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Astronomy and the Beauty
of the Swiss Alps

Alpine Astrovillage Lü-Stailas
..Observatory and Center for Astrophotography
  Lunar phase 
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meadows at Lue with Piz Daint

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Equipment for courses and public stargazing

Our CGE1100, an 11-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain permanently mounted on a pier on the terrace of the Center, is currently being used in courses 1, 3, and 4 and for public stargazing. It also can carry as add-ons a Takahashi FS-102 apo refractor and all the accessories for dSLR imaging.

C11 mit Tak102

To observe the sun in H-alpha and for course 2 we use a solar telescope from Lunt, the LS60THaDS, mounted on a Losmandy GM8 mount and equipped with a DMK 31AU03.AS video camera from ImagingSource.

Observatories at AAV Lue-Stailas

PD10 domes

The observatory part of AAV Lue-Stailas now consists of three separate 3-m domes (Pro-Domes) each equipped with fully integrated dome control (Digital Dome Works, DDW). This allows remote and automated operation of shutter control and dome rotation also from the AAV center.

DDW-screen

All shutter controllers are moreover connected to a weather station (the Davis Vantage Pro2) and the dome shutters close automatically (with park-before-close option) when heavy clouds, high winds, or elevated air moisture are detected.

Weather station

All of the observatories have their telescopes permanently mounted on steel piers bolted to concrete blocks that are solidly attached to the ground and isolated from the observatory floor. The steel piers are tuned with sand to be non-resonant. 220-volt ground fault protected power outlets are provided at every pier.

Each dome is equipped with a video camera in order to follow the movement of the imaging telescope remotely from the main AAV building. The entire area is under electronic surveillance.

The imaging process

The Sky6Pro screen shot

Whether you are a beginner or advanced amateur, we can help you to enjoy your stay and usage of our imaging setups. Since all of them can be operated remotely, you will be working on one of the laptops of the center's computer room over the internet. For planning your sessions, the laptops offer software like The Sky6Pro and Astroplanner, while the imaging itself is done via remote desktop using the Sky6Pro and MaximDL.

 

For the processing of your acquired data, the same laptops are ready with all the software you will need to really make "every pixel count" (eg, PS CS3, MaximDL, ImagePlus). Once your results are on your DVD, you can share your imaging experience and discuss your results with others in the library or one of the visitor lounges on the upper floors.

Imaging setups

Dome 1 (deep sky, RGB):
Paramount ME, Takahashi 12" Mewlon 300 Dall-Kirkham at f/9.1 (Mewlon focal reducer), f.l. 2739mm, Optec TCF-S focuser, Optec 2" Pyxis camera rotator, SBIG AO-8, SBIG ST-10XME CCD camera with IR blocking RGBL SBIG filters. Guider: Borg 77 ED f/6.5 refractor, SBIG ST-402ME CCD camera.

Mewlon-dome 1

Dome 2 (wide field, RGB, Ha/SII/OIII):
Iott Precision Instruments IPI 393 mount, Takahashi 4.2" FSQ-106 f/5 530mm Apochromatic Astrograph, Robofocus, TAKometer camera rotator, Apogee Alta U16M CCD camera, FLI 5-7 filter wheel with parfocal, IR blocking 50mm square LRGB and Ha/SII/OIII Astrodon filter sets. Guider: Takahashi FS60 refractor, Meade DSI CCD camera.

Tak FSQ106-dome 2

Dome 3 (deep sky, color CCD camera):
Iott Precision Instruments IPI 393 mount, Meade 14" LX200-ACF OTA (UHTC) at f/6.7 (Astro Physics CCDT67 .67x focal reducer), f.l. 2382mm, Optec TCF-S focuser, Optec 2" Pyxis camera rotator, SBIG AO-7, SBIG ST-4000XCM CCD color camera.

Meade 14" LX200 ACF

Star parties

During public activities like star parties you are welcome to bring your own equipment. Also, consider to become an AAV club member and profit even more from the site and its program.

While we will be glad to prepare star charts for you, we do not provide piers, mounts, tripods or other accessories, or instruction on how to set up and/or use your own equipment. Please, plan on deploying your equipment before dark, and bring weatherproof protective covering for it.

Outside public events, we do not provide setup space or equipment to those not staying with us (see also our general guidelines).

 

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