MAS Observtory: RC-16 Ritchey-Chretien Astrophotography

Updated December 30, 2005

Since March 25, 2005 the Carbon Truss 16 inch f/9 Ritchey-Chretien telescope, with ion milled optics, has been installed and operational.  Detailed information regarding the system, including the Software Bisque Paramount ME equatorial mount and CCD imaging systems, can be found on the "Lost Valley Observatory" link.  I generally image with the telescope at 'prime', with a 3685 mm FL.  Using the current SBIG SLT-6303 cameral this puts me at an image scale of 0.51 arc-sec/pixel with a generous FOV of 17.3 x 26 arc-min.  
   The "first light" image is of M82, and and was taken prior to telescope collimation, periodic error correction or even T-point modeling. It was, essentially, and "out-of-the-box" (or should I say "out of the hundreds of boxes...") image.
   My images are listed sequentially, hopefully improving with time and experience.  It is intentionally arranged this way, as opposed to a standard astro-image gallery with galaxies, nebula and planetary images separated.  There are brief notes describing new techniques and errors (click on the image to enlarge to it's full size..or at least to the largest size I felt could be tolerated for a particular image).  The advantage of this type of chronological gallery is one can see the progression of experience and learning curve (with all the expected errors)...the disadvantage is it's more difficult to "find" a particular image (as they're not arranged by catagories but rather show up as I find an interest in imaging them). 

Click Here or on the Index Below to View Images




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