual Telescope: you simply changed the way astronomy is shared on the web.
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