SkySlab

Interstellar Light and Other Quantum Effects

Equipment


Lightning Happens

I am fairly sure that recent extreme storms have been the cause of electrical damage to SkySlab.  The unfortunate outcome is the Paramount MX used to track objects no longer operates.  Add that to the recent server failure for SkySlab's website and things have not been going so well of late! This is an issue [...] Read More


TheSkyX TPoint and Periodic Error Corrections

Two quick things, well, not quick...it's taken a month to get to this point:  TheSkyX is software that controls the robotic mounts in SkySlab (whatever model it is at the time).  Tpoint is how that software pin-points targets in the vastness of interstellar space. There's a lot more to it and some complex configuration and [...] Read More


Collimating the GSO RC12-A

There are some excellent resources to help with this task, many forums on IceInSpace and CloudyNights.  Step 1 should be done in daylight - it's easier, the rest do not matter so much as long as you get the collimation close to spot on using a Takahashi collimating scope:  http://www.dosborne-astroimages.co.uk/equip_image/collimation_article.htm The Takahashi Collimating Scope Coupled [...] Read More



Guan Sheng Optical, 12″ Carbon Fibre Truss Tube Ritchey-Chrétien

The Keck and the VLT observatories both use Ritchey-Chretien (RC) design telescopes.  While SkySlab is no Keck or VLT, for astrophotography the GSO RC12-A will produce good quality pictures.  It's a large aperture light telescope used by a high percentage of the amateur astrophotography population.  One has been sourced for SkySlab from Bintel in Sydney, [...] Read More


Decommissioning Celestron 9.25″ SCT

Up until August 2015, all the images that SkySlab produced were using a Celestron 9.25" Schmidt-Cassegrain optical tube (with one or two exceptions using a William Optics GT-81).  This optical tube assembly was chosen because of it's ease of use and as a good introduction into astrophotography.  There are a plethora of accessories available for [...] Read More


Paramount MX Maintenance

I've been planning this for about two, maybe three weeks.  After I received the correct grease from America, I figured that with the weekend shaping up to be wet, windy and pointless for viewing, this would be a good time to get-to and finish maintaining the Paramount MX inside SkySlab.  This sounds like a risky [...] Read More


QHY8 Manual and Settings Advice

Posted for anyone who is interested in these.  SkySlab uses QHY8 cameras, they are in my opinion one of the best value cameras you can lay your hands on. Very low electronic noise, reasonable quantum efficiency, excellent resolution and the large pixel well size makes for great photos at long and short focal lengths. Here's [...] Read More


Astronomik CLS Light Pollution Filter

In addition to IDAS LPS filters from Hutech (in this post) SkySlab has used Astronomik CLS light pollution filters.  SkySlab’s site does not necessarily need a light pollution filter (yet!) but it has the excellent effect of colour-correcting images.  Here’s the link: http://www.optcorp.com/ak-cls-t-cls-light-pollution-filter-t-threads.html It looks like this: I have read posts saying that a 3mm […]

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QHY8 CCD Tilt Adjustment

This little beauty is a fantastic addition to SkySlab’s imaging train. Although it’s a pain to get it right in the first place. A while back SkySlab acquired a CCD Tilt adjuster from OPT (http://www.optcorp.com/teleskop-service-m48-tilt-adjuster.html). It looks like this:The idea is that a lot of large-format CCD chips will not necessarily be 100% square to […]

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SkySlab™, Murrumbateman, NSW Australia

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