Archive for the ‘Instruments’ Category

DogsHeaven Observatory Telescopes

Posted by Paulo Cacella on 23rd February 2014 in Instruments, Recent Posts
The roll-off observatory has 5 piers with different telescopes.

MAG Telescope

<<< Feature >>> <<< Description >>>
Mount Chronosmount HD32HPO
Diameter 0.51m (20 inches)
Focal Length 2.16m
Focal Ratio 4.326
Optical Configuration Prime Focus
Dimensions 1530x1020px
Pixel Size 9um
Plate Scale 0.82″/px
Field of View 22′ x 15′
Filters Astrodon(Luminance, Clear, R,G,B,HA,OIII,SII, Sloan i, Johnson R)
Autoguide Orion SSAG
Spectroscope LHIRESIII(150,1200,2400), SBIG DSS7, Staranalyser


NICK telescope

<<< Feature >>> <<< Description >>>
Mount Skywatcher EQ8(Orion – HDX110 EQ-G)
Diameter 0.35m (14 inches)
Focal Length 0.69m
Focal Ratio 1.9
Optical Configuration Prime Focus
CCD Camera QHY8L
Dimensions 3110x2030px
Pixel Size 7.8um
Plate Scale 2.31″/px
Field of View 114′ x 76′
Filters OSC
Autoguide QHY5L-II
Spectroscope LHIRESIII(150,1200,2400), SBIG DSS7, Staranalyser


XANA Telescope

  • WO FLT98 APO (98mm 600mm FL) (XANA Telescope) Canon 100-400mm ISLM  on a AZEQ6 mount
  • F4.5 – 100mm FL
  • Camera T3i  5184×3456 pixels 4.3u ( will be replaced by StarShoot PRO V2 )Scale 9 arcsec/pixel
  • Field 8.5 x 12 degrees
  • Exposures 60 seconds unguided

TUCA Telescope

  • (TUCA Telescope) 10 inches (25cm) SCT on a Losmandy G11
  • F6.3 – 1600mm FL
  • Camera StarlightXpress HX516 660×494 pixels 7.4u
  • Scale 1 arcsec/pixel
  • Field 8×10.6 arcmin
  • Exposures 60 seconds unguided


BUDGE Telescope and JOSI Telescope

  • (BUDGE Telescope) 6 inches (15cm) Refractor on a CGE
  • F6.0 – 900mm FL
  • Visual Observation
  • (JOSI Telescope) is a PST Solar Scope


Building a ALLSKY Camera with a QHY5L-II

Posted by Paulo Cacella on 23rd February 2014 in ATM, Instruments, Recent Posts

1. Why ?

I was thinking for a long time to have an allsky camera. The main interests were meteors, meteorology, airplanes or birds passing by and, naturally, UFOs. The price of allsky cameras were expensive and software tailor made for some specific applications. Low resolutions (up to 640×480 but usually less), a price target around or over $1k made me think twice.

This was until I’ve seen QHY5L-II camera. A very cheap one, with a resolution of 1280×960, USB2, can be used as autoguider and exposures can be over 30 seconds. I’ve seen at QHYCCD site that they had a kit with an all-sky lens. I’ve bought the kit but the lens they sent was a much narrower (70deg). I’ve asked US representative but he could not understand my requirements. Then I’ve asked the representative in brazil and he got for some 70$ the lens for me.

This is the camera
This is the wrong lens sent by Astrofactors US
This is the correct lens sent by Brazilian Representative

The build is very simple. It is a CCD wrap up with a plastic used for food storage to protect from rain. I’ve fixed on the weather station as picture below




allskyCA38KU3P depolarCAHUWVRB

QHY5-II Color

Posted by Paulo Cacella on 16th February 2014 in Instruments
This is the QHY-II color CCD. I’ve got two. One for autoguiding, imaging planets and another for meteor observing

QHY5-II Flyer

First image with the 20 in (Sirius)

Posted by Paulo Cacella on 9th January 2014 in Instruments, Nearby Stars, Recent Posts
This was the first 10 seconds exposure of Sirius using a T3i and the 20in scope. There is some coma as I´ve not yet used the coma corrector and I need to improve the mirror cell to allow a better coma correction. Also the telescope is open and I had a quarter moon causing reflections.

