December 8, 2013

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Newall Jewel

images by Theofanis Matsopoulos, Greece

Classic telescopes entrance me. I searched out Galileo's telescopes when in Italy, and went to Athens Observatory specifically to see the telescope of Julius Schmidt, the Great Schmidt of Athens whose Moon map was the greatest ever drawn. And as a builder of a small telescope 55 years ago, I appreciate the design issues and the craftsmanship necessary for a splendid looking and good performing instrument. This image was taken with a classic telescope from the end of the 19th century, the 25" Newall refractor (insert). The telescope was made in 1869 with funds from a wealthy amateur, Robert S. Newall (1812-1889). The tube is 9 m long, and for some years it was the largest telescope in the world. For 65 years it was used for spectroscopic and other work at Cambridge University, and it has been at the National Observatory of Athens since 1957. The optics appear remarkable good based on Theofanis' image, which is reproduced at only 50% of the original size. I am sure the modern camera and stacking process was much better than was classically available, but without an excellent instrument good results can't be achieved. I hope Theofanis and others will continue to use this classic telescope to image the Moon and planets in high resolution.
Chuck Wood

Technical Details
Nov 8, 2013. Telescope: 25 inch Newall Refractor reduced to approx f/10. Camera: Canon EOS 60D. Exp: 10 frames X 20 frames each at 1/160 ISO 800, Ten frame moon mosaic.
Image Processing: RegiStax, Adobe Photoshop.

Related Links
Theofanis' astronomical images
Pedro Ré: The 25" Newall Refractor

Yesterday's LPOD: Beautiful Features

Tomorrow's LPOD: Ragged Edge


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