Slooh, a Connecticut-based company, makes it easy and now free to look at the night sky through any one of dozens of telescopes around the world. To use the service you simply log in and pick a telescope. If you want to take control you can begin to point the telescope at various spots in space or you can simply go along for the ride while a professional astronomer takes the reins. Slooh users even share discoveries they find while peering into space.
In honor of the upcoming eclipse the service is offering free accounts to folks who want to watch the lunar eclipse remotely. You can sign up now for a free account or pay $4.95 a month to be able to control the telescopes.
Slooh has 80,000 members and has had over 20 million viewers of their live shows – essentially telescope broadcasts during interesting things like meteor showers and eclipses. They’ve been steadily growing and just got 10,000 move viewers thanks to this free offer.
“Our telescopes are situated at one of the very best observatories in the world,” said founder Michael Paolucci. “These sorts of locations are otherwise inaccessible to amateurs or the public at large.”
A total of 25 observatories offer feeds on Slooh and you can control many of the telescopes.
“When you look through a Slooh telescope, you are doing it in unison with a global community looking up in wonder together. Therefore, we designed elements of the experience to bring about an exchange of ideas as we seek to curate our collective human response to space across every style of thought and expression.” said Slooh Astronomer Paul Cox.
We last talked with Slooh in 2009 when they broadcast the LCROSS impact live. This new effort is part of Paolucci’s effort to help change the world for the better.
“I created Slooh to honor my dear friend Blake Wallens who worked at Cantor Fitzgerlad and was killed on 9/11,” said Paolucci. “Slooh launched in 2003 to connect humanity through communal exploration of the universe. I built a global telescope network and designed a patented technology to develop celestial images in real time so people could look through telescopes into outer space and ponder our place in the cosmos. I consider it a gesture of peace and enlightenment, as well as an opportunity to confront the perverse world view of the religious fanatics that caused 9/11. I believe that enabling people to see for themselves the grandeur of the universe will ultimately lead to the evolution of spiritual beliefs.”