MAS Member Todd Giencke's Scope

Pics taken Nov 1999

(Click on any thumbnail to see a larger 640x480 JPEG image)

Todd and his CCD/Celestron Ultima 2000

Todd points out a feature

Checking it out

Control electronics

Scope and pier

Telescope control room

CCD image

Dave watches as Todd contolls his scope

CCD camera

Todd Giencke's background...

-'97 Started astronomy by doing the Messier 50 List with 7x50 binoculars using Starry Night planetarium program.

-'98 I started CCDing using the Central Arkansas Astronomical Society's 6" f/12 Astro-Physics APO refractor and a Cookbook 245 CCD and autoguiding with a ST-4. Both were lent to me.

-'99 Started to use a Celestron Ultima 2000 (8" SCT Goto fork mount), Celestron Pixcel 237 (aka SBIG ST-237) CCD camera, TheSky (planetarium & mount control), CCDOps (CCD control), Mira AP (CCD control and image processing). I used this equipment for remote CCDing for "pretty pictures" of NGC & IC nebula / galaxies and follow-up astrometry of < 17th magnitude Near Earth Object's (NEO) for the Minor Planet Center.

-'00 Started to use TheSky (mount control), CCDSoft (CCD control), and Orchestrate (scripting control) for remote scripted imaging while I sleep!

With the professional observatories (LINEAR) doing NEO searches getting up to full speed their isn't much need for follow-up of NEO's < 17th mag. So this summer I have been imaging the 17th magnitude comet 9P Tempel 1 with a photometric Bessel R filter for the U of Maryland's Small Telescope Science Program which is studying the comet's structure for NASA's Deep Impact mission to 9P Tempel 1.

Some of you might be wondering why the jump from binoculars to CCD's. Well I'm an aircraft mechanic and I knew I would always be by a big city and I wanted to do my astronomy from my backyard and CCD's seamed to be the best way. The science projects is me trying to give some "meaning" to the images I'm taking and trying to give back to this great "hobby" of ours.

FYI- The only prerequisite to CCDing is an accurately tracking mount. Everything else can be built.

--Todd Giencke

Photos & HTML by Ben Huset

Last revision October 12, 2000 by Ben
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