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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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Louietheflyisme
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/17/13

Loc: Australia
Massive Telescopes...
      #6079572 - 09/13/13 11:00 PM

Hey Everyone,

Does anyone know the biggest of each types of telescope you can actually buy?

I'm pretty sure the Orion 50" Dob is the biggest Dob, and the Meade 20" is the biggest Cassegrain, but can anyone tell me any other telescopes that are bigger? Refractors, Dobs, Schmidt-Cassegrains?

Louis


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StarmanDan
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/27/07

Loc: Deep in the heart of Texas
Re: Massive Telescopes... new [Re: Louietheflyisme]
      #6079635 - 09/13/13 11:44 PM

If money is not object, I'm sure you could find someone to build whatever size scope you want. Our club hired a contractor to build our observatory and 24" RC and they have made much larger instruments.

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Richard McC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/31/04

Loc: Australia
Re: Massive Telescopes... new [Re: StarmanDan]
      #6079685 - 09/14/13 12:51 AM

How large is your wallet? Companies like DFM Engineering will build you as big a scope as you (or more likely an institution) can afford, e.g., DFM's "Standard Classical Cassegrain" offerings which include "50" - 1.3M CCT and larger" models. APM have shipped triplet refractors with apertures of at least 12" and the 3RF have a D&G (achromatic) refractor of 15" aperture.

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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Massive Telescopes... new [Re: Louietheflyisme]
      #6079712 - 09/14/13 01:22 AM

Quote:

I'm pretty sure the Orion 50" Dob is the biggest Dob,




I don't think you can actually buy any of those giant Orion Dobs. I don't think any of them have actually been made. I could be wrong..

Jon


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Louietheflyisme
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/17/13

Loc: Australia
Re: Massive Telescopes... new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6079848 - 09/14/13 05:42 AM

I'm not actually interested in buying one, just looking for some info. Curious, I guess. I mean ones that aren't specially made for you as well.

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youngamateur42
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 11/21/12

Loc: La Verne, CA
Re: Massive Telescopes... new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6080052 - 09/14/13 09:42 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I'm pretty sure the Orion 50" Dob is the biggest Dob,




I don't think you can actually buy any of those giant Orion Dobs. I don't think any of them have actually been made. I could be wrong..

Jon




Theres a discussion regarding this and large scopes here:

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/5995921/page...


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Massive Telescopes... new [Re: Louietheflyisme]
      #6080083 - 09/14/13 10:02 AM

Quote:

I'm not actually interested in buying one, just looking for some info. Curious, I guess. I mean ones that aren't specially made for you as well.




As others have pointed out, they were vaporware.. a webpage, a dream and nothing more.

One does not want to think about the largest Cassegrain you can actually buy.. it's just a question of how much you can afford.

APM on Astromart

If one needs a bigger scope than 80 inches, they are out there.

Jon


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Kfrank
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/20/08

Loc: Northern Colorado
Re: Massive Telescopes... new [Re: Richard McC]
      #6080239 - 09/14/13 11:36 AM

Quote:

How large is your wallet? Companies like DFM Engineering will build you as big a scope as you (or more likely an institution) can afford, e.g., DFM's "Standard Classical Cassegrain" offerings which include "50" - 1.3M CCT and larger" models. APM have shipped triplet refractors with apertures of at least 12" and the 3RF have a D&G (achromatic) refractor of 15" aperture.




I have talked with the owner of DFM engineering a couple of times and was fortunate to have him give us a tour of his operation. They do everything in-house from grinding the mirrors to fabricating the entire structure of these massive scopes. It's a fascinating operation. I'd love to own one of their 16 inchers but I'd have to sell my house to cover it. The 1.3 meter scopes are truly impressive.


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obin robinson
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Reged: 10/25/12

Loc: League City, TX
Re: Massive Telescopes... new [Re: Louietheflyisme]
      #6080810 - 09/14/13 05:38 PM

Okay here is stupid question time:

Instead of one huge 50" mirror why not just have four precisely aligned 20" telescopes like an inteferometer? Use a Mallincam or other high res camera for viewing. Link them together in a network. You would effectively have more aperture than one 50" telescope. Your complexity would be in synchronizing the telescopes together but with modern high resolution mounts it seems like it would be relatively easy. Has anyone done this before at home?

obin


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Louietheflyisme
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/17/13

Loc: Australia
Re: Massive Telescopes... new [Re: obin robinson]
      #6080830 - 09/14/13 06:03 PM

I know that's what they do with radio telescopes, so I don't see why you couldn't do it with a slightly higher spectrum, I guess...

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obin robinson
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/25/12

Loc: League City, TX
Re: Massive Telescopes... new [Re: Louietheflyisme]
      #6080838 - 09/14/13 06:09 PM

Quote:

I know that's what they do with radio telescopes, so I don't see why you couldn't do it with a slightly higher spectrum, I guess...




