Monday, June 18, 2018

Progress at Last!

Over the last couple of weeks we've had some great progress at Kumeu Observatory, firstly Jonathan Green managed to get hold of the electrician and get the power restored, then with a stroke of luck on our side we had a decent run of clear weather around full Moon, so taking advantage of the clear weather Jonathan Green and Steve Hennerley managed to get the new QHY 168c Cold CMOS camera which is on loan from Astronz installed and in focus which was a bit of a mission, Steve had to 3d print a spacer to get enough back focus but we got there in the end.

<- The new QHY 168C Cold CMOS camera with a QHY 5 II offset autoguider currently on loan to Kumeu Observatory thanks to Astonz.

On one of the days Jonathan met up with Steve out at Kumeu he took a look into the neighbouring Wasp Observatory after all the storms we have had out at Kumeu, Auckland Astronomical Society member Nicola Gujer had asked him to check up on her gear in the observatory. On opening the door to the observatory Jonathan was confronted by a rather large rat! After scaring off the rat, Jonathan had a chance to inspect the observatory, unfortunately the observatory was in quite a state with rat excrement everywhere and a strong smell of rat urine. So after heading home Jonathan sent David Moorhouse an e-mail advising him of the situation at the Wasp, after talking on the phone David and Jonathan met up out at the Wasp on the weekend and thoroughly cleaned and disinfected the entire observatory, after this task was completed Jonathan had a chance to talk with David about the future of the Wasp Observatory, David indicated that he had no plans to come back to Astronomy and indicated that he wished to sell his equipment, so now the Auckland Astronomical Society council will discuss the potential purchase of Davids equipment at the next council meeting, hopefully we can come to an agreement to buy Davids equipment and get the observatory back into regular operation.

<- David Moorhouse inspects his equipment after cleaning up the rat infestation.

<- NGC 4945 captured from Kumeu Observatory, please note the collimation of the telescope had not been refined at this stage, although preliminary tests were encouraging to say the least.

The Trifid Nebula captured from Kumeu Observatory on the 8th of June, please note the collimation of the telescope had not been refined at this stage. ->

^ And finally on Thursday the 14th of June Steve Hennerley met up with Jonathan Green to work on refining the collimation of the 12' Astronz (GSO) Ritchey–Chr├ętien telescope, unfortunately the sky had clouded over by the time we were happy with the preliminary collimation, so we still need to put the telescope on a star and see if we will need to make any final adjustments. The weather has been quite frustrating since last Thursday but hopefully we get another clear patch soon, so we can continue the great progress that has been made so far.

Posted by Jonathan Green

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