This beautiful Celestron C11 is a bittersweet addition to my telescope collection. This particular scope was originally owned by Tom Trusock. I met Tom when he spoke at our local astronomy convention (the Apollo Rendezvous) several years ago and he was just a wonderful persopn. I will think of him every time I use this scope.
For a long time I have been pondering trying to mount a 12” SCT on my Atlas, but I was a bit concerned about the weight. I knew that the C11 weighed about the same as a 10” SCT so when this example became available I decided to err on the side of caution and go with a slightly smaller scope. The scope itself is in fantastic shape! It has been flocked and the rear cell has been modified with filtered cooling fans. I’m still waiting on an AstroZap heated dew shield, so for now I’m using a couple of dew heaters to keep the corrector clear.
At the moment, The Plan is to use this scope for visual and high resolution imaging. I have a lot of work to do to become familiar with this new scope and to figure out the best way to set it up. For visual, I’ll add a RACI finder to the rear cell. For imaging, I’ve mounted an Atro-Tech 60mm guidescope/DSI Pro III on the Losmandy D rail. This position helps to offset the weight of the guidescope and camera by locating it closer to the center of gravity of the mount. Tonight will be first-light and given the conditions I decided to start with a basic setup with a DSLR to give me the widest possible field of view with a camera and the imagery will help me to set the collimation precisely. I suspect that it will be too windy to do much imaging, but one the alignment is set I may try to grab some basic images of the Moon and a bright target like M42.
Should be a lot of fun!