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The Slooh.com Service

On August 4, 2004, I began my one week trial membership at slooh.com. For $49.00 a year, you can subscribe to an internet-based service that operates four very high quality scopes located at an unbelievable dark site. Everything is accomplished over the internet, and while broadband would be preferred, I am using my old dial-up connection and it works just fine.

The goto telescopes are located in two domes at the top of a mountain on the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa. Mount Tiede has an elevation of approximately 8000 ft, so the skies are just beautiful and steady. The two high mag scopes are both 14 inch SCT's, and both scopes have small APO refractors riding piggyback.

The service allows members to download photos taken live from the internet feed from the scopes each night. One advantage to this arrangement is the time difference between the Canary Islands and the U.S. In Arizona, the scopes start feeding images at about 2:30 P.M and finish when dawn comes to the Canary Islands, which is about 10:30 P.M. in Arizona. You get to image and also get a full nights sleep. Cool! And I think the images are just amazing!!!


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Actually, I do see a major downside to this service. The equipment is so good and the sky is so magnificent, clear, and dark, that I will never be able to duplicate these results with my own equipment. Slooh.com makes getting professional quality images very easy and conceals how really hard astrophotography actually is. This system makes the hobby so easy it really could become habit-forming. On the other hand, it sure is fun to get fabulous results without having to deal with expensive telescopes and finicky cameras (and I already own both)! This service has GOT to be the best buy in Astronomy!!!

Given those dire warnings, if you are still interested in signing up for a free trial of Slooh, just click on the banner below:







 
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