Virtual telescope Bellatrix Observatory




 

New Instruments

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After a major upgrade, the Virtual Telescope reopens to the public with many news, reinforcing and strengthening its technological level. All the instruments currently available are remotely accessible over the Intermet.


First light of the C14 OTA on Paramount ME. M57, 3 images ( 4 min. each),unguided, then averaged. Scale: 0.57"/pixel. SBIG ST8-XME.


First light of the new setup (C11 OTA + Paramount ME + SBIG ST8-XME). M13 (Glubular Cluster in Hercules), 8 x 3 mins unguided images (averaged). C11@f/7.3 Sbig ST8-XME.


First light of the new setup (C11 OTA + Paramount ME + SBIG ST8-XME). M57 (Planetary Nebula in Lyra), 2 x 5 mins unguided images (averaged). C11@f/7.3 Sbig ST8-XME.

 

After placing a new and larger shelter, able to host up to four different platforms, a new instrument was installed, based on the amazing Paramount ME equatorial mount from Software Bisque, the most advanced instrument of its kind today on the market.

The OTA is a Celestron C14 (diameter 360 mm), using at its prime focus a SBIG ST8-XME, NABG, CCD, together with a 10-positions CFW10SA filter wheel, properly equipped with photometric and LRGB filters.

This setup will be extensively used for the research activities of the Observatory, without any human assistance onsite. So, the other telescope will be available full time for the external users.

 

 

 

 

Of course, together with the new setup, the previous telescope is still available, based on a very reliable Vixen New Atlux equatorial mount and offering a C11 OTA reduced at f/5. It works unassisted.

It sports a SBIG ST8-XME, NABG, Class 1 CCD camera, equipped with a 10-positions CFW10-SA filter wheel (including V and R photometric, LRGB and narrowband filters).

This instrument is an excellent observing platform for the users of the VT and both professionals and amateurs were able to appreciate its good optical, electronic and mechanical performances.

This telescope is currently unavailable, as its mount is going to be replaced with another Paramount ME.

 

 

 

The third instrument consists of a Takahashi FS-102NSV Flourite Apochromat, installed on a Vixen Great Polaris GPD2 equatorial mount.

It can be used to observe the Sun and in the near future it will be joined by two narrowband telescopes to observe the Sun in the H-alpha and Ca/K wavelengths.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The last telescope available is the glorious newtonian reflector which was used by the author for about 20 years, now completely renewed. The 15cm OTA in on a Vixen Super Polaris equatorial mount.

This telescope, equipped with a SBIG ST7-XME, NABG, Class 1, CCD camera is used for several survey works.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are isntalling a professional weather station with wetaher data available in real time over the internet.

The Virtual Telescope reinforces its level of excellance at the international level, supported by the complete technical and scientific assistance fitting the professional standards, documented by many discoveries in less than 1 year of life and by more than 300 pubblications on professional journals/circulars.

I wish to acknowledge the technology of Software Bisque and Santa Barbara Instrument Group (SBIG), for their continued and very much appreciated support.

Gianluca Masi

5 July 2007