Up ] Guided Tours ] Advanced Sessions ] Activities ] Techniques ] [ Equipment ] Directions ] Prices ] Links ] Pictures ] High School Projects ]

Equipment:

Meade LX200 12" Telescope LX200 telescopes are well known for their ability to easily put a target object in the small CCD camera field of view with a minimum of fuss.  The telescope is polar mounted to allow long exposures, and the motors are periodically calibrated to minimize tracking errors.  All cables and accessories are pre-wired for instant setup and use.
SBIG ST-7E CCD Camera The ST-7E CCD camera actually has two cameras in it... one for taking images, and a smaller camera to make tracking corrections during long exposures.  The high resolution of the camera has 9um pixels, which translates to about 0.6 arc second pixels at F10 on the 12" telescope, or 1.8 arc seconds each at F3.3.  The effective field of view is 7 arc minutes 47 arc seconds by 5' 11" for F10, 23'36" by 15'4" for F3.3.
Optec MaxFilter system Sets of three colored filters can be inserted into the light path of the telescope.  The filters are designed to be parafocal, so filters can be alternated without refocusing the telescope.  Filters for color work, bright object work, and special light conditions are available, along with Infra Red and Ultra Violet rejecting filters.
Optec Max 3.3 wide angle The Optec 3.3 Max wide angle eyepiece allows the ST-7E CCD camera to be used with the telescope as either F10 or as F3.3  The result is a much wider field of view.  The down side is some distortion of stars towards the edges of the view.
Various support systems A variety of lenses are available for visual viewing through the telescope.  Dew removers prevent dew or frost problems.  Secondary focusing systems allow precise focusing of the CCD camera.  Regular film cameras can also be used with the telescope.
12 foot Astro Haven Dome The observatory enclosure is a 12 foot fiberglass shelter that opens like a clam shell.  The south, north, or both directions can be opened for a view of the sky.  Leaving one side up serves as a wind break when needed.  Unlike a conventional observatory, the dome does not need to be rotated each time the telescope is aimed at a different part of the sky.
Large warm control Room A set of normal stairs (not attic stairs) descend from the observatory to a warm control room below.  In this room are a second set of controls to operate the telescope and CCD camera while warm and comfortable.  Plenty of books are on hand for reference, and you can even watch TV or use another computer during long exposures with the camera.
Various computer systems The telescope and camera are controlled via a Gateway Pentium II 300Mhz Laptop computer.  "The Sky version 4" is used as a star charting program to see what targets are above the horizon, etc.  Most CCD operations are done using "Maxim DL".  The laptop is set up to be used simultaneously from beside the telescope, and below in the warm room.

 

Up ] Guided Tours ] Advanced Sessions ] Activities ] Techniques ] [ Equipment ] Directions ] Prices ] Links ] Pictures ] High School Projects ]

Copyright Blueberry Pond Observatory, 1999. All rights reserved.