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A Great Night Under the Stars

Back in the real world, and at my other job, System Overlord of SBO (Sommers-Bausch Observatory, CU Boulder), we purchased two Paramount Tarus 500 mounts with Planewave 20" CDK Telescopes this winter.

Until recently, they had been running with a minimal TPoint model as I only had a few weeks for the whole setup process which included the removal of the DFM telescopes, and modifying our piers for the new telescopes. If you are interested in seeing that process I took a time lapse of the installation

Over the last week or so, we have been collimating and aligning the telescopes. I began by adjusting the polar alignment and after a few attempts, aligned both to within 1 arcmin of the celestial pole in altitude and azimuth. Then I ran a full 250 point automated pointing run.

The results are astounding.

The first telescope, Apollo, has a pointing model with an RMS of 5.33 arcsec.  After the first 50 points of the second telescope, Artemis, the RMS was about 3.2 arcsec, which blew me away. But I thought, well that's neat, but there is no way that is real. I proceeded to run another 200 points, and the RMS was...3.27 arcsec. I was astounded!  After that I took a few nice photos and was able to track 10 minutes, unguided, without a hint of trailing. I am really excited to see how long I can push the unguided imaging envelope.

The photos and TPoint graphs are below for your viewing pleasure. 


Posted 06-21-2017 9:27 AM by R.J. Smith

Comments

Daniel R. Bisque wrote re: A Great Night Under the Stars
on 06-21-2017 2:07 PM

Very impressive.  That's the lowest (best) RMS pointing I've ever encountered on any Paramount Robotic Telescope System.  Nice work!

   

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