Meet the iTelescope Planner
The iTelescope Planner makes finding thousands of beautiful objects in the night sky easy - customized for iTelescope observatories. It even takes moon phases into account, which is especially important around full moon.
Here is a short video tutorial, or alternately read the text below
You can access it from the iTelescope Launchpad by selecting the “Telescopes” dropdown menu on the top left and then choosing “Planner” by clicking on it. Here is the direct link https://go.itelescope.net/reservation/planner.aspx
A new search window opens. You can select your site on the left and the date on your right. Object types can be selected below.
As an example we will choose the site “Siding Spring Observatory” and press search. As a search result, tonight’s objects appear below, the brightest ones come first. (Your page will look different, depending on your date). We could also choose any future date by filling out the “Date” window on the top right.
The objects are characterized in various green columns, first “Name” and “Preview”. The “Details” column shows information on their RA and DEC coordinates. The green icon allows you to directly copy the RA and DEC coordinates, one by one and paste them into telescope imaging page.
In most cases you can skip this step as the telescope will recognize the object name (e.g. NGC 253) and fill in the coordinates for you. Also shown are object magnitude, size and angle to the moon – the moon phase is automatically taken into account, and objects too close to the moon are eliminated.
The “Visibility” column shows you rise, transit and set times of the object (above an elevation of 30 degrees) which are essential for planning.
Which telescope should you choose? Click on the “More info” link dso-browser.com
This opens a new window directly in the DSO browser. On the right you can see Hourly Elevation (your observation window is the black field and the curve above 30 degrees green dotted line) and by scrolling down you can find the Telescope Simulator -
Click on the iTelescope icon to choose the right telescope by comparing various fields of view.
Finally, on the right-hand side you can use the data sheet for telescope coordinates – just switch to decimal format before you copy.