About the New "Illig" Telescope at HALO
After finding the mid-1930's vintage Watson 12" Newtonian telescope very difficult to use over the last 2+ years, HAL's leadership started exploring new options earlier this year. While engaged in that process, long-time HAL members Leona and David Illig offered to donate a Takahashi 6" refractor, an Astrophysics "GoTo" mount, and a high-end astrophotography camera. During the last week of May 2018 and the first week of June 2018 the HAL Telescope Committee removed the Watson telescope to storage (Removal photos here) and installed the new equipment (Installation photos here).
This new equipment will be introduced to the public at the June 16th star party. It should allow HAL to show members of the public many more celestial objects over the course of an evening with better clarity and higher resolution. In addition, HAL will work to make this new equipment available to HAL members for observation and astrophotograpy.
Soon HAL Members will be able to perform advanced astrophotography using the SBIG 11000m plus filter wheel or bring their own camera. HAL can currently support any 3rd party camera that plugs into a standard telescope 1 1/4" or 2" fitting, plus HAL owns adapters for Canon and Nikon DSLR cameras for use by its members. The telescope is normally operated from a laptop using TheSkyXPro which includes the Camera Add-on. This Add-on supports most popular astrophotography cameras including DSLRs.
Eventually, HAL will build a display case inside HALO and use it to showcase the origial Watson telescope. Stay tuned for more updates. These are exciting times!
HAL uses Software Bisque's TheSkyX Pro to control the telescope, several camera models, and soon to automate dome operation.