When most people get interested in astronomy they
initially purchase some type of entry level telescope. The price tag generally varies from $500 to $3000 depending on the type of system they purchase. This decision to initially purchase less
expensive equipment may have significant dire consequences and compromise their entire lifelong astronomical and astrophotographic experience.
Very quickly some realize they need more
accessories and equipment to enhance their observing experience. If their interests advance to astrophotography then the need for more sophisticated equipment becomes even more apparent. Of
course the cost invested also increases incrementally.
Over a reasonable period of time (say 5 years) the
initial investment of $3000 soon grows to $15,000 or $20,000 depending on how ambitious the target activity and the available funds. The $20,000 expenditure does not occur overnight. The
driving force behind all of this investing in new equipment is the pursuit of perfection in producing professional grade images. It is more likely that the purchase of better quality equipment
occurs over a period of several years. This is the time it takes for the user to become aware of all the pitfalls of entry level equipment. This is also the time it takes to experience the
fairly steep learning curve and develop a new level of sophistication. Coincidentally this is also the time it takes for the level of frustration to develop over the lack of performance of the less
Productivity now becomes an important issue. How
many times will the purchaser of all this expensive equipment get to use it? It depends on how committed the astronomer is to astrophotography and where the astronomer lives. In most cases they
will have to drive 2 to 3 hours to reach a site dark enough to practice their skills. Also there is the time invested to perform all these feats of astronomical magic. Since many of the
devotees work during the week most of the time they get to explore their avocation is during weekends. Between the possibility of the appearance of the Moon and inclement or cloudy weather this
knocks down the chances of a successful mission to a fairly few occasions per year. Of course then too is the trip back. Another 2 to 3 hours invested in nonproductive time. All of this does
not allow for other issues like the cost of fuel, cold weather, clouds rolling in and spoiling the trip, persistent biting insects and a myriad of other incidentals.
To summarize, an individual that is very serious
about pursuing an interest in astronomy and astrophotography generally spends around $20,000 for a reasonably good performing system (the range may be between $12,000 and $50,000):
- Telescope: $4 to 6,000,
- Mount: $4 to $13,000,
- CCD Camera: $2500 to $9000,
- Other needed accessories: $2 to 5,000.
It takes around 3 to 5 years accomplish this
objective. After all of this has come to fruition, the persistent user may only get to use it 15 to 20 nights a year Over the 5 year period this amounts to a total of 150 nights of usage at
an approximate average cost of $133 per night (based on an average cost of $19,950). Then there is the cost of the following to consider. Each person must place their own value on their
Load-up time, Drive-time, Time to set up,
Alignment, time to photograph (maybe an average of 6 hours per night), Tear-down, reload, drive back time and finally unload time.
So here is the bottom line:.. Let us assume an
average shooting time of 6 hours per night. That amounts to 900 hours of shooting for a 5 year period or 180 hours a year. The cost of using Global-Rent-a-Scope for 180 hours per year is $4500. Extend this cost for the 5 year period and the total cost for a 5 year period is $22,500. The overall difference right up front is a little more than $2500 more for Global-Rent-a-Scope. Now consider this, the user gets to use world-class observatory equipment that is the best
money can buy.
This is equipment few astrophotographers could or would
even contemplate purchasing for themselves. The equipment setups at Global-Rent-a-Scope are some of the best equipment ever assembled. These systems generally cost over $50,000 each.
The comparison continues...
Other costs vary depending on the user’s individual
circumstance but you can bet that the costs will more than exceed the $2500 difference in a five year period. Gasoline alone accounts for most of the difference (75 trips X 200 miles = 15000
miles / 20 mpg = 750 Gals X $2.50 per gal = $1875). Keep in mind the user also gets to save the travel time in both directions too. Based on 75 sessions (150 nights /2 to account for weekends)
times 5 hours (2.5 hours each direction) or an average total of 375 hours (over the 5 year period). How much is that worth? That amounts to almost 47 man days (8 hours per man day). If
you figure the value of your time is greater than $2.00 per hour then you have broken even cost-wise.
Some may contend that after the 5 year period has
passed they will still have their equipment that they could sell to recover their costs. While this is true to an extent with some exceptions, most equipment looses 50% of the value as soon as it
So what is the value of pursuing your favorite past-time and still being present to share time with your family? Using Global-Rent-a-Scope allows you the freedom to pursue your astroimaging and still be close by. I’m sure your spouse and children would also appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Overall, the calculations clearly point to the incredible convenience and value of Global-Rent-a-Scope. This is a very cost efficient and extremely convenient way to perform CCD astronomy.
This is the way the professional astronomer’s gather their data.
The Global-Rent-a-Scope system allows for a significant increase in image production over the direct methods currently employed
by most CCD astronomers today. The system is ready to go with just a few mouse clicks. Should the weather turn unfavorable the user can simply log out and continue on as normal; no
significant time is lost.
Since long trips are no longer required or even any
advanced planning, for that matter, the user can even do imaging even on a work night. This of course depends on the time zone in which the user lives but it certainly provides a lot more
opportunities to pursue this activity in a more convenient way at a more convenient time.
Look let’s cut to the chase; if your objective is
to drive around for hours looking for a dark site; spend a great amount of time suffering from bone-chilling freezing temperatures; exposing yourself to possible injury by lugging around heavy and
awkward equipment; risk the loss of your equipment to thieves, while you might be napping or worse yet, suffer personal harm from unknown assailants that may pray on unsuspecting lone astronomers.
If this is your preference Global-Rent-a-Scope will not make a lot of sense to you.
On the off chance you would really prefer to just
create a lot of incredibly beautiful CCD images in the most time and cost efficient manner, then Global-Rent-a-Scope is your answer. We guarantee you will gather more data to produce 10 times more images in half the time than the typical method described above. Keep in mind some of our users are even benefitting from
operating several systems simultaneously. Talk about efficient use of time and resources! They can produce the luminance frames on one system and capture the RGB data on another; all
at the same time! I am telling you it just doesn’t get any better than this.
If all of this is not enough to convince you please review some of the unique features only available at Global-Rent-a-Scope. You can’t find these benefits anywhere
else regardless of price:
- Darkest skies in North America
- Highest quality equipment
- Incredible real-time live personal support 24/7
- High-speed internet connections
- Efficient, cost-effective data gathering system
- Simple, user friendly control software provided
- No special software necessary to use our systems
- Five different FOV’s
- Imaging available on average of 250 nights a year
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.
or call me at 714-501-8247 24/7