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Robotic Telescopes, Student Research and Education Conference (RTSRE)

Hilo, Hawai'i, USA. 23rd to 25th of July. 2018


The International Astronomy Teaching Summit (iNATS)
Hilo, Hawai'i, USA. 25th to 27th of July. 2018


It is our great pleasure to inform you that the RTSRE draft program is up online, a remote poster facility is available and an outline of one of our Sponsors, Dark Sky Observatory for the co-located Robotic Telescopes, Student Research and Education Conference (RTSRE) and the International Astronomy Teaching Summit (iNATS) held in Hilo, Hawaii in July 2018


The central organizing website
for both conferences is
The "Registrations Now Open" button is on the front page.
The "Submit Abstract" button is up the top of the page.

Registration also includes receptions, refreshments, and hotel-to-conference transportation. Family registration for participating in tours, meals, & refreshments is available for non-participants at 1/2 daily rate.
Program Update
We are happy to announce that the provisional program is now online at the bottom of the main page!

PLEASE NOTE: There are two rooms for both RTSRE and iNATS. As well as being able to switch between the days in the program using the buttons at the top, you can also switch between the rooms.

The following comments are specifically for RTSRE, the iNATS program is quite firmly set already. There is a draft program for iNATS available on the iNATS website. We have included the iNATS schedule on for your convenience.

There are always some late changes as flights get changed/missed and acts of god intervene, hence the 'provisional' status, but this should represent 90-95% accuracy of the final RTSRE program.

We have tried to incorporate much of the feedback from last time (More talks! Less talks! Longer talks! Shorter talks!). Some attendees wanted to have significantly more interactive workshops and discussions during the program... while others.... not so much! We have attempted to cater to both communities as much as we can, which sometimes means a workshop in one room while there is a set of talks in the other. We have attempted to keep the overlap in the Venn Diagram of attendees between the two sessions as small as possible. Roughly half the time is still single session though, especially for the keynotes and discussion panels. Detailed abstracts should be online soon. A hardcopy will be available online closer to the date and also provided at the conference.
Remote Poster Facility
Students don't have money. Teachers don't have significant budgets.  At RTSRE, we are happy to present posters at the conference from people who cannot physically attend. This is to facilitate those important members of our community who do not have the resources to travel to the conference still to present.

We will print, at cost price, your poster and display it at RTSRE for you. There is also the possibility of giving a very short talk about the poster over zoom during the special poster session (Tuesday 9 to roughly 9:30 Hawaii time).

The deadline for RTSRE to receive a high resolution pdf of your poster is the 15th of July as it will take some time to order and print the posters. 

The dropbox link to upload your posters is here: Upload your poster

There are two size options, 24" x 36" (roughly A1 size.. but not exactly) for $30USD or 36" x 48" (roughly A0 size... but not exactly) for $60USD. The payment facility for this is available on the front of the site.
Major Sponsor: Dark Sky Observatory
11 years ago, the University of North Texas set a goal to transform its Monroe Observatory, as well as any new telescopes so they could all operate remotely. After an exhaustive search, Preston Starr was recruited from Oracle, the software giant. Because of his extensive experience in repairing mainframe computers, as well as his ability to configure complex IP setups, Preston quickly transformed UNT’s telescopes at the Monroe Observatory into remotely-controlled instruments. Unfortunately, the land that had been donated for the observatory was only average, with light pollution from a nearby town-not to mention the fact that the largest Casino in the world opened up across the Red River in Oklahoma, creating a colorful, but distracting glow on the southeastern horizon.
That’s when Preston realized that the one of the most valuable components is a dark sky! Fortunately for Preston, during his years at Oracle, he had purchased several plots of land close to the McDonald Observatory, in Southwest Texas with hopes of retiring there. 
So, Preston decided to build a robotic observatory for his use. After a short period of time, the data recovered from the test sessions turned out comparable to data received from larger telescopes at other “dark sites”.
Once again, Preston designed and built an 11-pier roll off observatory – The Dark Sky Observatory Collaborative - and, within a year, all 11 piers are be used by various subscribers such as Sky Watcher telescopes, defense contractors, a NIST research scientist, OPT Telescopes, Boyce-Astro, as well as The University of North Texas, and the University of Dallas.
McDonald Observatory has the darkest skies of any major observatory in North America. According to the Bortle scale, which is a 9-level measurement from the brightest sky (9) to darkest Sky (1). The DSOC is within 5 miles of the McDonald Observatory, and thus shares its “1” rating. The DSOC also averages 270 viewable night per year. 
Preston’s entrepreneurial spirit did not stop here; as a result, he duplicated his first observatory by creating a second building that will be available for the first 11 subscribers during this event in Hawaii. He will be on site, along with his team, the Observatory Operators.
They will be there to explain the variety of subscription plans from nightly to multi-year. Additionally, The Dark Sky Observatory will be available to host your telescope setup-including installation – if desired.  Imagine having your scope at the darkest sky in North America or renting an evening with a class of students to gather beautiful astroimages or Science data. Either way, the Dark Sky Observatory Collaborative is your best, and most cost-effective choice. 
A rather chilled perspective....
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