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Barry Riu's Images


Sharpless 101 in Cygnus

The flaming central emission nebula is SH2-101 or Cederblad 173.  The upper left nebula with it's interesting dark globs is a very faint Lynds object.  The objects reside in the sprawling 6 degree dark nebula Barnard 144.  This image is best viewed without much zoom or less than 100%.  It's colored stars, bright and dark nebulosity make it a rich region; Cygnus has always provided us a bounty of such treasures.

:: Sat 03/14/2009 @ 09:59

The Triple Cave in Aquila

Not far from the northern tip star Tarazed is Barnard 143.  The very dense stars of this part of the summer Milky Way backlight the dark nebula and make a wonderous figure.  A larger field would include the adjacent B142.  As far as a triple cave, I'm not really seeing that in the narrow intersecting dark lanes, maybe it was a visual observer's perception.  I'm glad they did, the name intrigued me to hunt it down.  I love this field of stellar density and star colors.

:: Sat 03/14/2009 @ 09:30

NGC 1491 in Perseus

In the heart of the Winter Milky Way at the northern border of Perseus-Camelopardalis is this somewhat different object, AKA SH2-206.  It is described to be a bright, small irregular figure that is resolvable in an overall 25x25 nebula. The image here develops the larger nebulous field; this would be a great subject too for the long focal length instrument. 

The color spectrum of this object is a difficult one to get right based on the wide variety of color shots I've seen. Whereas my system is fairly color predictable, this object records in an odd hue and requires careful balancing.

:: Sat 03/14/2009 @ 08:51

A Sharpless Quintuplet

Sharpless 2-254,255,256,257,258 are found clustered in the winter Milky Way of the constellation Orion.  Wow, 5 in one spot.  A pretty mix of colors and dust hiding in the background, albeit it is a faint object.  The brightest burst, the one that resembles a Trifid is ic 2162.

:: Sat 03/14/2009 @ 08:41

NGC 1365 in Fornax

Fornax is somewhat low for a galaxy imaged from this N. hemisphere, 1365 resides at -36 deg.  Some clarity is lost of course here, but it's a super object from Chile.  Anyway, a great whipping barred spiral broadcasting from 65 million ly.  This farly deep image seems to reveal it as a spoked cartwheel, something greater than just the heavy spiral main arms for which it's known.

:: Fri 03/13/2009 @ 10:06

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Barry Riu




"The Dream Observatory" as named.



Equatorial Mount:  Paramount ME 1100, 48v DC, set on 42" x 10" round pier.

Telescope:  16.5" Newtonian carbon fiber Astrograph f/3.75 with cellular secondary mirror, 12 point vane tube mounting.  96+% OMI high reflectivity coatings.

Tube OD is 20".  Active rear mount 4 fan system pulls air in from rear through a large 18" diameter x 2" high filter, pushing air out the front creating positive pressure against night air.   This operates 24/7 to help maintain equilibrium.

4" Keller Custom Coma Corrector/flattener.

4" ID custom made FLI focuser fitted with Goldman Monster Mega OAG 4" in - 3" out apertures.

OTA upper surface has direct bolt mount BT Tech dovetail saddle [clamping plate] for ancillary telescope use.

CCD Camera:  Apogee U16 with Kodak 16803 sensor 4096x4096 pixels.  Apogee 7 position filter wheel with 2" square Goldman filters. Narrowband imaging utilizes a 3 nm OIII, a 5 nm Ha and SII filters.  The camera/FW/OAG internal volume is fitted with a tube to receive dry air purging, via the Drierite Laboratory Dessicant system.

Guiding: A Lodestar ccd camera with the MMOAG picks off a guide star, this is powered solely by usb and operates through Maxim DL 5.15.

Connectivity:  A usb powered hub at the pier transmits the filter wheel, guider, and focuser commands.   A dedicated usb amplified extension cable transmits for the camera.  The Paramount has a dedicated serial cable direct into the computer.

The observatory, inside located control room, has a desktop computer with dual monitor screens, one of which displays the Sky6 planetarium program continuously. 

A high speed CAT 6 Ethernet cable runs underground 20' to the residence and is hooked into a non-wireless 10/100/1000 gigabit router.  The house based computer via CAT6 to the router connects remotely with the observatory control room computer via RAdmin remote desktop.

Images acquired by the telescope are sent directly back into the house and stored on a 1 Terabyte NAS [server], CAT6 again NAS to router.  Each downloaded image is quite large at 33 Meg.  This system allows either computer to have access to the images database.

Observatory Structure:  Roll-off roof building with 6' high walls and a floor area of 18' x 24'.  The roof of 20' x 24' size rolls Eastward on an external steel 6" H beam structure independent of the building proper.  Manual operation.  The building is well insulated and ventilated for natural air flow but can easily be closed in to allow the wall mounted a/c to climate control as need be in the Florida summer, either for working within or just daytime temperature reduction on the worst days.

The west wall has a 12" high drop down flap to seal after the roof closure and when open maximizes lower altitude availability.  A 20" box fan is also used inside on a 5' high shelf to ventilate about the telescope at night and homogenize any thermals or heat pockets in front of the optical system.

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