Archive for the “mini-WASP Array” Category

The creation and use of the New Forest Observatory mini-WASP array

Here is the bright star Mirach and the nearby galaxy named the “Ghost”.  A zoomed-in view of Mirach and the Ghost is shown in the insert top-left.

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This is what the latest incarnation of the mini-WASP array looks like – and it will look like this for some time to come.

There are 4 imaging systems on the array and one guider:

1)  Sky 90, filter-wheel with IDAS, H-alpha, H-beta, OIII, SII filters, M26C OSC CCD, Robofocus.

2)  Sky 90, filter-wheel with IDAS, H-alpha, H-beta, OIII, SII filters, M26C OSC CCD, Robofocus.

3)  Sky 90, IDAS filter, M26C OSC CCD, Robofocus.

4)  200mm Canon lens at f#4 with M26C OSC CCD, manual/electric focuser.

5)  Megrez 80 guide scope with SX guide camera.

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Here is second light for the 3 x Sky 90 mini-WASP parallel imaging array.  This is open cluster NGC7789 near Caph in Cassiopeia.

The image is 18 x 15-minute subs or a total data time of 4 and a half hours with only 1 and a half hours of actual imaging time.

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On the evening of the 27th October 2014 I spent the first two hours of darkness aligning the 3 Sky 90s to look at the same region of sky, and then focus training Sky 90(2) and Sky 90(3).

After the initial set up (a little more still needs to be done to get the chips on cameras 2 & 3 nicely flat) I managed to get some imaging done.

Due to its position in the sky, the Tarazed region was looking pretty good so I grabbed 15 x 15-minute subs on Tarazed and Barnard’s “E”.  Below is the result.  75-minutes of real imaging time or 3 hours and 45-minutes of effective imaging time.

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The 3rd (and final) Sky 90 has been fitted to the mini-WASP array :)
I will now be able to get 12-hours of data at f#4.5 in a typical 4-hour imaging session.

Provided that I get 4-hours of clear Moonless skies of course.  Certainly won’t be tonight.

 

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There are 5 very nice Carbon stars in Andromeda that I would like to bag this month and this is the first I’ve caught – UY Andromedae with some nice faint fuzzies, and a couple of not so faint fuzzies.  Nice area of Andromeda, worth visiting with a decent telescope for a browse around.

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The mini-WASP array was again put into commission taking half hour subs of the Navi region of Cassiopeia – Navi is the central star in this image.  Nearby lies Gamma Cassiopeiae and its associated nebulosity.

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Several hour’s worth of half hour subs resulted in this deep view of the PacMan nebula and nearby bright star Schedar in Cassiopeia courtesy of the mini-WASP array.

The array is due for an upgrade at the end of this week with the addition of a 3rd Sky 90 refractor :)

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I recently discovered that Takahashi have discontinued making the Sky 90 – mad decision IMO.  And this comes at a time when I was looking to replace the TS80 with a Sky 90 giving me a mini-WASP array with 3 x Sky 90 refractors and a 200mm lens – all with M26C OSC CCD cameras.  By sheer coincidence an astronomer colleague found himself with a mint Sky 90 (collimatable version!!) for sale.  Needless to say I have bought this together with the camera angle adjuster and the f#4.5 reducer corrector.

So the new mini-WASP configuration will be 3 x Sky 90 refractors and a Canon 200mm lens for imaging, and a Megrez 80mm guide scope.

I have this terrible niggle to put a 4th Sky 90 in the frame and use off axis guiding on one of the Sky 9os, but I know that I will become severely cheesed off with the limitations that this sort of guiding will bring.  So at all costs I must resist!!

The new Sky 90 has come along just in time for the longer nights and all the Winter goodies – now all we need are the clear Moonless skies – something that was totally missing last Winter :(

 

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Managed to capture a few 5-minute subs of comet Jacques when it was close to Epsilon Cassiopeiae on the evening of 22nd August 2014.

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