Archive for the “Observatory” Category

Too much water vapour in the air tonight for any serious imaging – but you can still see the stars – so I took out the DSLR.  Here are the two New Forest Observatories with an Orion background and plenty of other goodies too.  What other gems can you spot?  Although this is not a deep-sky image – it was still processed by Noel Carboni :)

 

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Due to having received several requests – the New Forest Observatory now offers another course for astronomers.

“Constructing an observatory for imaging or observing” is the latest course we have on offer – please check the “Courses” section for details.

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Looking at the front face view of the array, top left we have the TS 80mm triplet APO, top right is the 80mm Megrez guide scope, and occupying both lower slots are the pair of Sky 90s.  Looking at the back there are three M26C 10-megapixel one-shot colour CCDs and a Starlight Xpress guide camera connected to one of the M26Cs.  Look at all that spaghetti :)

 

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Eric Kennedy of NTE Poole Ltd. brought over the all-Aluminium pier extender for the mini-WASP on Sunday.

Today (Tuesday) I have just spent all day completely disassembling the mini-WASP to fit the pier extender and then rebuilding the whole thing again – what a pain!

Several jobs to be done now:  1)  Need to redo the polar alignment.

2)  Need to carefully collimate both Sky 90s (this could take a LONG time!)

3)  Finally, get on with some imaging.

I am really glad I kept the Hyperstar rig going so at least I can continue to do imaging whilst I’m getting this mini-WASP rig sorted.

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And to finish off today’s photo marathon here’s a double rainbow over the New Forest Observatory.

It’s tipping it down so hard right now I’m seriously considering using the decking for an ark.

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A second go at a New Forest Observatories “Little Planet” scene – taken today.

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I was sitting at the computer yesterday (Saturday) typing out some rubbish or the other when for some unknown reason I suddenly twigged how those “Little Planet” images are taken.  So I grabbed the Canon 5D MkII and a fish eye lens and ran outdoors (between the heavy showers) and took this “Little Planet” view of the New Forest Observatories.  So the idea that just suddenly jumped into my head (from the aether) worked!!  How peculiar :)

I shall now overdo it of course and start taking “Little Planet” images of just about anything I can find.

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This was the “Close Encounters” scene over the New Forest Observatories at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday 12th April 2012.  By 10:00 p.m. it had cleared to a perfect dark sky with no interfering Moon!

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Well – here’s that Starlight Xpress super customer service for you!  Michael Hattey of Starlight Xpress drove my tested M26C camera down to the New Forest Observatory today – thank you Michael.  Both M26C cameras are now back on the mini-WASP framework – together with Maglev cooling fans – and we’re all ready to go (well after the polar alignment anyway).  Thank you Terry Platt, Michael Hattey and all at Starlight Xpress for such a speedy turnaround!!

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