Exactly. I mean technically two pairs of large binocular 20" telescope arrays would make for quite a bit of aperture.

obin


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Louietheflyisme
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/17/13

Loc: Australia
Re: Massive Telescopes... new [Re: obin robinson]
      #6080848 - 09/14/13 06:15 PM

Yeah... I wonder If you could make it so that instead of the light coming out of each eyepiece, it gets reflected somehow into a central scope or something...

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obin robinson
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/25/12

Loc: League City, TX
Re: Massive Telescopes... new [Re: Louietheflyisme]
      #6080910 - 09/14/13 06:53 PM

Quote:

Yeah... I wonder If you could make it so that instead of the light coming out of each eyepiece, it gets reflected somehow into a central scope or something...




I was thinking it would only work with linked cameras. So for example let's say you had four Mallincams and could merge the image of all four of them together into one combined feed. It would be pretty cool if it worked.

obin


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Louietheflyisme
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/17/13

Loc: Australia
Re: Massive Telescopes... new [Re: obin robinson]
      #6081549 - 09/15/13 05:32 AM

Yeah it would... Is that what they do with radio astronomy?

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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Massive Telescopes... new [Re: Louietheflyisme]
      #6081577 - 09/15/13 06:27 AM

Quote:

Yeah... I wonder If you could make it so that instead of the light coming out of each eyepiece, it gets reflected somehow into a central scope or something...




This is how large telescopes like the Keck's actually work. But the mirrors have to be aligned with the same precision as if the mirror were monolithic, that is a fraction of a wave length of light. This requires complex and expensive electro-mechanical systems that are computer controlled. It think it's not practical for anything but the largest telescopes.. and in this a game, a 50 inch is a small telescope.

Here is the history of the MMT, the original Multiple Mirror Telescope. The multiple mirrors have been replaced by a single large, (6.5 meter) mirror.

Jon


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Louietheflyisme
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/17/13

Loc: Australia
Re: Massive Telescopes... new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6081588 - 09/15/13 06:40 AM

Yeah... Do you know what the biggest telescope anyone on these forums has made? Just out of curiosity...

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Ian Robinson
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/29/09

Loc: 33S , 151E
Re: Massive Telescopes... new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6081591 - 09/15/13 06:42 AM

Maybe the 3 key questions should be
1) how much money do I have at my disposal (or my group's/club's disposal ?
2) what kind of telescope (specs, optical config) ?
3) how big a telescope can my observatory site make good use off (essentially how good is the seeing and how many clear windless nights) ?

I expect unless you are a multimillionaire, the only only options to get access to a mega amateur telescope is to build it completely yourself (except the mirror blank and aluminization of the finished optics) or to join a big rich club or to create a consortium of rich amateurs who are willing to pool money and resources and labor to create the beast and then use it on a time share type of arrangement.

PS I know someone who made a 48" ultralight using a very thin mirror.


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rnc39560
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/23/13

Loc: MS coast
Re: Massive Telescopes... new [Re: Ian Robinson]
      #6082341 - 09/15/13 04:08 PM

The op doesn't WANT one made. Just wondering what the largest marketed scope in different categories are. Kinda curious myself now! I do recall a thread with pics of a man, his father and brother unloading his scope. A forklift was used for the mirror and cell. It was 500 pounds (the mirror) crate included. I don't remember where, but will try to find it.

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Kfrank
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/20/08

Loc: Northern Colorado
Re: Massive Telescopes... new [Re: rnc39560]
      #6082364 - 09/15/13 04:26 PM

Quote:

The op doesn't WANT one made. Just wondering what the largest marketed scope in different categories are. Kinda curious myself now! I do recall a thread with pics of a man, his father and brother unloading his scope. A forklift was used for the mirror and cell. It was 500 pounds (the mirror) crate included. I don't remember where, but will try to find it.




As a point of reference, the mirror in the DFM Engineering 1.3 meter scope weighs about 900 lbs.


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WarmWeatherGuy
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 08/27/11

Loc: Orlando, FL 28° N, 81° W
Re: Massive Telescopes... new [Re: Louietheflyisme]
      #6082391 - 09/15/13 04:40 PM

Quote:

Hey Everyone,

Does anyone know the biggest of each types of telescope you can actually buy?

I'm pretty sure the Orion 50" Dob is the biggest Dob, and the Meade 20" is the biggest Cassegrain, but can anyone tell me any other telescopes that are bigger? Refractors, Dobs, Schmidt-Cassegrains?

Louis




I found an ad in Sky & Telescope for these guys

http://planewave.com/products-page/telescopes/

They have a 27.6" for $200,000. It looks like a type of CAT.


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