With the current weather I have not been able to set up the repaired M25C for any imaging and I am aware of the days ticking past with nothing new to add 🙁 Still, this gives me a little time to sit down and plan the next phase of the mini-WASP array. Unfortunately the mini-WASP will not be up and running for this winter, looks more likely that this will now be a winter 2011 first light. I didn’t get the decking and concrete pillar base in ready for the observatory and I think it will now be spring next year before I get that part done, so this winter it will be Hyperstar III imaging only (which is no bad thing). Got a few nice projects noted on the whiteboard – now I just need the weather to play ball. Having said that, it is this time of the year that I have had a 3-month imaging break due to the weather on more than one occasion!
Returning to the mini-WASP project – this will need to go into its own observatory dome so that I can run both the Hyperstar III and mini-WASP systems at the same time. The first phase of the mini-WASP will use 2 x Sky 90 scopes together with two of the new Starlight Xpress M26C one-shot colour cameras. A Megrez 80 and SX guide camera will occupy one slot of the mini-WASP array for the guiding.
In phase II (unknown date!) two further Sky 90s and M26C cameras will be added to the two remaining mini-WASP ports and the Megrez removed altogether. One of the Sky 90s will have an OAG (SX) for guiding. So the final mini-WASP system will be a four Sky 90, four M26C system giving a field of view of 6 x 4 degrees (that takes into account the frame overlap) a sampling of 3 arc seconds per pixel and 40 megapixels of data per sub download (36 megapixels of non-overlapped data). I think the final system will produce some quite impressive images 🙂
Skies are looking more promising this week Greg, so hopefully you can get collimated, focus training and up and imaging. Nice bit of moon as well to help you see what you are doing!
I thought the biggest light polluter in the sky was due to make an appearance 🙂 Still – it shouldn’t upset the setting up procedures. I took the two Sky 90s apart yesterday to see how to go about collimating them – looks pretty straightforward (fortunately).