How it all Works
As a DarkSky Subscriber, you simply request objects to observe, or provide coordinates for your own observation. You can request what kind of data you need (single exposure, stacked exposures or video), then let us do the rest. When your observation is complete, we send you the data and keep it from the public for 1 year to give you time to make your analysis. The data is yours to do with what you want.
Our goal is to provide services for FREE to as many educators and educational institutions as we can. While our resources are limited, it is likely we have more advanced astrophotography and imaging capabilities equal to, or better than many colleges and universities; we're offering these resources on a first-come, first-served basis to educators who are not likely to have access to them anywhere else.
Imagine being able to supplement your lesson plan with real observations directed by you and your students! You can look up images of the night sky from the internet; but with DarkSky you can acquire observations specific to your way of teaching and discover them together with your students and in accordance with your lesson plan.
The bottom line is DarkSky is about education: In addition to stellar and solar observation, there are a number of challenges in electronics, physics and software engineering that we have solved (or continue to work on) that can be broken down and analyzed to guide and encourage students in STEM subject matter. We even have diagrams, images and templates ready to customize. For example: DarkSky mobile laboratories use solar energy to power a significant amount of equipment over long nightly observations - wouldn't you like to find out how we do it? Or task your students to find out how to solve this kind of problem? Improve upon it? All of DarkSky Engineering efforts are in the process of being documented and will be available in an Open Source format - you could even build your own mobile lab!
The Future of DarkSky OnDemand
We are looking for ways to improve our offerings. Among the improvements we envision are building a network of labs to accommodate your needs. These networked mobile labs will provide superior optics for observations by geographically spreading our telescopes across continents and hemispheres, so imaging efforts can be enhanced and combined. When the weather isn't cooperating at one Certified DarkSky Sanctuary, we can use other labs in our network to fill-in, or target multiple lab observations on the same planetary or deep-space object for superior results.
Adding Insulation and Wiring
Prep and Seal Cabinets in place
Solar Cell Installation for Daytime Battery Charging
Lab Tactical Lighting to help maintain night vision