Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The power of resolving power (aperture rules - again)

It broke my heart to sell my TEC-APO140 (a premium 5.5 inch apochromatic refractor).  And I still recall a fellow amateur astronomer saying, "I'd take that scope to the grave".  (I nearly did when I told my wife I wanted anther telescope.)  But, numbers don't lie and I was after improved resolution and contrast in my deep sky images.  So, I decided I wanted the increased resolving power of the larger aperture 9.25 inch SCT over the 5.5 inch refractor.  Besides, the new Celestron EdgeHD series promised sharp stars across the entire field-of-view (FOV). And they delivered.

So, bracing myself for a complex conversion (new accessories, focuser, etc.),  I sold the TEC APO-140. The new owner says it provides better views of planets than his 12 inch Meade SCT. 

While imaging last night, it occured to me I could perform the below comparison, using an image taken of the Horsehead with the previous scope back in January.  Here is a side-by-side:

Here is the work to date using the new telescope:

I feel the changeover was worth it.

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