1)  To begin, we first need to log in to the Launchpad using your username and password.  This will bring you to a screen similar to the following:

2)  From here, you will want to click on a telescope that shows "Available" like the picture below.

3)  Once selected, you will be prompted to log in:

4)  Enter your Username and Password to log in.  If you receive an error, be sure to do the following:

  • Ensure that you are entering the correct Username and Password.
  • Ensure that you are entering the Username in all lower case - ACP (the telescope control software) can only accept lower case Usernames.
  • Ensure that you are entering your password exactly as you originally typed it in - passwords are case sensitive.
  • Ensure that you have more than 10 points remaining in your account - Access to telescopes is disabled when accounts fall below 10 points.
  • If you have made a change to your account recently (password, address, plan upgrade, plan downgrade, plan renewal, point purchase), please wait 15 minutes and try entering your information again.  Accounts must re-sync to all systems following any changes, regardless of how small.

If all of these fail, please contact support, as your account has likely become desynced and will need to be manually synced to the telescopes.  Be sure to include your account Username and which telescope you are seeing an error on.

5)  Once logged in, you will find yourself on a "Welcome" screen, like this:

6)  From here, select Deep Sky:

7)  This will bring you to this page:

8)  From here, you need to fill out the following information:

  1. Plan Name - only required if you run a reservation, otherwise leave blank
  2. Target - Enter the target and click "Get Coordinates".  If you wish to target by RA/DEC instead (ADVANCED), then do not click "Get Coordinates " after entering the Target Name.
  3. RA/DEC - If you used "Get Coordinates " this will fill in automatically.  If you did not, fill this in.
  4. #Repeat - This is useful if you are doing multiple filters and want to run images with given filters consecutively instead of running them in a bulk. For example, ticking the box #repeat and the  entering the number 2 will result in the image series below being repeated twice. 
  5. Primary Imaging Options - Choose your binning, filter, image count and image duration - in seconds.  Be sure to check "Use" on any line you wish included.  You can make any number of lines by clicking "More"
  6. Advanced Imaging Options:  Choose your advanced imaging options by clicking the box next to each option you wish to use. Explanations are given next to the directives (commands)

8)  Once all information is entered, scroll down and locate 'Acquire Images now' or if you have chosen a plan name, then click on 'Create plan for later'

9)  After taking your images, you will need to download them from the FTP server.  We have another section of FAQs that cover this process that you can find here.