Shared Skies Request
Fill in the details to request images from our remote telescopes.
Object
Enter information about the object you are interested in here. If it is not something we can target in the next few weeks, we will either use data from our archive or suggest an alternative.
Object Name *
Enter a name that is easily connected to the object you want to image, such as an NGC or Messier number for a nebula, galaxy or cluster, an HD number or other designation for a star, or a planet/satellite name. Descriptive names, such as "Sunflower Galaxy" may work, but it is better to use a catalog name if you know it. If you want to observe the Moon, you may name a particular crater or feature.
Your answer
Constellation
What constellation is the object in now? If you can answer this, then you should be able to decide whether it is visible from the northern or southern hemisphere at this time of year. We may not be able to satisfy requests to observe objects that are too close to the Sun. Provide this to help us confirm which object you have requested, and to assure that it can be observed now.
Your answer
Right Ascension
What is the right ascension of the object? Enter in the form hh:mm:ss such as 04:28:10 for 4 hours 28 minutes and 10 seconds. We use this answer to sort when requests may be scheduled, and to confirm the object name.
Your answer
Declination
What is the declination of the object? Enter in the form dd:mm:ss such as -10:15:02 for -10 degrees 15 minutes 2 seconds. We use this answer to help sort whether a southern hemisphere telescope is needed, and to confirm the object name.
Your answer
Instrumentation
Tell us how you want to observe this object.
Observatory *
Select the observatory that is appropriate for your request. If your target is below -20 degrees declination, then it is best seen from Australia. We use this response to schedule observations whenever possible.
Telescope *
From which telescope do you want the data? Use http://www.sharedskies.org/instruments for more informaiton.
Filters
Most of our telescopes offer options for filters. Select one of these if you know you have a particular need.
Comment
If you have a specific request or special need, help us select the instruments for you by leaving a comment here.
Your answer
Data
CCD cameras return data in digital image files. We can provide the original data, processed quantitative files that may be used for science, or color images viewable on the web. and suitable for informative visualization and artistic modification.

All FITS images require ds9, Aladin, or AstroImageJ to view, although they may load into other software with loss of dynamic range.

Unprocessed FITS images have not been corrected for the "dark" signal that is present even without an exposure, or for the variation in the response of the telescope across its field of view. To use this data requires special software (Aladin and AstroImageJ, for example), an understanding of image processing, and some patience.

Processed FITS images have all of the science information, often including celestial coordinates. There is one image for each filter. They appear only in grayscale, and must be combined to make visually colorful images, but viewed in ds9, ImageJ, AstroImageJ, or Aladin they reveal a wealth of detail.

Panoramic, zoomable, on-line images in color or grayscale show the full dynamic range and are visually informative, but at this time they cannot provide quantitative information.

Smaller compressed JPG or PNG images, used for documents, email, websites, and paper prints, are often stunning, but also not usually good for quantitative analysis.

Keep in mind that while the FITS image files are very large (128 MB, typically), the panoramic on-line images are viewable with low bandwidth requirements on a desktop, tablet, or cell phone. For a printable image, or one to use in a report or document, request a smaller downloadable JPG or PNG file. If you are doing research that requires a measurement of magnitude or position in celestial coordinates, request the processed FITS images.

Data Type *
Original camera data is stored in large Flexible Image Transport (FITS) files. We process and transform them into other file types, and make all data available for you to download from our server if requested.
Explanation *
Please briefly explain the purpose of your request.
Your answer
Submission
We need some information from you in order to return data to you, and to provide the support you will need to make use of it.
Your Name *
Returned data are identified by the name you supply here. If you are enrolled in a class, please use your name as it appears on the roster.
Your answer
Classroom Connection *
Please select one of the categories below so that we may provide the best support for your request.
Your E-mail Address *
We will use this address only to inform you when your data are available, if additional information is needed to complete your request, or if you request help.
Your answer
Submit
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