Trying to get all the pieces for the observatory was truly daunting. What is usually a slow procurement process over 5-10 years, we are trying to do in months. It took countless hours of research to ensure all things worked seamlessly. There are also a host of other smaller pieces of equipment behind the main pieces that had to purchased as well.
LX 200r 10" f/8
We decided to go with a 10" due to its forgiving nature and the internal geometry of the dome.
The shorter focal length will be more conducive to astrophotography.
The telescopes mirror comes with Meade's UHTC (Ultra-High Transmission Coatings) for best brightness and contrast
Meade produces fine products.
The pier is a pier tech 2, manufactured by Piertech. It is electronically adjustable in height and has 3 ft deep concrete footing to ensure stability and minimal vibration.
The Coronado is a great scope that images in the H-alpha band to yield detailed views of the sun's prominences, sunspots, filaments, and granulation.
This is a research grade GEM (German Equatorial Mount) that is capable of extreme tracking. It also contains fully integrated software and auto-correction features.
This is a $20,000 mount that was graciously donated to the school.
Guidescope & Imager
For the guidescope as well as a wide field imager, we decided to go with the Skywatcher Espirit. It is a triplet APO refractor that yields no chromatic abberation.
This scope will be piggybacked on the Lx 200r and serve double duty.
This is great scope.
The structure stands 9' 4" feet tall and is 7' 6" feet in diameter. It is made of marine grade fiberglass and is manufactured by Sirius Observatories in Australia. Every aspect of the dome can be remotely controlled through the observatory's network.
Main Imaging Camera
The main imaging camera is the SBIG ST 2000XM. It is 2 Megapixel CCD camera that is very low noise with a wide field of view. We will use a separate guide camera, but may alternate between imaging with the guide and main scope.
To obtain precise guiding in a light weight package that would not cause focuser strain we went with the QHYL-II. This will also double as a broadcast and monochrome imager.