<"I think that part of the reason that these discussions keep going round and round is that the telescope is a complex system. There is another recent thread where folks are trying to model it accurately, and it's not a trivial task.">
In 11,000+ posts I'd have to say that 95%+ of them are in the S.S. Imaging forum...I've dropped in here a few times because we use a C14 in our imaging - & before that a C11...so I guess I can post occasionally in "Cats & Casses."
And I have to confess that these types of threads, particularly this & a couple of other current similar ones have piqued my amazement with some of the claims - & likely doubled my post count on this forum in the last week!
What amazes me is the degree to which anecdotal evidence rules over empirical evidence on topics like this!
I'm sorry if this is akin to dropping a bomb in these topics & it is definitely NOT suggesting that anyone is fibbing, deluded or otherwise encumbered when they avow the benefits of insulation: anecdotal evidence has its place, but should always be tested rigorously, subjected to vigorous examination &/or scientific rebuttal just as "anecdotal" is in the Law in democratic societies that I'm familiar with...
With all due respect SCT telescopes aren't uber complex systems & are considerably more robust than many might imagine! (especially when it comes to the shock-resistance of the glass components!)
Anyone who has set a hair-dryer to "Max" & played it from a few inches onto a corrector - which might be at -5°C...consistently gathers some idea of that particular property...
You cannot "model" something without monitoring a series of temperatures throughout the system under varying conditions/parameters, nor can you "predict" or "determine" the most effective means of operating said telescope optimally by simply stating (or speculating, I've noticed) upon various modes of heat transfer or retention - no matter how many formulae you might reference as possible factors.
And of course the "hard evidence" or is that "smoking gun"..?!?
I won't rehash what I've said on this subject recently, but I will include another quote from Ron in one of his posts in that long "Reflectix" thread:
<"...unbelievable 'myth' I've seen posted in this SCT forum is that some think those great planetary images you and others get, are essentially faked by photoshop type processing adding details that are not really there in the raw images!">
I didn't respond to those comments at the time, which Ron himself described as "unbelievable" but I did muse upon the following, which I think should really dispense with such ridiculous thoughts & further reinforce the fact that it is strong "evidential" outcomes that confirm our approach, simultaneously savaging the alleged benefits of insulative methods...dewing situations notwithstanding, which I have comprehensively addressed earlier. (Mike's reply as I type about a "couple of hours or less" being much greater timespans than that which we deal with without any real concerns...)
Back in March 2013 we captured a single consistent r-g-b sequence of Saturn & I processed said capture, pleased with the amount of disk banding & overall detail in an image so early in that apparition.
It was only when a fellow CN'er observed that the North Polar region appeared to be hexagonal in outline that the discussion really picked up...incredulous comments with ayes & nays followed: this aspect of Saturn's N.P. had indeed been imaged (very poorly) by the Pic du Midi 1M. scope back in the 1980's but not from Earth since...our subsequent use of WinJupos to create a NP map finally confirming the fact & dispelling the doubts of those that thought such a feat was impossible - & now considered a relatively "easy" feat!
Similarly in June last year when we imaged an Equatorial storm feature on Neptune several weeks before the Keck team picked it up, a fact acknowledged by them in the recently released Icarus paper by them...we did not appreciate the amazing aspect of its existence in such savage (1500km+) winds at the time - but we did confirm it was not an anomaly by capturing it several times with different filters on that night.
We're not prescient...nor do we "fabricate" our planetary images on the bizarre possibility that every now & then we might strike it lucky & "invent" details that might turn out to be real...these & many, many other images are examples by us & others of the clear, unambiguous evidence that making sure your instrument's primary temperature in particular is operating at, or as close to, the current outside air/ambient temperature is the best way to ensure optimum optical performance...collimation, seeing etc pertinent naturally!