The Scope

For the gear-heads

The Scope

The Scope

The scope is an RCOS 16″ f/8.9 reflector. It has a focal length of 3550mm and is on a Paramount ME with an MKS4000 controller and 100lbs of counterweight. The telescope is operated completely remotely through the use of remote desktops.

The CCD Chip

The CCD Chip

The CCD is an SBIG STX16803. It takes 4000px by 4000px images with an incredible amount of detail included in each pixel. To preserve this detail, the chip images only in black and white. We have 7 filters for the CCD that allow us to build colour images: Luminance, Red, Green, Blue, H-alpha, SIII and OII. 

The DSLR

The DSLR

A Hutech-modified Canon 6D with a 200mm f/2.8 lens is piggy-backed on the telescope. So, wherever the telescope points, so does the camera. This allows us to take wide-field images of large nebulae at 200mm in addition to the images the telescope collects at 3550mm.

The Bells and Whistles

The Bells and Whistles

We use Adaptive Optics (AOX) with our CCD to help account for the changes in atmosphere while imaging. AOX makes minor spatial adjustments to a piece of glass in front of the chip, changing slightly the direction of the light to produce the most accurate images. It judges where to move the piece of glass based on secondary readings it takes from another chip focused on a bright star. This leads to beautifully clear long exposure images.