Jump to content

How are targets chosen?

Recommended Posts

Feedback in the form of a question, really.

There is some wonderful image data available on Telescope Live, but I am struggling to make sense of it as a collection. For example, there are 31 one-click observations of Centaurus A (much more scientifically interesting than visually) and none at all of M37. Quite a few other Messier objects are missing. There are dozens of B, RCW and GUM nebulae but no Perseus double cluster. For people serious about learning astrophotography, it can be very helpful to work on "famous" targets as there are a wide range of comparators (and even advice) available.

Is there a rationale to how the collection is being built or intended "audience" for the one-click observations? It would be helpful to know what it is, if so. I wonder if the one-clicks are simply selections of whatever happen to be made (and paid for) as "advanced requests".

In my second month of subscription, I am beginning to think about planning a few personal projects, but I don't know if that's feasible, because I don't know how likely anything is to be imaged.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Christopher,

Thanks for your question! Choosing targets for our "one-click" astrophotography captures is a fascinating process, and it's true there's no simple answer.

Here's a breakdown of the key factors involved:

  • Target Visibility: We consider how well a celestial object is positioned in the night sky for clear imaging. This includes factors like its current position above the horizon and the time of year.
  • Observing Conditions: Weather plays a major role! Clear skies are essential for capturing stunning images. Moon phase also matters, as moonlight can affect the visibility of fainter objects.
  • Telescope Availability: We factor in our telescope schedule to ensure efficient use of observing time.
  • User Input: This is where GOLD subscription comes in handy! GOLD users (and above plans) have a dedicated section to suggest targets for future "one-click" captures. Many of our most popular targets come directly from these suggestions.

Extensive Image Archive:

By the way, we have a vast online archive for users like yourself. It currently holds over 253,000 images, representing more than 960,000 minutes of exposure time across hundreds of different celestial objects. And this archive keeps growing with every clear night!

Balancing User Interests:

There's a vast universe of potential targets out there, and user preferences naturally vary. Some users favor specific imaging techniques like Halpha or LRGB, while others prefer galaxies over nebulae. We understand this!

That's why we carefully consider all these factors to strike a balance between user interests and optimal observing conditions. Our goal is to offer a diverse range of "one-click" captures, from iconic celestial wonders to lesser-known but equally beautiful objects.

We hope this clarifies our process! Feel free to ask if you have any further questions.

Clear Skies,


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Guidelines