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Watch Free Live Streams of Outer Space

The astronomy website Slooh has lifted the paywall on footage from its telescopes

Have an hour or twenty? Take in the mesmerizing views from Slooh's live feeds of space. (Screenshot from Slooh)
smithsonian.com

If you’re a space enthusiast—or just a skilled shirker of responsibilities—you’ll be glad to learn that an astronomy website is now offering free live streams of the sparkling night sky.

The company, Slooh, has lifted the paywall on footage streamed through its telescopes, as Shannon Liao reports for the Verge. Previously, the content was only available to Slooh members who shelled out upwards of $4.95 per month. But as of this week, you just have to register with the website to access its live feeds of stars, comets, lunar eclipses and other astronomical happenings.

Viewers can choose from plenty of vantage points. According to Elizabeth Howell of Space.com, Slooh owns seven telescopes on the Canary Islands and Chile, and receives additional feeds from 25 partner telescopes. The site also offers lives broadcasts—complete with commentary—of specific events. The last show, for instance, highlighted the Perseids Meteor Shower, which peaked on August 12. And of course, Slooh will be live streaming the solar eclipse on August 21, when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, darkening skies across a thick swath of land crossing the United States.

This afternoon, we tuned to the Canary Five telescope live feed, which showed the sun in all its orange glory. Beneath the glowing orb on the webpage you can scan through community perspectives, which are divided into four categories: science, arts and culture, human spirit, and DIY.

Under the science tab, one viewer notes a few things to keep an eye out for while watching the life-giving star. For example prominences, which are ribbons of solar plasma, could stream from its surface. Other features of note are sunspots, which are temporary dark splotches that form due to extreme magnetic activity

Those wanting more can opt to pay for additional perks. The site has two membership levels: “Slooh Apprentice,” which costs $4.95 per month, and “Slooh Astronomer,” which will set you back $24.95 per month. Among other things, members are able to choose where to point Slooh’s telescopes. The scenes they choose will now be broadcast to non-paying members, who can gaze into outer space from the comfort of their homes.

About Brigit Katz

Brigit Katz is a journalist based in New York City. Her work has appeared in New York magazine, Flavorwire, and Women in the World, a property of The New York Times.

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