Dave's 16 Inch Binocular Telescope Page
I have just installed a new Clear Sky Monitor from Diffraction Ltd below is the graph it is creating. This graph is updating roughly every three minutes. Hit F5 for refresh, to see the latest graph. It shows the cloud cover and ambient temperature. The cloud cover is measured by a non-contact thermometer looking at the sky. New Page
Recently I have been also doing heaps of Astrophotography with my new William Optic 80mm Megrez Super APO and SBIG ST-2000 camera. You can have a look at my images on astro.smugmug.com and the current observatory status and issues at the Kumeu Observatory Blog
And now in stereo……… “Can you merge the two images?”. “Yes it’s fine – wow ! A 3D visual overload !” Visual astronomy just doesn't get any better!
The image was of the Tarantula Nebula, and it was definitely coming to get us. A little melodramatic, you must be thinking, but all those folks who looked through David Moorhouse’s binocular scope, or binoscope at a Dark Sky astronomy weekend in April this year, were astonished, amazed, and very impressed with what they saw.
Objects that we had looked at numerous times before over the years suddenly appeared to have new life and sparkle. The jewel box an open cluster in crux had an almost three-dimensional feel with the red giant's looking as if you could reach out and touch them with blue hot stars seeming to recede into the distance.
It took me almost exactly one year from the initial concept to first light. During this whole period of time I had no idea as to whether the project that I was embarking on was going to be a success or part of fools fantasy. I had no way of knowing whether my design was sound and that the usability and functionality of this instrument had any hope of even vaguely meeting my most conservative expectations. I've now been using this instrument for over six months and each time I take it out observing I still can't get over the realism of the views that this instrument affords me. The design has worked flawlessly, so far I have not had to rebuild even the smallest part, it is rock solid and a real pleasure to use. If anyone out there is contemplating the building of binocular telescope the learning curve is steep but so far the awards have been rich indeed and have completely surpassed my wildest expectations. Knowing what I know now I would not even hesitate to leaping in to a similar project again. Now my only wish would be to have a much larger budget to build a much larger instrument, probably something in the mid-20 inch category, this would have the light grasp and acuity of an instrument in the mid-30 inch range, now that would be impressive.!
Latest changes are the addition of a trailer to transport the telescope this has cut the setup time down to fifteen minutes
Have a read of some of my pages under 'The feel' category, this might give you some idea of the pleasure I have had viewing the heavens through this telescope.