observatory images



   Lymm Observatory

   observatory images

   CCD linearity testing

   photometry software

   image stacking


   optimal photometry

    Here's the observatory with the roof closed. The obervatory dates from the early 1990's and was built when I lived in Sheffield. It moved to Lymm when I came here in 1997 (yes, it really will fit in a removals van; the roof sections were moved intact, the four lower walls can be dismantled). It has lasted well over the years and is very easy to use.






    And here it is with the roof open... as you can see, the roof splits in two and each section can be slid back.

    The observatory was designed for a Newtonian reflector. Run-off-roof observatories are not usually considered very suitable for a Newtonian reflector, owing to the low mounting of the telescope, but this one worked quite well. The roof sections can slide back well clear of the observatory to the east and west, and if it is necessary to view an object at low altitude in the south, the south wall section can be removed (the north wall can also be removed). Needless to say, the observatory is very well suited to the present Schmidt cassegrain telescope, since it is very compact and on a fairly high mounting.


    Here is the current telescope: a 30-cm Meade LX200 Schmidt Cassegrain, with the Starlight-Xpress MX916 CCD camera attached. This telescope has a 'GOTO' facility and will find objects automatically at the press of a few buttons. I know some people say this is cheating, but it is great fun, and I feel I've done my fair share of trying to find objects by star-hopping whilst perched on a step ladder at 1am... The black band wrapped around the top of tube is a heating tape I bought from BC+F, to stop the corrector plate dewing up. I power it from a 19.3 V, 4.7A laptop power supply (bought from Maplin). The corrector plate no longer dews up!



    Here's another view. The rather nice sloping desk in the far corner, which is illuminated by red LEDs at night, is worth a comment, albeit for non-astronomical reasons. Anyone who thinks it looks suspiciously like a train register desk from a railway signal box is correct - it is from Dinnington Colliery Junction (closed 1997) in South Yorkshire.