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I own a trio of extraordinary refractors made by Roland Christen of Astro-Physics. For visual use, I finally obtained one of the truly great apos, a 180mm (7.1”) f9 EDT. It is set up on an Astro-Physics 1200GTO mount. Together, they rest on a variable-height Pier Tech III.

For imaging, I use the 155EDF on a second 1200GTO mount and a permanent AstroPier. Its fast focal ratio (f7) shortens exposure time, and its 4” field flattener provides coverage of a 6x7 film format with room to spare. Hopefully, there will be an affordable medium format CCD some day. In the meantime, I am imaging with an SBIG STL11000M, whose 11-megapixel detector is the same size as 35mm film. Mounted on top, I usually have the 105mm f5.9 Traveler. This is a wonderful widefield scope for imaging or visual use. BTW, that’s Marj Christen, Roland’s wife, posing with the scopes.




My latest scope is another great one, a 10" f20 Maksutov-Cassegrain made by Yuri Petrunin at TEC in Golden, CO. Its long focal length (5000mm) makes this a specialty scope, ideal for lunar, planetary and other high-resolution imaging.


Permanent pier

Imaging requirs a very rigid mounting. My permanent pier is anchored in concrete and isolated from the deck to avoid vibration. Hopefully, we will build a sliding roof observatory in the near future.



There are many things in the sky that can be observed with a pair of hand-held binoculars! For serious observing, I also have a Miyauchi 100mm fluorite binocular scope with interchangeable eyepieces that can be mounted on a dedicated pier or large tripod. It is great for observing comets, the moon, star clusters, larger galaxies, and some double stars.



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