Monday, February 14, 2005

Big Bertha

My wife is getting ready to teach a World War I Literature class next month at George Fox University, so she has taken to referring to the latest addition to our garage as "Big Bertha." Yes, it does look rather like a cannon.

I reached the point where I plopped the mirror into the scope this evening, constructed a rolling base for it (I am in the telescope caster business, after all), and rolled it out into the driveway. From the noise it made, its inertia, and the growling noise it made, I found myself thinking of Edward I's "Warwolf," a great trebuchet used against the Scots.

The mirror was closer to collimated than I would have expected, but it is too far back in the tube to get eyepieces to focus. I think I am going to have to construct something a bit more formal in the way of a mirror cell for this beast. Still, the amount of light it gathers on the Orion Nebula (M42) is quite astonishing.

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