Tom Richards 1200GTO

"The 180mm EDT apo had been in storage for a year or two while I obtained the 1200GTO mount and built a suitable observatory to hold it all. However it all came together in July 2001, as did some of the worst of winter weather! Now that I've got such a great mount, I'm planning a lot of variable star work, but am still at the stage of checking my results against published data, and working out the instrumental corrections for the scope-camera-filter combinations to obtain reliable VRI magnitudes.
     One thing is clear, the lack of aperture compared to the big SCTs is no barrier to obtaining planetary images down to under a half arcsec resolution- I work at 0.35 arcsec/pixel. It's not just the superior optics, it's the minimizing of scintillation by avoiding tube currents and dome currents. And the accuracy of the drive makes it possible to use image frames hardly larger than the planet, so that over 20 images per minute is achievable."

Tom Richards

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