|Those are BIG mirrors|
The main reason for going south was to attend a session of Adam Block's CCD Imaging Workshops. This was 3 nights and 4 very full days of imaging, stacking, registering, normalizing, deconvolution, and a whole lot of other stuff.....and of course use of the big 32 inch Shulman RC scope. Wow! What a fine piece of optics that thing is. 5,500 lbs of scope which slews around the sky with barely a whisper of sound. Adam is a lucky guy to have access to that - for public outreach and hard-core guys like us!
|Where my brain filled up|
At the start of the trip, we were taken on a tour of the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab where we saw where some of the mirrors for the largest telescopes on Earth are made. The mirrors for the GMT (or Giant Magellan Telescope) are being built here. The lab is on the side of the University of Arizona's stadium. The location reminded me of the Manhattan Project where the first atomic bomb was being developed under the University of Chicago stadium seats.
|Observatories in the moonlight|
|I need one of these.|
|Photons collected here|
Rooms, plenty of good food (thanks Beth), and a ride from the airport and back where included in the cost of the workshop. If you are interested in this kind imaging, I would highly recommend Adam's workshop. I would say this was an intermediate to advanced workshop. So I'd suggest that you know something about stacking, darks, flats, and have had some good practice with Photoshop before attending or you may get a bit overloaded.
|Far left dome is the home of the Schulman scope|
|NGC 157 sample image we processed|
|M 76 another practice image we used|
|NGC 1555. From actual data we captured.|
| Mt. Lemmon Sky Center |
| Adam Block's web page - Caelum Observatory |