Geyserland Observatory

Rotorua / New Zealand                           Latitude : -38 ͦ 08' 09.2"                           Longitude : -176 ͦ 12' 13.7"


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Geyserland Observatory

Is a small Amateur Observatory, situated in Rotorua New Zealand -38.13589 South and -176.2038 East. The Instruments used are: Losmandy G-11 German Equatorial Mount with a Gemini GoTo system, controlled via a computer running "TheSky X Pro". On top of the G-11 is a 10" Meade Telescope and a 3" Refractor. The Meade Scope is operating at F/8.4 and has a JMI Smartfocus and a SBIG ST-9/E Dual CCD Camera, including a CFW-8 Colour Filter Wheel, with C, B, V, R, and I filters. This camera is a real workhorse and very robust. The Refractor Scope is been used for all kind, it is the only scope I can use for visual observation, but that is happening very seldom. Most of the time it has some sort of extra camera, sometimes I use my Canon 450D DSLR and sometimes a Super-Circuits CCD camera, connected to a TV screen. Where used to be the finder scope is now a 3" Orion Shorty Refractor with a Starlight Express Lodestar Guiding Camera. This is one of the best Guiding Cameras I ever have used, she can pull in every star even when it is a very dim one. The whole system can be controlled from the Observatory Computer but mostly it is remotely controlled via a LAN connection from inside my office in the house. The pointing of the Losmandy G-11 system is very accurate and the target is always on the CCD chip.

The software used by the computer ist "The Sky X Professional Version" for telescope and camera control, "Astrometrica" for measuring asteroids and comets, and the new "Astroplanner". This software is used for planning a night of observation, for keeping my observing notes and records of the night, including images. For data reduction, I use now LesvePhotometry software, together with AAVSOtoLesve program this working so good together now it is a real pleasure to use.

The system is set up to observe and monitor variable stars particularly the cataclysmic (explosive) variable stars (CVs). Recorded observations are then sent to various variable star organizations which include, the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO), the Center for Backyard Astrophysics (CBA), Variable Stars South (VSS) and the global professional-amateur network of researches in variable stars (VSNET). We also measure the position and magnitude of Asteroids and Comets, this results are send to the Minor Planet Center of the Internationale Astronomical Union (IAU).

The science of Astronomy is unique. A great deal of astronomical research depends on the work of highly skilled amateur astronomers that provide a important role in the constant monitoring of variable stars, minor planets and comets.

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