Student Telescope

Below is a list of the instrumentation at the old Observatory

Current status: Telescope hardware available and operational. Computer control demonstrated on computer. Telescope and mount installed and provisionally aligned. Several instruments available, but awaiting optical manifold for final installation.

To do: (Telescope) Connect mount to permanent telescope, precission alignment and periodic error correction on the mount. (Instrumentation) recieve remaining instruments, test and install. (Computers) Install all software, test remote operation, test web service, test analysis software.

Telescope and Dome

  • The Student Telescope is located in the West Koepel at the Old Observatory.
  • The control room for the Student Telescope is located under the 10-duims telescope.
  • The Dome for the telescope is fully manually operated, which means that during exposures you need to track the dome by hand.
  • The Telescope is mounted on a high pier (ladder available), which also houses all power and network connections.
  • The telescope mount is a Software Bisque Paramount ME support, which is computer controlled.
  • The telescope is a Takahashi Mewlon 300 with focusing on the Secondary Mirror.

Instrumentation

  • SBIG ST-8 camera with cooling and guiding chip . This is a 1.5 Mpix science camera, backup when nothing else is available. (currently available)
  • The Imaging Source DMK 21AU618.AS fast camera . This is a fast (60 fps), small format (640x480 pix) camera that can be used for freezing the atmosphere. See also lucking imaging and stacking. (currently available)
  • FLI Proline 16803 CCD Camera (~0.5"/pixel, 0.6x0.6 degrees FoV, but bad quality at edge of field) with CFW 3-10, 10 position filter wheel (UBVRI,L,SII,OIII,Halpha, open) (ordered, delivery ~mid-late January)
  • Sheylak eShel spectrograph, R~10000, 450-700 nm. (currently available)
  • Van Slyke Instruments SideWinder Optical Manifold. Allows attaching multiple instruments to be at the telescope and switching between instruments. (ordered, in transit, expected early January)
  • SBIG All-Sky 340 All Sky camera. Will allow for observing cloud cover and potentially track weather, meteorites, airplanes and brigth variable stars. (ordered, expected early January)
  • Simple webcam. Will be mounted to the telescope and allow for observing where the telescope is pointing and if the dome needs to be moved (to be ordered)

Computer infrastructure

  • All network connections in the West Koepel and under the 10-duims telescope are within the STRW domain.
  • The West Koepel contains a single Windows 7 PC for controlling above instrumentation. Access to the control computer from any observatory linux machine with "rdesktop koepelwest –f" and logging in with "STERREWACHT\<username>" and "<password>" where <username> and <password> are is standard observatory login information.
  • The telescope is controlled by TheSkyX (should be on your desktop). Control of the cameras is possible also from within TheSkyX (to be tested).
  • The control room contains 2 linux PCs which can be used for data analysis. One PC has 2 screens to allow for viewing the control computer. This PC also hosts a web server that allows streaming of the all-sky camera data. (available, need to be set up).