In 2008, a handful of observers using MallinCam Video CCD cameras began broadcasting on YahooLive. This is when Yahoo had a broadcast site. Other live broadcast sites like SparkCast became available, but by 2009, these sites ceased operation. It was clear that astronomers needed a site where they could share the night skies with the world live on the internet.Jim Turner took it on his own to create such as site, and by the end of 2009, Night Skies Network was born. The prime function of the site was for live, educational broadcasting with astronomical video CCD cameras to share with the world, astronomy and other related sciences.
As a firm supporter of public outreach, I was the main sponsor for Night Skies Network from the beginning to make sure the site was maintained as an educational astronomical site dedicated to public outreach and science education for everyone and enjoy astronomy live on line.
In 2014, during the ECVAR star party, Jim Turner decided to sell NSN, the dedicated server supporting the site and all files contained thereon pertinent to the operation of NSN, I was the successful bidder, and in the Fall of 2014, I purchased the everything related to NSN. I paid for web hosting, server rental, NSN website software, bandwidth usage and site maintenance. Last year, NSN’s main PHP programmer quit suddenly, leaving the site vulnerable to site changes. Very recently, site access passwords were changed, and I could no longer log into the server to check the health of the site, to read emails directed to NSN Support, or to approve new applications.
Now to the rest of the story.
In 2014, I was approached by an individual from New Jersey requesting to be the MallinCam distributor in the USA under the name MALLINCAM SOURCE. He expected me to remove Jack Huerkamp as my US distributor and for him to take over operation in the USA. Jack Huerkamp is a licensed professional engineer with excellent business principals and a amateur astronomer since 1968, and he has been my distributor since 2004. My business ethics clearly came to play and I would not take away all the hard work Jack Huerkamp has provided to the astronomical community worldwide. MALLINCAM SOURCE never took off as a business and its organizers were not granted permission to sell my products in the US, which made them very angry.
It was then that this person wanted to be part of Night Skies Network. I reluctantly caved into his firm demands to keep ownership by me secret and let him be known as the “owner” of NSN. The only part of NSN that would be under "Joe Sardina" would the domain name. I hesitated to allow this, but agreed with Jim Turner to put the domain name only in Joe Sardina’s name. The content and server have been bought by MallinCam to offer a free service to the astronomical community worldwide as per agreement with Jim Turner and MallinCam. Recently, several passwords and access codes were changed on the server without my knowledge or permission, thus denying me access to the server.
In early January, I received a series of unpleasant emails stating that I should no longer contact Joe Sardina or anybody else related to the site. On January 5th I attempted, without success, to contact him relative to the emails I had received and to find out what was going on with Night Skies Network. It was clear that a takeover was occurring to change Night Skies Network from a live, astronomical video site to an Astro-imaging site for DSLR and CCD imaging cameras.
For the past two years, I have received frequent emails regarding how NSN has been changing from a science related, live astronomy video broadcast site to an astro-imaging forum. As a strong supporter of public outreach and astronomy related science, I cannot let this happened. I paid Jim Turner in full for ownership of Night Skies Network, and I continue to comply with the terms of our agreement. The site has been in my name legally since the transition from Jim Turner, and this will continue to be the case as long as I live. This site will continue with its original purpose - to promote amateur astronomy and live observations of celestial objects.
I have registered several new domains in Canada and US and they are currently active and linked to the existing Night Skies Network website. Everyone is encouraged to bookmark these new URLs and use them to log in and participate in astronomical broadcasts made with video cameras.
The site will go through some changes, along with the addition of new sponsors such as Meade who has already agreed to come aboard. Other high end companies have shown an interest in becoming a part of this site where public education related to astronomy is of primary importance.
This is not a commercial site, but an educational one to preserve the science of astronomy through live observation of DSOs, the Planets, the Sun, the Moon and other celestial objects on the internet. To accomplish this task, discussions on the Chat should be limited to the objects being observed live though on the screen through the use of video cameras using steady streams of frames at 30FPS and 25FPS or DSLR, CCD with constant live stream image.
Any inquiries or question can be directed to me at
*Note. Update: More evidence of the final result will be posted as soon the investigation allow me to do so authorized by both US and Cdn law enforcement agencies.
*Update: A recent meeting between US authorities and Cdn authorities about the case was initiated, more evidence has been discovered and presented where other individuals are involved. More to follow. 17.06.09