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Mars imaged for the first time with the Tinsley 12" telescope at the Farash Center. March 21, 2012

BobAnnMcGovern's picture

The seeing was quite good on the evening of March 21, 2012 so I decided to try using the 12" Tinsley Cassigrain at the Farash Center to image Mars. It's a f/16 instrument so I took a couple of videos of Mars at prime focus using my Imaging source DBK31AU03.AS color video camera. It was difficult to get the image on the small chip (1/3") and keep it there. This was because the telescope does not have a good polar alignment yet and even with the great new focuser, just hand focusing can move the image off of the chip. I took one video with a 2X Barlow but that we really hard with the poor polar alignment. Anyway, I've attached my very first attempt and was pretty impressed with all of the difficulty focusing, etc. Things will improve and I'm convinced that this will be a great instrument for lunar and planetary work. We should plan on an electric focuser this year. Also, the dome is very difficult to rotate but that will be fixed this spring when we have a chance to install the motor drive units. We have them built (thanks Mel!) and will install them in a few weeks. Bob McGovern.