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APM Professional Telescopes

APM Professional Telescopes

1m F/8 Ritchey Chrétien with dual Nasmyth Foci, Cape Town (South Africa)

Another large telescope for the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO). An 1m F/8 Alt-Az mounted Ritchey Chrétien for robotic use. It has dual Nasmyth Foci. The main telescopes used for research are located at the SAAO observing station (32°22.795’S 20°48,657’E) near Sutherland in the Northern Cape, a 4-hour drive from Cape Town.

Astronomy is our job

Observatory Telescopes

Big prime focus telescopes for private or public observatories including installation and full service.

Robotic / Remote

Robotic instruments for automatic imaging or telescopes for remote observation.

ASA Telescopes

ASA600 with DDM200

ASA600 OTA is the perfect fit for the ASA direct drive mounts with absolute encoders. As all ASA telescopes the ASA600 is equipped with quartz glass optics from ASA.

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By Olivier Garde

Introduction

A Nova is a “new star” that appears in the sky. In fact, this star existed long before it was suddenly accessible to our instruments (even in a few rare cases to our eyes), but its brightness increases very suddenly because of its outburst. In general, this explosion does not destroy the star, and it may even be that these explosions are recurring – the general mechanism is now fairly well known.

A Nova is always an “event” in astronomy: if it can be observed very regularly in spectroscopy as soon as it is discovered, we observe a very rapid evolution – on the scale of a few minutes, then of a few days – of its spectral signature. This evolution teaches us a lot about the physics and kinematics of the explosion; it is a magnificent laboratory for astrophysicists.

A Nova is also the privileged opportunity for the community of amateur astronomers to make a very useful contribution to Science. Often these objects are accessible to small instruments. And above all, by their reactivity and their geographical distribution in the world, amateurs can do what professionals often do not know (anymore?): Observe very quickly and very regularly. However, it is clear that the more quickly we observe a nova, the more precise information we will derive from it: over time, the explosion is diluted.

On August 8, 2021, the recurrent nova RS Oph was observed in outburst at magnitude V = 5. The amateur community immediately mobilized to realize many spectra at various resolutions with various spectrographs (with resolving powers R = 600 to R = 30,000).

Observers Shelyak SpectrographenBetween August 8th, 2021 (date of the announcement of the outburst of RS Oph) and August 23th, 2021 (date of the 1st publication with amateur data), 142 spectra were produced and deposited in the ARAS spectral database. More than 3/4 were performed with spectrographs from the range offered by Shelyak Instruments: Alpy 600, LISA, LHIRES III, UVEX, eShel and a Whoppshel.

75% of observers are equipped with Shelyak spectrographs:

  • 4 eshel
  • 1 Whoppshel
  • 6 Alpy
  • 6 LHIRES III
  • 2 LISA
  • 2 UVEX

 

The greatest number of spectra was carried out with an eShel spectrograph at R = 11,000 (46 spectra), then we find in second almost equal spectra LHIRES III (26 spectra) and Alpy 600 (27 spectra). The users of UVEX and LISA spectrographs produced 10 spectra and the Whoppshel at R = 30,000, 3 spectra.

In the “other” category, 6 spectra were produced with a Sol’Ex and 5 with a UVEX in 3D printing.

Examples of spectra

Here are some examples of spectra made with the various spectrographs Shelyak Instruments.

LHIRES III

Many spectra have been made with the Lhires III Spectroscope.The strong point of this spectrograph is to be able to adapt its resolution according to the magnitude of the target. During this measurement campaign on RS Oph, users did not hesitate to change gratings. Many spectra have been performed at wavelengths other than H Alpha.

rs oph

 

UVEX

The new spectrograph of the Shelyak range, the UVEX Spectrograph was used by 2 observers in the USA and Australia with 2 different gratings (300 gr/mm and 600 gr/mm)

rs oph1

eShel

The eShel spectrograph produced the most spectra on this RS Oph campaign with a resolution R = 11,000 (46 spectra). Thanks to its “echelle” optical design, it covers the entire visible spectral range.

rs oph2

Whoppshel

The most resolving spectrograph in the Shelyak range, the Whoppshel (R=30.000) could be used here on RS Oph during the 2 nights where the target’s magnitude was less than mag. V = 5. The spectrograph was used with a 400mm telescope, but the Whoppshel gives its full potential with 1m diameter telescopes and allows lower magnitudes to be achieved.

rs oph3

 

Conclusion

RS Oph’s outburst has mobilized many amateur astronomers around the world, producing spectra with various instruments and at different spectral resolutions.

