Cost to Use SSON Telescopes

Affordable, High-Quality Imaging Data

You pay only for the actual imaging time used. In other words, you only pay for the actual time the shutter of the CCD cameras are open. There are no additional charges whatsoever. This makes it very easy to budget and plan how to use your SSON credits for your projects and to allocate credits among your Affiliate users.

We charge you for imaging time on the Sierra Stars Observatory Network using credits from your SSON account. Standard (non-discounted) SSON credits costs $1 (USD) per credit with a $50 minimum purchase. You purchase SSON credits through our online secure PayPal system. If your institution prefers to pay by check, bank transfers, or other methods, please contact us to make arrangements.

We charge different rates for the SSON telescopes based on their size, instrumentation, and location. We compute our rates based on the number of credits per hour used. We calculate the credit cost of your images for the number of minutes of each exposure at the credit rate of the telescope used. For example, if you scheduled a 3-minute (180-second) image on a telescope with a base rate of 100 credits per hour (1.67 credits per minute), we charge your account five credits for the image delivered to you. The minimum time charge for images is 30 second.

The hourly base rate for the current SSON telescopes in our network are:

Hourly Credit Rate
University of Iowa Gemini 0.51-meter telescope
Warrumbungle Observatory 0.51-meter telescope

We offer discounts to customers who purchase larger blocks of time in advance at the following savings:

Amount Purchased
Percent Discount
(cost with Discount)

$50 - $999
$1,000 - $4,999
$5,000 - $9,999

Note: Credits expire one year from purchase on dormant accounts.

Why Our Customers Love our Product and Services

"I wish I could express to you how critical it is to have access to your services for institutions like ours. Thanks again! My students are having the time of their lives. I even have students not officially enrolled in the class taking the class!  When have you ever seen students signing up for more work?

I have to be honest, I love the way this works.  I made this a small part of the course this term since I was trying it for the first time, but I am putting in a proposal next term for some more resources to extend the use of the scope. 

Again, keep up the good work.  This is a *very* important service, especially for Universities like Weber that don't have the resources to manage our own robotic observatory.  My astrophysics students have never been more excited!!!"

John Armstrong
(Weber State University - Utah)

"I got my images from the other day, I got the asteroid 2009 BP58 a fast moving object with the 10 x 30 sec images, it was mag 19.5 with a SNR of 12!!! that�s incredible�  this system is so good for us amateurs it means we can play with the "Big Boys" and make discoveries and observations just as good as they do."

Paul Camilleri
(Australian Amateur Astronomer)