After my recent revamp of the Recent Images page I decided to copy the theme over to the main homepage.
It has gone pretty well, except I don't have it working quite right in IE9. All the web kit browsers, Chrome, Safari etc are fine. Why can't all browsers work the bloody same, eg?
It is possible I'll through this design out and change it for something else in a few weeks, but for now at least I have a homepage that I'm not actually embarrassed about!
The main activity this summer has been making my own Arduino based telescope control system for the homemade mount
I've also just updated the recent images directory on the site after not touching it for 2 years!
The VLT suvey telescope is going to undertake 3 major surveys overs the next 5 years resulting in a catalogue of over 500 million objects. Compare that to your average amateur GOTO telescope with a catalogue of about 50,000 objects!
This photo shows the camera itself - looks to be the size of an armchair. Slightly bigger than you average DSLR camera! It weighs in at around 770kg and contains 32 separate CCD sensors making up it huge total pixelage.
First Images from the VLT Survey Telescope
The 2.6 metre aperture ESO telescope has a staggering 238 mega-pixel camera giving something like a 1 degree. Pretty amazing.
The Atacama Desert plateau in South America has some of the finest conditions for astronomy on the planet. Only the summits of Hawaii and the polar plateau in Antarctica approach it. Therefore astronomers have built several telescopes in this region to take advantage of the perfect skies.
The ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) is unsurprisingly one of the larger telescopes. Until the 30 metre class scopes start coming on line, the four 8 metre class telescopes of the VLT is one of the most powerful instruments on the planet.
Here's hoping that 2011 brings some long clear moonless nights - these last 3 months have been very poor for astrophotography.
Do we have any New Year's resolutions? I doubt it - I'm not very good at such things, but let us at least resolve to take advantage of any breaks in the weather that come our way.
Because of the mass of the LX200, this needs to be a sturdy bit of engineering. Most commercial SCT telescope wedges fit into two categories. They are either flimsy and floppy and downright dangerous (i.e. useless) or they are well made and prohibitively expensive.
Of course, a homemade wedge can solve both these problems at once, and have some fun. Read the rest of the article to find out more.