Through the Looking Glass

Through the Looking Glass

Arizona Science & Astronomy Expo and SWAP 2013

Bruce Morrell and I drove to Tucson Nov 13th to represent Astrofactors and QHY CCD cameras at both venues. I enjoyed the imaging conference; plenty of great information and interesting speakers including Adam Block, Don Goldman, and Craig Stark, to name a few. ASAE was a big surprise; it was packed with leading edge products as well as old standards.

I took possession of a AP1200GTO mount a week before the show. AstroMart has been flooded recently with 900 and 1200 mounts for sale in order to raise cash for the new 1100 and 1600 models. I got a great deal. It is for a permanent pier mount in a future roll-off observatory.

I had my eye on a little Takahashi Epsilon E130-D hyperbolic astrograph that was just next door to us in the Takahashi America exhibit. Art sold it to me after the show. It went back to Houston for a final collimation check and was rung up there. It is the only one in existence in North America. The scheduled roll-out is set for January 2014.


I have been upgrading my equipment since the last blog entry, too. I now have a complete set of Astrodon LRGB and 3nm NB filters in 36mm round mounted in my SX filterwheel. The narrow band filters are awesome. Bruce sent me a fresh QHY22 camera to try out last month. It uses the new Sony ICX694 sensor with a QE of 77%. It is a little smaller than the KAF-8300, at 1" square and 6 MP. Here is a Hubble Space Telescope version of SH2-132 with the new camera:


The new filters allow me to image from my backyard between trips to my dark site at 3RF CSAC. Speaking of CSAC, I got lucky in early November with this mega-wide field of the belt & sword of Orion. I mounted the Canon 60Da and EF200mm f/2.8L II USM lens on the iOptron iEQ45 and shot it unguided 15X300 at ISO800


I am meeting Jerry Keith at CSAC on Thanksgiving day for four nights of imaging and product testing. I will post another update then.

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