Imaging is done from the P.H. Summers Observatory. The primary instrument (shown below) is a 14″ Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope on a pier-mounted Celestron CGE Pro equatorial mount. The structure’s roof slides open (rather than peering through a slot, like you might seen in a traditional observatory) to eliminate “slot currents” that can degrade high-resolution imaging. The observatory structure is over-sized and includes 7′ walls. The walls of the observatory were built at full-height to minimize wind buffeting of the telescope during long-exposure photography. In order to maximize the field of view, the pier is centered in a 16′ structure, so that the distance between the walls and the scope allow for imaging down to targets at 20 degrees altitude.
The primary purpose of the observatory is high-resolution imaging of the planets and moons in our solar system. The current planetary imaging system includes a Celestron C14xlt, Point Grey Research Flea3 monochrome CCD camera, and Starlight Express 7×1.25″ filter USB filter wheel with Astrodon and Astronomik filters. To achieve different focal lengths, I use various Barlow lenses from Televue, Meade, and Baader.
For deep-sky and widefield imaging (when there are no planets, moons, or comets to photograph), my current setup includes a Takahashi FSQ106EDXiii, FLI PDF microfocuser, and SBIG STL11000m imaging camera with TC-237 internal guider and 5-position filter wheel with Baader filters. The piggy-backed guide/finder scope is an Astro-Tech AT72 that I got for free in a sale a few years ago, when I bought an Astro-Tech AT111. It’s since been replaced with a 50mm guide scope, which is more practical for this application as an “electronic finder”. The rig is connected locally to a networked laptop, permitting remote control of the entire observatory.
Please note that my use or ownership is not an endorsement of any product and I have no affiliation with any equipment manufacturers, suppliers, or distributors.