My Mobile Observatory

My Mobile Observatory

My Imaging rig.

From the bottom going up:

1. Orion Sirius Equatorial Mount
2. Vixen Ed80sf refractor (main telescope)
3. Orion Short tube 80 (guide scope)
4. (In the back of the st80) Orion SSAG
5. 10×50 finder scope

Did I lose you? Let’s break this down. The first item on the list is an equatorial mount. (The big black thing.) This is basically a glorified tripod. It has motors in it to track the rotation of the earth to allow me to take long exposure pictures without the stars moving.
Next on the list is a thing called a VixenEd80sf. This is the large white telescope. I use the vixen to take pictures through. The camera attaches to the black focuser on the back. Above the big telescope is a smaller telescope with a silver camera sticking out the back. This is called an auto guider. The telescope monitors a star and watches if it moves if the star moves, the camera sends a signal to the mount’s motors correcting the movement. This allows for me to expose for a VERY long time. Longer exposures in general = better pictures. Finally the 10×50 finder scope is simply that. a finder scope. It has crosshairs inside, and it helps me aim the telescope. Everything connects to a laptop where I have a huge map of the sky. I can click an object and the whole rig will point there. Soon I plan on hooking the rig up to the house WiFi, to allow me to take pictures from the comfort of my bedroom!

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