Wessex Astronomical Society


Observatory Equipment

The Telescope
The telescope is a Meade LX200R 14". This is a Schmidt Cassegrain telescope with optics adjusted to give "Coma-Free" images across a wide field of view. Its focal length is 3560mm giving a focal ratio of F10. The telescope is mounted on a wedge which angles the telescope to a polar axis. Subsequent to the photograph shown here a Skywatcher 100mm refractor telescope has been mounted on top of the LX200 and is used for making images and for guiding while imaging through the LX200.

A number of eyepieces in a range of focal length are available giving magnifications from x600 (with the 6mm) down to x90 (with the 40mm).

The Computers and Imaging Equipment
Two computers have been provided. One is normally used to control the telescope by presenting a map of the sky on the screen from which an object to be observed can be selected and the telescope instructed to "goto" the object. That computer is also normally the one used for high precision guiding via a small digital guide camera attached to the skywatcher refractor.

The second computer is the one mainly used for making images with a CCD camera attached to the LX200. The images made in this way are shown elsewhere on this website. It is also possible to display "live" images taken through the skywatcher while visitors are viewing an object in the eyepiece of the main telescope.

Four imaging cameras are available. The main one is a Starlight Xpress SXV H16 CCD camera having a 15mm square monochrome sensor with 2048 x 2048 pixels. The one used on the Skywatcher for both "live" imaging and for guiding is a Starlight Xpress SXV M7C CCD camera. The previous guide camera was a Starlight Xpress Lodestar. For planetary and lunar imaging a Philips ToUcam webcam can be used. However, better planetary and lunar imaging can be done with DMK or DFK video cameras owned by members.

Durlston Country Park, Rangers - 01929 424443 or
Durlston Country Park, Rangers (on the day of an event) - 01929 427965
Alan Jefferis - 01929 422961 or