by Rex Parker, Director
New Telescope for the Observatory. After the vote at the June meeting the new telescope acquisition proposal was approved by the membership (34 “yes” votes). For the record, the previously stated need for a 40% quorum was outdated (my mistake); current by-laws require “majority of the votes cast and not less than 30% of membership”. A big thanks to several members who volunteered to serve on the telescope search and selection committee: Bill Murray, Larry Kane, Jim Poinsett, Arshad Jilani, John Church, Jim McHenry, and Jeff Bernardis; Ira Polans, Dave Skitt, Jennifer Skitt, Gene Ramsey, and Michael Mitrano also weighed in. A telescope interest survey in late June elicited 35 member responses and helped sort out priorities. The selection committee reviewed many options and through four teleconferences the following candidates were considered:
• 16-22” f/5 Dobsonian Newtonian, tabled the idea for future consideration.
• Parallax 14” f/7 Newtonian, decided against due to ergonomics of eyepiece position.
• 6” TMB apochromatic refractor, decided against due to similarity to Hastings 6”.
• TEC 8” f/20 Maksutov Cassegrain, decided against due to smaller aperture.
• Luton Optics 10” f/20 Maksutov-Cassegrain.
• TEC 10” f/20 Maksutov Cassegrain.
• Takahashi Mewlon 250 10” f/12 Dall-Kirkham Cassegrain.
In the end the decision came down to the Cassegrain designs, and the Takahashi Mewlon 250 was selected. This very high quality instrument has a 3-meter focal length and excels with high resolution and very good contrast. The outstanding optical quality of the Mewlon mirrors and the Dall-Kirkham Cassegrain design are especially well suited for planetary/lunar observing, but the scope is also very capable with deep sky celestial objects as well. There are several reviews on the internet available, such as the Cloudy Nights forum, which help to understand just how special this telescope is. The telescope, Feathertouch focuser, and mounting hardware were received in late July. On July 30, Gene Ramsey, Tom Swords, and I mounted the Mewlon onto the Paramount ME alongside the Hastings refractor. Some pictures are below and more are posted on the website. Let’s have some good member turnouts at the Observatory this Aug and Sept to try out the new telescope.
Takahashi Mewlon 250 acquired by AAAP mounted on the Paramount ME alongside the historic Hastings refractor at the Observatory Jul 30. Working on the scope are Gene Ramsey, Tom Swords, and Rex Parker.