It’s still far too early to learn all the scientific lessons from this nova – the observations will continue for several more weeks, even several months (you can of course contribute yourself). Science needs time to move forward! In fact, even if the general principles of a nova are understood today, each nova has its own specificities, and it is precisely the difference between the particular case observed and the cases previously known that allow us to develop our knowledge. In this case, the first feedback from the scientific community about RS Oph confirms the interest of this particular star.

For example, Steve Shore, Astrophysicist, had a wide temporal and spectral coverage to study the phenomenon, and he has already written three “Astronomical Telegrams” (ATel) to date:

ATel #14868 from 23 August 2021
ATel #14881 from 28 August 2021
ATel #14883 from 29 August 2021

A great example of teamwork!

 

ZWO Monochrome Astro Camera ASI461MM Pro cooled, Sensor D=55 mm 100.000.000 Pixel

Excellent image quality
The ASI461MM Pro cooled is equipped with a state-of-the-art monochrome sensor that gives you incredibly detailed images. Thanks to the cooling technology, image noise and thermal noise remain at a minimum, so your images are crisp and contrasty.

More Information

Our products are characterised by quality.

  • Remote telescope in use

    Our project near Munich. 600mm RC tube on a DDM100 mount. As observation platform a dome from Astroshell with 3m diameter. The complete system is designed as a remote telescope.
  • SBIG CCD/CMOS Cameras

    SBIG CCD/CMOS Cameras

    Our most popular camera, the SBIG Aluma AC4040 is a large format Scientific CMOS camera, featuring a 16.8 megapixel sensor with 9 micron pixels. The camera is compatible with the StarChaser SC-4 Guider and optional AO-X Adaptive Optics accessories. The Aluma AC4040 is available in Front Illuminated (FSI) and ultra-sensitive Back-Illuminated (BSI) versions. BSI versions are offered with VIS-NIR and UV-VIS optical coating options.
  • Shelyak Spectrometer

    The UVEX is the most versatile instrument in the range. Achromatic by design, it can explore far into the ultraviolet and infrared – at the very limits of what today’s cameras can achieve. The interchangeable gratings (in option) allow different resolutions. Combined with its motorization module, it can be operated remotely. The motorization integrates the control of the calibration module (equivalent to the SPOX module). So it’s easy to do your dark, flats and calibration images remotely. The motorized UVEX is the ultimate version of the UVEX, allowing remote operation. You can remotely control the central wavelength (grating angle) and adjust the spectroscope’s focus.
  • Astroshell Domes

    The Clamshell dome is the preferred observatory dome for LASER COMMUNICATION and BIG-APERTURE telescopes. It is not necessary to synchronize the telescope with the dome. Both "shutters" can be moved and positioned independently to allow wind shading of the optical group. All of our domes are equipped with rugged belt drive systems powered by high performance DC or AC motors and feature industrial grade gears. If you need fast dome opening, we offer a special fast opening shutter drive system. Built up individually or in combined with the SRQ-200 DIMM station, our clamshell dome is the way to go for successful astronomy! CLAMSHELL DOMES provide an unparalleled 360/180 degree field of view for an absolutely breathtaking nighttime experience. When this observatory dome opens, you are truly among the stars!
  • ASA Direct Drive Technology

    New design based on 15 years of experience with Direct Drive mounts. Ready for the most demanding applications in pointing and tracking accuracy, like laser comunication, satellite tracking and general astronomical research.

    APM Professional Telescopes

    1m F/8 Ritchey Chrétien with dual Nasmyth Foci, Cape Town (South Africa)

    Another large telescope for the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO). An 1m F/8 Alt-Az mounted Ritchey Chrétien for robotic use. It has dual Nasmyth Foci. The main telescopes used for research are located at the SAAO observing station (32°22.795’S 20°48,657’E) near Sutherland in the Northern Cape, a 4-hour drive from Cape Town.

    Our Team

    • Markus Ludes CEO

      Markus Ludes CEO

      Markus Ludes CEO has been managing APM Telescopes for more than 30 years.
    • Dr. (Ing.) Diethard Jakobs, Manager and Controller

      Dr. (Ing.) Diethard Jakobs, Manager and Controller

      Dr. (Ing.) Diethard Jakobs Managing Director and Controller at APM Telescopes. He is responsible for planning and execution of major projects.
    • Angelika Jakobs

      Angelika Katharina Jakobs International Relations
    • Daniela Lambert

      Daniela Lambert Assistant to the management
    • Michael Conrad

      Michael Conrad Distribution
    • Andreas  Pietsch

      Andreas Pietsch

      Product Manager Andreas Pietsch great passion is astronomy. At APM Telescopes, he mainly takes care of astrophotography. He has a lot of experience in this field. He also knows a lot about building and operating large telescopes.

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