Each telescope has a published points per imaging hour rate on the launchpad. These rates change based on your membership plan, generally the higher the plan, the lower the rate. The URL link below will show you the rates for each Telescope.
You are billed based on the total imaging time of images taken. If you expose 12 x 300-second images, you will be charged for 1-hour of telescope time.
In 98% of cases, this is the only fee that you will pay.
Sometimes, we have to bill additional surcharges to ensure each member pays their fair share and the network remains viable for all members:
Minimum Image Time
In the event, your exposure time is less than 60-seconds, your billing for that image will be charged at 60-seconds. You can still take exposures of less than 60-seconds. e.g. between 0.1 and 59 seconds.
We have an inherent overhead in providing this service to you; sometimes it takes longer to download and save the image than it takes to capture it.
A good example is planetary imaging, someone who takes 150 x 2-second images has 5-mins of imaging time, but may keep the telescope busy for 1-hour.
In the example above, 150 x 2-second images will be billed at 150 x 60-seconds or 2.5-hours of imaging time. Since the session only lasted for 1-hour, we cap the billing at 80% of the session time.
In this case, the member would only pay for 0.8 hours of imaging time and NOT 2.5-hours.
*IMPORTANT* - Use of #chain directive in a script will break the capped billing system - be careful using #chain. This means that in the example above, billing will be for the 2.5 hour imaging time if the images were part of a #chain directive.
Minimum Service Fee
In the event that you have a very short plan, e.g. three x 15-second images this may trigger a 'Minimum Service Fee', which is the minimum charge to use the telescope.
There is an inherent overhead when we provide this service to you. Time to slew telescope, centre the frame and download the image data, when we have very short plans we need to recover some of this cost.
Each telescope as a minimum billing charge of 15 points.
In most cases, you will not see any additional charges. However, these surcharges are in place to ensure the network remains viable and that every member is paying their fair share. iTelescope.Net is a not-for-profit organisation, and the telescope rates have been set to cover the costs of providing these services to you.