Bellatrix Virtual Telescope Observatory

In the year 2011, Akashmitra collaborated with the Bellatrix Virtual Telescope Observatory, Italy to operate it’s 17 inch fully robotic telescope stationed in Italy. This means that while our members were in Pune they could operate the telescope in Italy via the internet, thanks to the wonderful facility of the Virtual Telescope project started by Dr. Gianluca Masi. Dr. Masi was very kind to allow members of Akashmitra to use the Virtual Telescope facility for taking photographs of deep sky objects and process them accordingly.

The system used consisted of a PlaneWave CDK 17 inch telescope, installed on a robotic Paramount ME mount, while a SBIG STL-&303E was used as a detector.

The team did a wonderful job of taking photographs of the deep sky objects such as the Whirlpool galaxy, Cigar Galaxy, Pinwheel Galaxy, Bode’s galaxy and the Owl Nebula. It was a beautiful display of their knowledge of operating Virtual Telescopes as well as Image processing. These two topics have also been discussed in our weekly lectures and the members have applied their knowledge very well.

Below are the photographs which were taken during this session. Please note that these photographs are a property of Kanad Mandke, Tushar Purohit, Nikhil Sharma, Jameer Manur, Kabir Sahane & Swapnil Bokade. Please write in to us if you wish to use these photographs.

The processing was done using Photoshop CS3 and FITS liberator.

The WHIRLPOOL Galaxy (M51a)

The WHIRLPOOL Galaxy (M51a)

M81 or Bode's Galaxy.

M81 or Bode’s Galaxy.

The Pinwheel Galaxy

The Pinwheel Galaxy

The Owl Nebula

The Owl Nebula

The Cigar Galaxy

The Cigar Galaxy

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