Observatory Equipment

The main part of the observatory consists of a comfortable rectangular building on top of which is a 3.3 metre diameter Ash dome. The dome is motorized and computer-controlled so that when in use its slit is always in front of the telescope aperture. That's the theory, anyway, but glitches do happen.

observatory Telescopes and mount inside dome

Inside the dome are a number of telescopes all mounted on the same massive equatorial fork mount. The mount is, of course, computer controlled in both right ascension and declination.

The principal telescope has an aperture of 400mm, a focal length of 2614mm and is of the Dilworth-Relay design. It can be used visually when a filter-wheel and eyepiece is fitted but it is generally used for imaging with a Starlight Xpress Trius-PRO SX814 CCD camera. Between that camera and the telescope is a mechanized focuser, an active optics unit, an 11-position filter-wheel and an off-axis Lodestar2 guide camera. All of this is computer-controlled.

Mounted on the same equatorially-driven fork are a 62mm finder, an Explore Scientific 80mm f/6 apochromatic refractor and a Vixen R120S refractor with an aperture of 120mm and a focal length of 800mm. The Explore Scientific is particular useful for solar observations whereas the Vixen is better suited to wide-field imaging.