Out with the old, in with the new

After three years of trusty performance I recently sold my  Sumerian Optics 10″ dobsonian telescope to a fellow amateur astronomer who is going to put it to good use somewhere in the Antilles. The sale has left me a bit sad because it was a solid peace of kit but it isn’t as bad as I expected it to be. Observing was more of a hassle in the last 18 months and I wasn’t looking forward to it as much as I used to.

So. It’s gone. But the sale is hardly the end of astronomy as a hobby!

The next months will be spent kickstarting the Astrophotography Group at Sterrenwacht Midden-Nederland, where I am a outreach volunteer and now also an astrophotographer. We have a nice setup there and are in the process of changing some parts of it to facilitate easy imaging. The goal is to design a simple workflow for our not-so-experienced members to start taking astrophotos with.

Also I will be doing some low-budget astrophotography using the Open University robotic telescope. That telescope is yet to be made operational again after OU acquired it from the Bradford University. I’m really eager to use it once more because it is a very low cost way to start astrophotography and dabble your toes in the processing of imaging data.

Edge-on Galaxy (NGC891?)

Edge-on Galaxy made with the robotic telescope

Besides astrophotography I will finally finish what  I started years ago: my 8″ dobsonian project! It was kindly donated to me six years ago but in need of some TLC: the mirror coating is fubar and has to be replaced but not before I fixed the whole telescope construction. It’s bloody heavy and I already lightened the rockerbox. Next I will replace the OTA and then the whole thing has to look nice too. If the basic workings of the 8″ are okay I will add dew protection using a 5V USB powerbank, some kind of barrow-wheel-construction for easy transportation in the garden and to the park 200 meters down the road and maybe even a equatorial platform.

So enough work to be done but observing won’t be on the list this autumn and maybe even winter…

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