In-door astronomy takes a new step forward! Last Wednesday during a lecture in Silkeborg the SONG telescope on Tenerife was used to photograph online one of the classical deep sky objects.
SAC's Mads Fredslund Andersen in 2015 won the IFA IDEAS competition with a suggestion to install a camera equipped 6" telescope mounted piggyback on the remotely controlled Hertzprung SONG telescope on Tenerife.
At a lecture for a group of amateur astronomers from Midtjysk Astronomiforening at Silkeborg Højskole on Wednesday 15 March 2017 Mads obtained 'first light' with the camera, on a target selected by the amateurs: The Orion Nebula M42.
The Orion Nebula
The camera and telescope were remotely controlled directly from Mads' laptop and the filtered black-and-white images were later combined into this fine colour image.
The new SONG facility opens a lot of new opportunities for fast response sky photography and for outreach using the camera and telescope also when it is not in use for serious astronomical work
Each black-and-white exposure took only 30 seconds.
The image of the Whirlpool Galaxy M51 is a test image obtained a few days earlier by exposing three black and white images each for 10 minutes.
Sunset while the SONG telescope awaits a night's work. In the background the volcano Teide, and somewhat further away the planet Venus. Photo: Mads F. Andersen