The Telescope

The primary telescopre used at Biggs Observatory today is a 20" F/8.2 Ritchey-Cretiein custom designed by RC Optical Systems.  Tts support structure is carbon fiber truss, an extaordiarily strong yet light material, providing minimal expansion characteristics during changing temperature conditions .  Its has ion milled optics which can yield 1/20 wavelength of light accuracty in curvature across the entire 20" mirror.  The primary mirror is 20 inches and has a concave hyperbolic curve.  The secondary mirror is 7 inches and has a convex hyperbolic curve.   The system operates at prime focus at 4166mm focual length and weights about 160 lbs.

The FS-102 is a state-of-the-art fluorite apochromatic refractor. It is capable of delivering ultra sharp high contrast images over the entire field of view. The images are totally free of chromatic aberrations. Stars appear as tack-sharp points of light on a jet-black background. The telescope lens is 102mm (4") in diameter and an F/8.0 focal ration yielding an 820mm focal lenth.

Depricated: The telescope is a Celestron C-11.  The mirror is 11 inches in diameter, focal ratio is F/10 with a focal length of 110 inches or 2800mm.

The Mount

The Paramount ME™ Robotic Telescope System from Software Bisque features a German equatorial mount with research-grade 11-inch right ascension gears that provide unsurpassed tracking performance.  It interfaces with both a computer and various other components within the observatory to automate much of the nights activities.  Current the telescope requies 4-20 lbs coutnerweights plus and additional 75 lbs counterweigth for a total of 155 lbs.


Depricated: The mount is a Losmandy G-11 mount rated at up to 60 lbs of instrument capacity.  Over the years I have worked on various aspects of the mount (including order the latest new worm gears from Losmandy to improve the tracking accuracy from ±20 seconds of arc to ±5 seconds of arc.  I currently use two counterweights to balance the C-11 scope, one 11 lb and one 7.5 lb.

The CCD Camera

The CCD camera is an SBIG ST-10XME camera from  It has a resolution of 2184x1472 pixels with pixel size of 6.8 um.  This gives about 0.5 arc seconds resolution with the C-11 scope operating at prime focus.  The camera has multiple stages of cooling to get its CCD temperature down to about 90 degrees F below ambient temperature.  Accessories I received with the camera are the color wheel with Red, Green, Blue, Clear and None filters, as well as the adaptive optics module.