Here we have a simple plywood disk mirror cell in the mirror box. there are 18 felt pads at the calculated points for support of the mirror.
Here I’ve cut out two 30″ diameter altitude bearings and matching rocker box sides from a single 2’x4’by3/4″ sheet of plywood.
Here we see the altitude bearings attached to the mirror box, resting on the rocker box with the mirror resting on its cell.
It’s the seed from which a 16″ lowrider dobsonian telescope will grow. I’ve been daydreaming about building a larger telescope for a while when I came across this on the Cloudy Nights classifieds for a nice price. 16″ has been in the back of my head for years as a good size. On the cusp of being a large scope but not really having to deal with big scope problems like weight, cool down, or $$$. 16″ would typically just be $$ not $$$. More to come as I build stuff to go around it.
I took this shot of Polaris and the Little Dipper last night at the River Ridge Observatory. Nothing fancy, just a 30 second image a 6400 ISO with my widest angle lens. Polaris is the bright star just above the center and a little to the left. The Little Dipper extends almost horizontally and drooping a little as it does to the left. The thin clouds add a nice touch I think though normally I don’t like them.
I used my Canon Rebel tonight to do some simple astrophotography. It was connected to my Nexstar mount for tracking and running BackyardEOS on the laptop to control it. After spending quite some time manually focusing and trying different ISOs and exposures I settled on ISO 1600 and 30 seconds. It was supposed to be clear but there were thin clouds all over. The bright “star” on the left is Mars and if you look closely in the lower left quadrant you’ll see the teapot of Sagitarrius. I was also hoping to capture the nova currently in Sagitarrius just above the spout and if I zoom in I can see a star right where the nova is but it’s none too impressive.
We had an almost cloudless and low haze sky at sunset this afternoon. I grabbed the camera and watched it. Pardon the slightly “gritty cop drama” feel to the video, I neglected to use a tripod and leaned against a street sign.
Wednesday evening I went outside and took some pictures of a rough alignment of the planets Saturn, Mars and the star Antares. The ruler straight alignment occurred earlier in the day so I had to settle for a slight bend. Vertically from the top, near the center of the frame the bright stars are Saturn, Mars, and Antares. If you know your constellations you can also make out the pincers of the scorpion on the right as Antares is the heart of Scorpius the Scorpion.This was shot with a Canon Rebel T5, 75mm lens, 1 second exposure, at f4.5, ISO 1600.