Scale is 0.4 arcsec/pixel and mag limit something like 16.

Sirius 10sec

20 inch (50cm) Reflector Ready

Posted by Paulo Cacella on 5th January 2014 in Instruments, Observatory, Recent Posts, Serrurier 20in (50cm) Reflector
I´ve finished today the reflector. The design was a Serrurier Truss (the same as Palomar Observatory). The first night at theobservatory with a reak sky was perfect. The telescope performed flawlessly, maintened collimation, impressive images of Jupiter, Eta Carinae Nebula, Open Clusters etc.

Telescope is setup on a Chronosmount HPO. The mount is capable of a 250 pounds differential load. This means that it can handle Telescope and acessories without a counterweight.

The telescope structure was manufactured in two days. I´ve used aluminum and proper tools and bolts. Alot of patience too.

Next night available I´ll test with cameras and RCC-I Baader coma corrector.


Observe in the picture below that we can see Sirius, the brightest one, to the right, Orion shines with his belt in the center and Hyades and Pleiades finishes the parade to the left.This was the sky when the telescope saw the first light. A kind of Science and Poetry.


Orion Nebula C14 Hyperstar III T3i

Posted by Paulo Cacella on 28th December 2013 in Instruments, Nebulae, Recent Posts
This is  a test image. No flats (what is necessary) 5×60 seconds exposure. T3i on Hyperstar III C14 F1.9, 680mm FL. orionneb

C14 F1.9 T3i Tarantula Nebula

Posted by Paulo Cacella on 28th December 2013 in Instruments, Nebulae, Recent Posts
This is  a test image. No flats (what is necessary)  5x60s exposures on a T3i, scale 1.3 arc sec/pixel FL 680mm C14 Hyperstar. tarantula Detail details   Aberration aberrat  

First Image HyperstarIII C14. Fornax Galaxy Cluster

Posted by Paulo Cacella on 28th December 2013 in Galaxies, Galaxy Clusters, Instruments, Recent Posts
This image is a 5×60 seconds exposure. Bad work of background normalisation. Hyperstar has some vignetting in APS-C. That way I think is unusable with a full frame. The FL measured was 680.1 mm, FL F1.91. Collimation was a first try. Ive not tweaked to better images. Also camera cable was loose on the telescope and this caused too the unround stars.

This is the full image.

NGC3199 Final Fornax Cluster  

Now we can see a detail on NGC1399.


More details on galaxies of the group


Aberration maps of the corners and center. Scale is 1.3 arcsec pixel


Hyperstar III on a C14

Posted by Paulo Cacella on 24th December 2013 in Instruments, Recent Posts
Finally arrived my Hyperstar III. Weather here in Brasilia at this time of the year is 100% cloudy.I´ve done a collimation 100% on spot. Below are several photos of how we can exchange Mirror and Hyperstar. Very easy indeed. Now I have a very short FLastrograph.It is a F1.9 ! With a 670mm FL in a 14 in scope.

hyp1 hyp2 hyp3 hyp4

DogsHeaven Observatory almost ready and operational

Posted by Paulo Cacella on 25th August 2013 in Instruments, Observatory, Observatory Construction, Recent Posts
The observatory has the following main equipments installed : / /
    / /
  • Mounts                  : Chronosmount HPO, Losmandy G11, Celestron CGE and Meade LX200GPS
  • / /
  • Telescopes            : 20 inch astrograph, C14, LX200GPS 10in, Refractor 6″, APO 4″
  • / /
  • Binoculars            : Celestron 25×100, Celestron 20×80, Fujinon 16×70, Pentax 10×50
  • / /
  • CCD                        : (2) SBIG ST8, HX516, (2) QHY, SSAG
  • / /
  • Spectrographs     : LHIRESIII, SBIG DSS7, Rainbow Optics, Staranalyser
  • / /
  • Computers            : W7 32GB I7, iMAC27, (3) Hypervisor Linux servers in a 1GBit network
  • / /
  • Weather Station : Ambientweather at
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  • Cameras                : (2) Canon T3i, Canon 350D modified
  • / /
  • IPCamera              : Foston IR
  • / /
  • Sky Brightness     : SQML
  • / /
/ /IMG_0046 / / / /IMG_0047 / / / /IMG_0055 / / / /IMG_0056