Member’s handiwork helped Hawking view the universe

Photo: Stephen Hawking post from his Facebook
Stephen Hawking and his Specially-Equipped Telescope. – Stephen Hawking post from his Facebook

 

The recent death of theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking brought back a happy memory for CAA member Joe Golias. Among the accounts of the famous scientist’s life, a photograph and story resurfaced showing Hawking next to a specially-equipped telescope; a system Hawking could operate himself, to view and image celestial objects. The local tie-in? Golias owns and operates Astrozap, a respected manufacturer of telescope accessories, dew shields particularly.

Golias writes, “I was told by the Celestron folks that the Hawking team purchased a special system to enable Mr. Hawking to do Astrophotography from his home. While the Celestron folks do carry their own line of dew shields, they wanted Mr. Hawking to have the best on the market. Celestron purchased the Astrozap dew shield and Astrozap dew controller during a UK imaging conference.” Shields and heaters (controllers) help prevent formation of fog and dew on telescope lenses.

There, in a photo posted to Hawking’s Facebook, is the Celestron telescope wearing its handsome dew shield emblazoned with the Astrozap name! What a wonderful milestone and memory for our own Joe Golias! {Here’s the Full-Size Image}

Here is a link to a detailed story of the telescope as told by the good folks at Celestron: Building a Telescope for Stephen Hawking

 

Advertisements

The Beautiful “Gulf of Mexico”

Photo: four panel mosaic of an area called the "Gulf of Mexico" which is part of a much larger area of nebulosity called The North American Nebula or NGC7000. Image by Joe Golias
“Gulf of Mexico” Region of NGC7000

CAA member and local astronomy business owner Joe Golias has shared a new image with us that, well, all we can say about it is that it’s astounding! Here’s Joe’s description of how he produced his photograph of a region of NGC7000…

This was by far the most challenging imaging project I have attempted to date. It represents a four-panel mosaic of an area called the “Gulf of Mexico” which is part of a much larger area of nebulosity called The North American Nebula or NGC7000. This object is located in the constellation of Cygnus. This four-panel mosaic was acquired over a period of three weeks. Total exposure time was 56 hours. We’ve had a long stretch of clear skies here in Ohio which made this image possible.

Object: Gulf of Mexico | Telescope: Takahashi TOA 150 refractor | Telescope Mount: Losmandy G-11 | Camera: SBIG STT8300 with self-guiding filter wheel | Exposure: 56 hours of combined narrowband HA, OIII & SII filters | Location: “Astrozap Ridge,” Medina, Ohio. | Image processing: MaxIm DL, Images Plus, PixInsight, Photoshop CS6

The Beautiful “Elephant Trunk”

IC 1396 - The "Elephant Trunk" Nebula in Cepheus, by Joe Golias
IC 1396 – The “Elephant Trunk” Nebula in Cepheus

by Joe Golias

We were fortunate enough to have clear skies this past weekend and I managed to do some narrowband imaging from my back yard in Granger, Ohio. I’d like to share with everyone one of my latest CCD images taken of the Elephant trunk nebula IC 1396 located in the constellation of Cepheus. I often wonder why I bother traveling great distances to dark sky sites like Texas and Florida when I can get results like this from my back yard in Ohio!

Imaging details: Telescope: Takahashi TOA 150 Refractor. Camera: SBIG ST8300M with self-guiding filter wheel. Mount: Losmandy: G-11. Exposure times in narrowband: 4 hours SII filter with 20-min. sub exposures, 4 hours OIII filter with 20-min. sub exposures, 4 hours HA filter with 20-min. sub exposures. Location: Granger, Ohio. Processed in MaxIm DL, Images Plus, Pixinsight, and Photoshop. Final RGB combination was converted using the Hubble color palette, HST.

CAA Member Joe Golias is (obviously) an expert astro-imager and is owner of Astrozap, a Cleveland-area company that produces astronomy accessories.