Internet Telescope Project (2008)

The Internet Telescope Project provides real-time access via a standard web browser interface. Authorised users can take single or multiple series images through a variety of filters including research grade BVRI. In addition to real time control, users can also upload ACP compatible plans to allow unattended data acquisition. RAW and calibrated images are zipped and saved in user folders and can be downloaded immediately, or the following morning.

“Luckas Observatory” has provided the model for the highly succesful SPIRIT initiative at The University of Western Australia.


Access to the telescope is provided via a standard web browser. The web site itself is presented as a single page, and contains micro content panes which can be arranged according to user preference.

Images are acquired through two primary means.

1. Real time image acquisition. Users select objects, filter and exposure settings and acquire the images while connected to the internet telescope.

2. Users upload ACP compatible plans which are executed unattended. Users then log in the following morning and dowload images via FTP.

In both cases, the images are provided as both RAW and fully calibrated images, zipped, and secured in user folders.

Users have a wide variety of filter choices. A standard LRGBHa set exists for astrophotography, and a BVRI and Clear filter set is available for measurement work. Both sets are available on demand. Flat field calibration frames are automatically acquired for each filter at the commencement of dusk.

Transmission information for the standard Johnson/Cousins (Bessell) BVRI fiter set


Both RAW and fully calibrated images are saved in the astronomical standard FITS format which requires specialised software to view. “Fits Liberator”, free software available from the European Space Agency’s website, allows .fits images to be viewed and converted for use in standard image processing applications such as in Adobe Photoshop. High quality JPEG versions are also automatically generated and available for immediate download.