|Albert van Duin
| This spring, the second prototype of the Lynx Astrograph was finally finished. This telecope was designed and built by Rik ter Horst of NOVA-ASTRON. This second prototype has better optics, better coatings, and a more stable focuser compared to the first one.
The camera that is mounted on the new telescope is a customized Canon 6D, a full frame (24 x 36mm chip) DSLR. The camera mirror and shutter have been removed, and the image sensor has been taken out of the body and is mounted in a custom nose piece that also contains a peltier cooler to cool the sensor about 18 degrees below ambient temperature, resulting in an improved signal to noise ratio.
Since the nights are not very dark at this time of year, only short exposure imaging is possible at the moment. One of the showpieces of the summer sky is the biggest northern globular cluster M13. 13 integrations of 120s each were made at 800ISO, without cooling this time. The sky was not very clear, there were a lot of cirrus clouds, but still a lot of background galaxies can be seen. From August on the skies will gradually become really dark again, so by that time the real imaging sessions can start!
Click on the image to see it in full resolution.