Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Well, this is pretty awesome.

It's called SLOOH. It's a way for people who lack high-powered telescopes (or a suitable viewing environment) to participate in astronomy. Each night, an observatory on Mount Teide in the Canary Islands will focus its telescopes on various celestial objects, and you can log in and view these in real-time on your computer.

Here's an excerpt from the FAQ:
What is a SLOOH mission?
As a subscriber, you get unlimited access to group missions. Most missions are five to fifteen minutes in length. Using LightMachineâ„¢, SLOOH's patent-pending instant imaging technology, each mission presents a LIVE view of one of the known wonders of the universe. This view improves in quality during the mission as our telescopes gather more light. Our observatory aims multiple different telescopes at the subject, which allows you to zoom from a huge expanse of sky all the way to a close up view. Through our user interface, you can capture photographs during the mission and save them in your mission log book. During the mission, our storytellers will explain the history, mythology, science and beauty of the subject.

What objects will I see on the missions?
For starters, the Moon, Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter, as well as the most beautiful galaxies, nebulae and globular clusters, including M51, the Orion Nebula, the Andromeda Galaxy, NGC4565, the Crab Nebula, the Whirlpool Galaxy, Pleiades and Hercules, to name a few.

There's an optional audio channel in addition to the viewing options, and astronomy experts will both discuss the objects being viewed as well as answering your questions.

It's subscription based ($49.95 yearly), but there's a one-week free trial available, and the annual subscription fee grants you unlimited access to missions.

Here's the website: Take a look at the "Sneak Peek" and "FAQ" sections for more information.

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