Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Observatory construction (Part II)

March 2015: Metal pillars soldered, starting to build walls
March 2015: Walls finished
May 2015: Painting process
June 2015: Roll off roof installed, waiting for first light!
July 2015: Floor installing detail, notice isolated telescope ground
July 2015: Current status, dirty and chaotic

Monday, July 20, 2015

TMB 152 and Riccardi Reducer optical evaluation

Lately I have seen some messages in the forums related with blue bloating and new CCDs. Current market heads for small chips and very small pixels with very low read noise.

The problem with new chips is that small pixels and refractors are not well paired, since small refractors have big spot sizes (and we can say that 4-8" may be considered small).

It's very difficult to have a small fast refractor corrected enough for new CCDs, so that was my fear with the setup. I did some extensive research for choosing my current gear, and I think I did it right.

TMB 152 and Atik 460 EX passed the test of blue bloat. I cannot detect any bloating, and the FWHM seems pretty right:

R 1.58
G 1.57
B 1.66

The star shape across the CCD is pretty good:

Single L 5 min sub with 7331 on corner

Aberration evaluation, very good star shape on corners
FWHM, very low variation on corners

Thursday, July 16, 2015

First Light! M57

I'm glad to be back to astrophotography, after a full 3 year lapsus of reorganizing my equipment and building my own observatory. In fact, this image represent all this suffering.

My new location, which is going to be permanent, has about 21.5 SQM and Bortle 3 scale. FWHM 2,5" is considered bad seeing here, while 1,5" is considered as normal. So I think this is going to be a lot of fun.

Will be posting pics of my observatory soon. Still working hard on it.

M57, link to Astrobin

Monday, March 9, 2015

Observatory construction (Part I)

December 2014: Starting to dig the first hole (by hand!)

February 2015: Both 1 cubic meter holes finished, rebar for each column. Formwork nearly finished.

March 2015: 35cm diameter column in place and secured, ready to pour.

March 2015: Formwork ready, waiting for the concrete mixer!

March 2015: Concrete poured, nice temperature around 14ÂșC

March 2015: Concrete pad finished, bottom plates in place (35x35x3cm)

Update: Construction Part II

Monday, January 19, 2015

SKETCH: IC 1805, Heart Nebula

IC1805 with 4 inch telescope

Telescope: Astro-Physics Traveler EDF 105mm F/5.8
Eyepieces: Ethos 21 + DGM NPB
Transparency: 1/5, 21.1 SQM
Seeing: 3/5
Date: 18/12/14

Notes: Very high humidity, some high clouds. This nebula is always hard to observe and nearly invisible without filters. There are 3 bright patches, and the rest are faint arcs that are more affordable to bigger apertures.

Monday, November 10, 2014

SKETCH: NGC 281, The Pacman Nebula

NGC 281 with 4 inch telescope

Telescope: Astro-Physics Traveler EDF 105mm F/5.8
Eyepieces: Ethos 21 + DGM NPB
Transparency: 1/5, 21.1 SQM
Seeing: 2/5
Date: 23/10/14

Notes: Very hazy conditions, by the way, I've been able to make out the shape. Some dark and bright regions inside the nebula. The "mouth" was very faint.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

SKETCH: Comet Jacques (C/2014 E2)

Comet Jacques with 4 inch Refractor

Telescope: Astro-Physics Traveler EDF 105mm F/5.8
Eyepieces: Televue Ethos 8mm
Transparency: 2/5, 21.4 SQM
Seeing: 2/5
Date: 30/08/14

Notes: Very long and faint tail, some dark and bright patches on it.

Comet Jacques with 20 inch Newton

Telescope: 20" F/3.5 Newton
Eyepieces: Televue Ethos 17mm + SIPS
Transparency: 3/5, 21.3 SQM
Seeing: 2/5
Date: 28/08/14

Notes: Hard to see in so small field of view. Tail had bright and dark patches, reminding a waterfall.