I bought a Zambuto 8" quartz F7 mirror because I am planning to shoot for Ceres this Jan-Feb. Ceres is in a prime position for me, and it won't be this good again for a loooong time, as far as I know from astronomical simulators. This Jan-Feb it will be passing the closest to earth with a maximum size of .86" and magnitude of 7 or something like that. Oh, and most importantly, it is very close to the zenith where I am (83 degrees or higher).
I have all the supplies needed to build the Newt OTA, but I have to work double-time to get it done on schedule....
The reason I bought the 8" mirror was that I understand, from reading, that even a small aperture scope can be quite powerful if the glass is good. I heard that if optics are medium or lower quality (mass-produced mirrors) then your image will be blurred, regardless of aperture size. Mass-produced IS good overall, but it's not as accurate, and you can get a dud. If the mirror isn't directing light properly, what's the point? I figured I would turn the 8" into my main astrophotography scope, since that is my passion. I figured, "why not try and build a scope that can do DSO (F7 is perfect for my DSO goals) AND even get the smaller planets? Basically, one scope to do it all. I'm sure i'm going to get an earful for saying that Also, my mount can't handle anything over 10" aperture, weight-wise (EQ6R-Pro).
Anyway, I wanted to ask some of you more experienced imagers: What do you think I can expect? Need to clarify: I am NOT expecting to resolve any craters or anything like that. I don't even think that's possible with a 16", is it? That's another reason I avoided larger aperture...yeah, it gathers more light and resolution, but I just can't believe that those 8 extra inches would be enough to resolve craters on a sub-arcsecond object, especially with "okay" optics, right?
Here is my main goal: An image of Ceres with very clean, sharp borders, not fuzzy or squared (pixellated) borders. Was planning on a MC camera with 2.4 micrometer pixel size. I just want an image with the least amount of blur. Do you think it is possible with 8"?
Edited by ImaLibra, 23 November 2017 - 12:22 AM.