Lost Valley Observatory Image Gallery

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The Lost Valley Observatory saw first light on June 3, 2007.  It is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains at Sierra Remote Observatories.  The main telescope is an RCOS Carbon Truss 16 inch f/9 Ritchey-Chretien telescope, with ion milled optics on a Software Bisque Paramount ME mount.  Detailed information regarding the system, including the Software Bisque's Paramount ME equatorial mount and CCD imaging systems, can be found on the "Observaory Construction" link on the homepage. The observatory itself is 10 by 12 foot custom built roll off roof observatory.  The observatory is part of Sierra Remote Observatories (www.sierra-remote.com ).  I generally image with the telescope at 'prime', with a 3685 mm FL.  Using my SBIG SLT-6303 (or STL-11000) camera this puts me at an image scale of 0.51 arc-sec/pixel with a generous FOV of 17.3 x 26 arc-min.  Guiding is accomplished with an Astrodon MOAG OAG with a .7 FLR (increases the SBIG 237's FOV by 40%, essentially equivilent to the FOV of the 402 XME) and STL Adaptive Optics.  A CFW-8 filter wheel and Astrodon filters are used, including L, R, G, B, Ha, SII, OIII and C (non-IR blocked).   The most important image acquisition programs I use are The Sky and CCD AutoPilotIV (written by John Smith).  Processing is performed with CCDStack and Photoshop CS/4.  Important add-on programs I use with Photoshop include Russel Croman's GradientXterminator and Kodac Gem (for subtle smoothing).  
      My images are listed sequentially, hopefully improving with time and experience.  They are intentionally arranged chronologically, as opposed to a standard astro-image gallery with galaxies, nebula and planetary images separated.  The advantage of this type of chronological gallery is one can see the progression of experience and learning curve (with all the expected errors)...the disadvantage is it's more difficult to "find" a particular image.  I hope you enjoy the site.


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