The International Small Telescope Cooperative (ISTeC)

  • Gary D. Henson
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 287/8/9)


Although the emphasis in mainstream astronomy has moved increasingly toward larger and space-based telescopes, it is the small to intermediate size telescopes (in the 0.4- to 2.0-m range) that have been the backbone upon which contemporary astronomy has been built Numerous institutions and individuals with such small aperture telescopes exist throughout the world. Such facilities tend to be largely undersubscribed yet they are ideal for supporting areas of research that cannot or will not be scheduled on large telescopes. The International Small Telescope Cooperative (ISTeC) was established to bring to the attention of the general astronomical community the distribution and availability of such small telescope facilities and their research capabilities. The cooperative functions mainly through an Internet website that contains an information listing of the facilities that have volunteered to become a member of the cooperative. The purpose of this listing is to provide research astronomers worldwide with potential sources of data on a larger scale and in a more time efficient manner than is currently available using large national facilities alone. Looking toward the future, advances in telescope automation, detector technology, and worldwide communications will provide the opportunity to make even the smallest of telescopes a productive research instrument. It is the intent of ISTeC to preserve and advance the role of small telescopes in astronomical research by fostering both national and international research collaborations via the Internet.

Key words

ISTeC NASTeC cooperatives collaborations database 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary D. Henson
    • 1
  1. 1.East Tennessee State UniversityJohnson CityUSA

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