Friday, April 1, 2011

It pays to collimate your optics

I have to admit I've frequently given collimation (aligning the optics of a telescope) the short-shrift in my haste to produce an image. But, after examining the NGC3628 photos taken lately and some visual viewing the other night, I took another set of images after doing a "proper" collimation.*

Here's the image from 3/28/2011 (prior to collimating):
http://www.pbase.com/wjshaheen/image/133518647/large

This is from last night (after collimating):
http://www.pbase.com/wjshaheen/image/133590305/large

(Feel free to explore the Original sizes.)

And, here is the side-by-side comparison:
http://www.pbase.com/wjshaheen/image/133590304/original

Further, here's an excellent paper on how to collimate:
http://legault.perso.sfr.fr/collim.html

I for one will never sell collimation short again.

Bill

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