Some amazing aerial images of the SSO area and the complex from the air.
iTelescope South - Siding Spring Observatory
News & Updates Regarding the New Australian iTelescope Site.
Three new iTelescopes have been installed into the Australian SSO observatory and are ready for our custom software and configurations after a tough week of long hours.
T8 is a 315mm RCOS with ST10 CCD. T17 a 17" Planewave CDK with its E2V equipped CCD and T31 a 20" CDK with a big chip and full house filters. Scopes should be online in the next week ready for use by iTelescope members. Other systems also had a tune up. A big thank you goes to Doug Grey from the 4m AAO telescope for his valuable assistance. Phase three will involve the installaion of the 27" Planewave and other systems later in 2013. Keep up with the latest iTelescope news via our Facebook page.
We finally have a roof that will roll off under power, and we could not wait to get things rolling either!
Under less than perfect skies we got to work on the configuring the telescopes already installed and had a pleasant surprise. After the careful pre-alignment process as the piers and telescope were installed during the past few weeks, the actual polar alignment was very close and target stars appeared in the fields of view the very first time!
T12 was the first system to receive adjustments to its PME mount, with only minor azimuth movements needing to be made. None in altitude! Its was stunning and we saved much time. Passing cloud became an issue sadly and we managed to get a preliminary focus configuration done before the weather set in and the roof had to be closed for safety. Christmas eve night saw several heavy summer storms pass over Siding Spring Mountain.
We did however manage to test T12 on its first 'slew to target' before we packed up. Shown here is the dramatic nebula NGC2070, The Tarantula Nebula. A fast 60 second shot through passing cloud. Its only the first of countless images that the iTelescope membership will soon be gathering under the southern skies of iTelescope Australia!