Friday, February 11, 2005

Huge Telescope

I bought a 17.5" reflector this evening, at an auction run by the Boise Astronomical Society. It has an interesting history to it. Apparently, many years back, a number of families in one neighborhood here in Boise pooled their resources, and built a telescope for their kids. It is a classic Dobsonian design using a Coulter mirror. Eventually, the kids grew up, lost interest in science, and the original reason for this optical cannon went away. So they gave it to the Boise Astronomical Society.

I just bought it for $625. It needs a little work. The mirror cell (originally of wood) got wet, and became unusable. So I'll have to either fabricate one, or buy one (probably less than $200, from what I can find). The finder diagonal is broken. Perhaps fixable, if not, cheap to replace.

Most of the wood is actually pretty decent. Coulter's later mirrors were sometimes decent but often not--but the area where mirror deficiencies become more apparent is at high power. Something like this makes most sense for low power observation of galaxies, anyway.

It is a monster. We borrowed a friend's expedition--and even with both seats down, I was pressed against the windshield in the front passenger seat. I couldn't even put on my seat belt.

First step after I get the mirror cell replaced: casters on the bottom!

No comments:

Post a Comment