Welcome to a journey into our Universe with Dr Dave, amateur astronomer and astrophotographer for over 40 years. Astro-imaging, image processing, space science, solar astronomy and public outreach are some of the stops in this journey!
We begin the New Year with what will be hopefully a monthly regular update of events at Orion’s Belt Remote Observatory. Several visitors stopped by during the Holiday week, including a bunch with 4 legs! I had installed a “critter cam” on the observatory’s west wall a couple of months ago and this location apparently paid off when after the first significant snowfall occurred, a herd of elk appeared exiting the National Forest to the West! (see images below). The first major snow event of the winter occurred, causing observatory operations to temporarily shut down. Installation of imaging equipment on the second pier was completed and this will add a wide field platform to our imaging options!
“Critter cam” installed on the observatory’s west wall which faces a long trail into the Lincoln National Forest
Four-legged visitors stop by during the first significant snowfall of the winter!
They appear to be disappointed the observatory is closed!
Imaging equipment installed on the second pier. This includes a Takahashi Epsilon 180ED astrograph (orange tube) and FSQ106N refractor (white tube). Cameras include an SBIG STXL 6303E on the refractor and a Canon 60Da on the astrograph. There is a powered usb hub on the back of the 180 and a 12 volt power strip mounted on the side of a Tak guider (see below). The entire load sits on a Paramount MX+ mount
Another view showing the 12 volt power strip mounted on a small guide scope with a Moonlite focuser rotator connected. The focuser is the red object right behind the white refractor to the right of the orange tube 180 astrograph.
We spent the Christmas weekend up at the Mayhill house. My 3 wonderful kids (Ben, Samantha, Max left to right) paid a visit to the observatory to see the final equipment install!
Here is the final set up at least for now. The 16″ RiDK sits on the east pier and the smaller scopes on the west. So we have east for deep field and west for wide field!