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NGC 1300 - 32 inch telescope with STX camera


Visitors who come to Mt. Lemmon for the interesting direct viewing sessions should be aware that the vivid colors and details in these photographic astroimages cannot be observed using a telescopic eyepiece under even the best seeing conditions.  Our representative photographs result from cumulative time exposures (for collection of photons of light) often lasting several hours, capture of these photons by CCD cameras more efficient than the human eye, and sophisticated image processing requiring specialized software and skill.   

This telescope was planned in 2007 and construction and placement in its dome on Mt. Lemmon was completed in 2010.  Dr. Schulman, a prominent biomedical scientist and amateur astrophotographer, conceived the idea for the telescope and intended it as the largest telescope in the world providing full remote access over the internet for imaging and science for both amateurs and professionals worldwide.  Principal financing was provided by the Schulman Foundation, and telescope operations have been supervised by staff members of the Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, Tucson.   The University's Department of Astronomy played an active role in this effort, and all fees derived from telescope utilization currently go to the U of A.  Visitors have been able to enjoy the telescope for educational presentations and direct observing,  and some engage in astrophotography classes, but these activities are supplementary to the primary remote imaging mission of the 32 inch telescope. 

Astrophotography is currently done with an STX-16803 SBIG research grade CCD camera with multiple filters and computerized guidance and control systems for the telescope.  Most of the data has, in the past, been obtained via local control of the telescope, but fulfillment of the commitment to worldwide online use is now underway. 

In additional to the sample images shown here, many other astrophotographs obtained are available on the internet, with particular concentrations on the Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter web site and at