We are constantly monitoring our observatories and making any adjustments needed. They are meant to run unattended and so we rely on components that have been field tested for durability and dependability. From time to time components do not perform as intended or expected which could cause your imaging plan not to run, not to complete, or to deliver unusable image data. In the event that your image data is unacceptable to you due to a component operating incorrectly, we will return a pro-rata portion (based on the percentage of the data that is not usable) of the held points to your account.
We do everything we can to ensure that your imaging plan runs when it is scheduled. If your run cannot occur due to bad weather, instrument/equipment failure, or other unforeseen reason, we will return the full amount of points that were reserved for your run to your account. If only a partial run occurs due to bad weather, instrument/equipment failure, or other unforeseen reason, we will return a pro-rata portion (based on the percentage of the run that did not complete) of the held points to your account.
Image Data Quality
LightBuckets cannot be responsible for poor image quality resulting from bad weather, bad seeing, clouds, and other atmospheric phenomena. Furthermore, we cannot be responsible for poor image quality resulting from cosmic rays, meteors, satellites, and other natural and man-made sources.
Please thoroughly review your imaging plan and scheduling options prior to submitting your plan for execution. It is your responsibility to ensure that your targets are in favorable positions and that you have set up all of your parameters correctly including exposures, durations, binning, and filters.
LightBuckets includes options for minimal automated image processing such as calibration (bias and dark frame). You are responsible for all processing of your image data including combining, stacking, aligning, and color balancing/processing.
The LightBuckets FAQ has information on how to get the most out of your imaging run including timing, target location, imaging parameters, and more.
Image Data Availability
As soon as your imaging run is complete, we begin to transfer your data from the local observatory server to the main LightBuckets server. Due to the large size of the files produced by today's CCD cameras, data transfer can take an extended period of time. We cannot guarantee or publish the time frame that your image data will be available. There are options in the customer profile for various alerts. Use these to be notified when your run has started, your run has completed, and when your image data is available.
Our scheduling system is a critical part of what makes LightBuckets work. It helps ensure that our entire telescope "inventory" is being utilized as efficiently as possible. However, all of the times for an imaging run are estimates based on previous results. Occasionally, these estimates can be off due to additional steps needed to slew, guide, focus, and other processes that take place during image acquisition.
If you have selected Schedule for Best Available for your run, we will execute your imaging plan at the very next best available time slot that your target is visible and its associated plan is expected complete within the estimated time. Best Available imaging runs are subject to being bumped, that is, Schedule for Later and Schedule for Now runs will take priority and push back a Schedule for Best Available to a later time. In the event that we cannot complete your imaging run, we will return a pro-rata portion of the held points to your account.
Schedule for Later always have priority in the LightBuckets system. If you are using a LightBuckets observatory on a Schedule for Now or Schedule for Best Available basis, and your plan takes longer than the estimated amount, it will be interrupted for the previously scheduled plan to run. In the event of an interruption of your plan, we will return a pro-rata portion of the held points to your account.
Points are the currency on LightBuckets. In order to use LightBuckets you must purchase points that will be exchanged for time on our facilities. You may have any quantity of points in your account that you wish. Points will expire 2 years from the date of purchase, group transfer or gift card activation. You are welcome to share your points with members of groups of which are a member.
LightBuckets Hosting Plus program
As an owner of a telescope hosted on a Lightbuckets site, you will receive payments. Your balance depends on users connection for points purchased since november 2011, sharing revenues percentage and fees upon your LightBuckets Hosting Plus Agreement.
This accounting balance is available on the owner screen of "myLightBuckets".
Your credit card or PayPal account is authorized and charged at the time that your purchase points on LightBuckets. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and PayPal.
When you create an imaging plan, LightBuckets will estimate the amount of points needed to finish your run. This estimated amount is deducted from your account and held until your imaging plan runs. Upon successful completion of your imaging run, LightBuckets will calculate the actual time used and deduct additional points from your account if your plan runs over. Conversely, if your plan runs short of the estimated time, we will return a pro-rata portion of the held points to your account.
LightBuckets makes no commitments or representations with regards to discounts. We do currently offer Moon discounts to incentivize customers who are willing to take their image data during times that the Moon is visible and its illumination is greater than 25%. The Moon discount is currently calculated at 25% of the Moon's percentage of illumination multiplied by the point rate for a particular LightBuckets Observatory.
We also offer quantity discounts to customers who make a larger commitment to LightBuckets by purchasing points in bulk. There is no published bulk discount structure available. You can find out the bulk discount amounts by visiting the LightBuckets store.
In the event that your imaging run does not occur, partially occurs, or is cancelled by you or us, we will automatically refund the full amount or a pro-rata amount of points back to your account. We will issue payment refunds upon written request within 30 days of your point purchase. If you have multiple point purchases (at various costs per point) we will use the average cost of your points in determining your refund amount. A $10.00 processing fee will apply for all payment refund transactions. Please contact a representative at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a point or payment refund.
LightBuckets stores your image data for 90 days. If you do not retrieve the data within that time frame it will be erased from our servers and will be non-recoverable. There is an option to have us alert you when your data is 5 days from being deleted, this is available in your profile alert settings.
You must have the legal right to all of the images you upload, share or copy with LightBuckets. Images provided to you by others or made available through websites, magazines, books or other resources are protected by copyright laws and should not be uploaded or shared in any fashion.
The following actions will constitute grounds for blocking access to the LightBuckets service, removal of posted material, and refund on any points remaining in your account.
- Uploading, posting, ordering for print, emailing or otherwise transmitting any content that is unlawful, harmful, threatening, harassing, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, invasive of another's privacy, or otherwise objectionable;
- Harming minors in any way, including, but not limited to, content that violates federal and state child pornography laws, child exploitation laws and laws prohibiting the depiction of minors engaged in sexual conduct;
- Uploading, posting, emailing or otherwise transmitting any material that contains software viruses or any other computer code, files or programs designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer software;
- Interfering with or disrupting (or attempting to interfere with or disrupt) this site or servers or networks connected to this site, or disobeying any requirements, procedures, policies or regulations of networks connected to this site;
- Using this service for the purpose of making images available for viewing to the general public;
- Providing any information to LightBuckets that is false or misleading, that attempts to hide your identity or that you do not have the right to disclose.
LightBuckets has privacy measures to protect the loss, misuse and alteration of the information under our control. We have put in place appropriate physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information collected on line. Access to data is limited to authorized LightBuckets staff members, and is further restricted by password protection mechanisms. Web security and security procedures are reviewed and may be updated on a regular basis to ensure strong data collection. By default, all orders placed on our site are done on a secure server that encrypts all financial information through SSL. Credit card information is not stored in our data base.