Active July Sun

•2014/07/09 • Leave a Comment
Active July Sun

Active July Sun

Lots of activity on the sun today.  Using the Smartscope adapter borrowed from the club, and my iPhone, I took a couple of snapshots of ol’ Sol using the PST.  Lots of sunspots and filaments.

The Sculptor Galaxy

•2014/07/09 • Leave a Comment
Exposure Details 6x300s
Telescope/Mount
Takahashi Sky90/Paramount ME (iTelescope.net)
Focal Length 850mm
Focal Ratio F3.4
Camera SBIG ST2000XMC One Shot Color Camera
Binning 1×1
Comments Processed with Maxim/DL V.5.0 and Adobe Photoshop CS2.

New Mirror Box Project

•2014/07/07 • Leave a Comment
Designing the mirror box

Designing the mirror box

After a two year hiatus, only because I was working on getting the woodshop finished, I am back to telescope making.  During my absence, I was contemplating on what I will be working on next.  One of those things is redoing my 12.5″ mirror box.  I also wanted to get it done before the Black Forest Star Party coming up in August.

The current mirror box presents some challenges.  For one, most of the mass is on the forward side of the box.  This causes some interesting balancing challenges.  The second challenge is the use of six struts instead of the typical eight.  Using my new wood shop, I sat at the workbench and began drawing up my plans.

I like to draw out my ideas.  It seems more organic to me.  Many like to use a computer to do this and I have in the past, but drawing it seems to work out best for me.  So using a compass, a pencil, a ruler, and some graph paper, I proceeded to work out my design.  I wanted to reuse the current rocker box and bearings so I essentially made the new mirror box the same size.  Being 18″ by 18″ by 12″ it is a bit large for a 12.5″ mirror but I am not too worried about it.  When the club made a new 16″ telescope, I wanted to model my mirror box similar to what one of our members did with the mirror box.  I created some rabbet joints for a better joint and glue surface.  I used finishing nails to tack it together.

Rabbet Joints

Rabbet Joints

The mirror box assembled quite well and it is square.  I am using 1/2″ baltic birch plywood and plan to be adding some light baffles for added strength.

The mirror cell was made for me by a fellow club member and telescope maker (thanks Tim!)  It was designed for a Kriege style mirror box but I am going to adapt it for my use by using metal spacers.  The holes are already cut for this on the sides of the mirror box.

Mirror Box Assembled

Mirror Box Assembled

PST Solar Imaging with iPhone and Smartscope adapter

•2014/06/15 • Leave a Comment
PST Solar Image

PST Solar Image

 

“Smartscope” Setup with iPhone

 

Smartscope attached to my 12.5mm Coronado eyepiece

Rob Schorr, the maker of the “Smartscope” adaptor, generously donated one of his products to the Columbus Astronomical Society.  I borrowed it to take it for a spin.  It is a pretty nifty device.  It allowed me to easily attach my iPhone 5s to my PST.  I have been wanting to take some pictures in this way.  The only downside is the iPhone is not great for taking detail shots.  However, for a quick setup to take snapshots, the iPhone and the Smartscope adapter is a nice pair.  I plan to try it out in the future to take some shots of the planets and the moon.

The Lagoon Nebula

•2014/05/29 • Leave a Comment
Lagoon Nebula

Lagoon Nebula

Exposure Details 6x300s
Telescope/Mount
Takahashi Sky90/Paramount ME (iTelescope.net)
Focal Length 850mm
Focal Ratio F3.4
Camera SBIG ST2000XMC One Shot Color Camera
Binning 1×1
Comments Processed with Maxim/DL V.5.0 and Adobe Photoshop CS2.

Omega Centauri

•2014/05/29 • Leave a Comment

Omega-Centauri-Finished

Omega Centauri

Exposure Details 15x120s
Telescope/Mount
Takahashi Sky90/Paramount ME (iTelescope.net)
Focal Length 850mm
Focal Ratio F3.4
Camera SBIG ST2000XMC One Shot Color Camera
Binning 1×1
Comments Processed with Maxim/DL V.5.0 and Adobe Photoshop CS2.

NGC3372 – Eta Carina Nebula

•2014/01/28 • Leave a Comment
NGC3372

NGC3372 – The Eta Carina Nebula

Exposure Details 6x500s
Telescope/Mount
Takahashi Sky90/Paramount ME
Focal Length 850mm
Focal Ratio F3.4
Camera SBIG ST2000XMC One Shot Color Camera
Binning 1×1
Comments Processed with Maxim/DL V.5.0 and Adobe Photoshop CS2.

Orion Nebula Sketch from Hocking Hills

•2013/08/07 • Leave a Comment
M42

M42

After reading some great suggestions in the CloudyNights Sketching forum I decided to pick up a Moleskine Sketchbook and some nice pencils and try my hand at the Orion Nebula.  So this past winter, I jumped in.  I confess, it is an intimidating object for me as it can be somewhat complex. And I like sketching with the Moleskine sketchbook.  I find I have better control with my pencils that way.  However, since I make many mistakes, when you erase a little too much, the yellow color becomes more white and it can be noticeable in my sketches.

M17 From Australia

•2013/07/04 • Leave a Comment
M17 - The Omega Nebula

M17 – The Omega Nebula

Exposure Details 4x500s
Telescope/Mount
Takahashi Sky90/Paramount ME
Focal Length 850mm
Focal Ratio F3.4
Camera SBIG ST2000XMC One Shot Color Camera
Binning 1×1
Comments Processed with Maxim/DL V.5.0 and Adobe Photoshop CS2.

Centaurus A from Australia

•2013/05/14 • Leave a Comment
NGC5128_processed

NGC5128

Exposure Details 6x500s
Telescope/Mount
Takahashi Sky90/Paramount ME
Focal Length 850mm
Focal Ratio F3.4
Camera SBIG ST2000XMC One Shot Color Camera
Binning 1×1
Comments Processed with Maxim/DL V.5.0 and Adobe Photoshop CS2.