There’s a fancy new telescope and CCD camera setup at Siding Spring Observatory! An ASA 16″ F3.5 astrograph with an Apogee CG16070 Class 1 CCD, known as the T33. It’s a medium deep field imaging system and it’s a new addition to the fleet of astrophotography telescopes that iTelescope offers access to for imaging professionals and amateurs as well as science based work.

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iTelescope T33 ASA 16" astrograph and 16 megapixel Apogee Aspen CG16070 Class 1 CCD

Pcitured is the new iTelescope T33 ASA 16″ astrograph, 16 megapixel Apogee Aspen CG16070 Class 1 CCD on a Paramount ME. Located at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia.

The resolution of this setup is quite impressive. It delivers an 87 x 58 arcmin FoV at an image scale of 1.07 arcsec/pixel. The light gathering capability of the large 16″ primary mirror, a 35mm format CCD and remote dark skies makes this a deep space imaging beast!

My first run with the T33 was narrowband imaging of the well known M20, the Trifid Nebula. This image was taken through the Astrodon 5nm Hydrogen-Alpha filter using 5-minute exposures. A total of 40-minutes was collected. Processing was minimal for this test image. The images were aligned and stacked in Pixinsight. The image was stretched using a quick method of applying the STF Auto to the Histogram tool. A range mask was created and applied so that HDRmutliscale transform could be applied to the central region of the nebula.

View a high resolution PNG file of this M20 H-alpha image here.

M20 The Trifid Nebula is in the constellation of Sagittarius, “the teapot” as it’s affectionately known. It’s an unusual combination of an open cluster of stars; an emission nebula (red portion), a reflection nebula (blue portion) and a dark nebula (the apparent ‘gaps’ within the emission nebula that cause the trifid appearance; these are also designated Bernard 85).

I’ve previously imaged M20 from here in Ontario, Canada using one of my own telescope/camera setups. You can read more about M20 and view an image I took of it a few years ago using an Orion 10″ astrograph and modified DSLR.  The M20 post can be found here http://visibledark.ca/m20-the-trifid-nebula/

For those interested in the specs of iTelescope’s new T33 ASA 16″ imaging platform here they are below:

Instrument Package:

Telescope T33’s OTA is a fast 16″ F/3.5 Astro Systeme Austria (ASA) Astrograph mounted on a Paramount ME. The OTA is coupled with a large format main imaging camera and guided with a Starlight Xpress Lodestar using a custom made Off-Axis adapter. This will be the first Off-Axis guided system on the network.

Telescope Optics:

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The 16 megapixel Apogee Aspen CG16070 Class 1 CCD

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The Apogee FW50-9R 9 Position Filter Wheel

The main imaging camera on Telescope T33 is a 16 megapixel Apogee Aspen CG16070 Class 1 CCD paired withan Apogee FW50-9R 9 Position Filter Wheel.  This configuration delivers an 87 x 58 arcmin FoV at an image scale of 1.07 arcsec/pixel.

Its filter wheel is filled with a fantastic compliment of seven Premium Astrodon 50mm Round Filters Imaging Filters:
  • Astrodon Series I Luminance, Red, Green, and Blue (LRGB)
  • Astrodon 5nm Hydrogen-Alpha, 5nm Oxygen-III, 5nm Sulfur-II (Narrowband)

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