The main concept here is that you are using an internal guider. This means the filter will not only cover the main sensor but the guiding chip as well. When you arrive at the guider page there are several parameters you can select in preparation to selecting a guide star. The duration by default is 5 seconds. However if you are going to use filters especially narrowband filters you may wish to change the duration to 20 or 30 seconds. In conjunction you should also select the densest filter you will be using in the exposure series. The aggressiveness at 5 is usually sufficient. I would also leave the delay at zero as well.
When you start the actual guide star sequence the filter you selected will temporarily move into position during the select guide star exposure. The camera will then take an image through the guiding system and display an image that was actually taken through the specified filter. This allows you to select a guide star as it will appear when images are taken with the filter in place. So if the 20 or 30 second integration time is sufficient you will be able to select a good guide star. Since the guider has been binned the guide chip has had its sensitivity enhanced and the guide stars will not only be more intense but better defined as well.
The Remote Research Society Observatory was founded by Arnie Rosner, the owner and operator of Rent-a-Scope. Arnie wanted to enable amateurs to get into astronomical research. To do so, he decided to offer small blocks of telescope time at a substantial discount to observers who participate in research but whom might not have the money or time to purchase large blocks of time from Rent-a-scope. In essence, RASO Observers buy into a large block of time set aside for research purposes at reduced rates.
You will see the name “New Mexico Skies.” Just as Rent-a-scope hosts RASO, New Mexico Skies is the host location for Rent-a-scope. The folks at New Mexico skies have a fantastic facility, complete with bed-and-breakfast facilities and scopes for the vacationing astronomer.raso_collage2
Although RASO uses Rent-a-scope and New Mexico Skies facilities, RASO acts as an independent research community. The data generated by a RASO members belongs to that member, to be used for their own purposes. No one at RASO looks over the shoulder of another member; if you want to devote your entire time to research, fantastic. If you want to image, fantastic! Our philosophy is that many who begin as imagers frequently move to research. RASO is there to help for those who make the move.
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RASO members are those who subscribe to the Remote Astronomical Society Observatory with the purpose of contributing to astronomical research by collecting data and submitting those data to an appropriate venue.
RASO members are free to pick their research projects, form research groups and collect their data and publish or submit their data without constraints imposed by other members or the Observatory community or by RASO itself.
RASO members are expected to make their research available to the astronomical community using an appropriate venue to compensate for the lower research rates offered by RASO.
RASO will assist all new members in defining a research project if they do not have one and assumes that experienced members have no need of help from RASO in their research affairs.
RASO members who publish and state their primary research affiliation as RAS Observatory will be acknowledged by publishing member accomplishments at the RASO WWW site. This step will be taken to acknowledge that RASO receives value added from the publicity it receives and RASO believes that this will stimulate new membership as others see the advantages of remote astronomical research.
RASO also acknowledges that all work and no play hardly make for a healthy amateur astronomer. Thus, RASO expects that members will engage in non-research astrophotography at their pleasure so long as some research is accomplished.
RASO realizes that those new to remote astronomy and research will not immediately engage in a research project. Rather, they may spend several months learning to use the equipment and investigating possible research projects. A reasonable expectation is that each member has a research project within the first year of joining RASO and RASO will work with new observers to define projects that are within the member’s capabilities, resources and interests.
There are certain things that RASO will not provide. Members are expected pick their own research communities. News, events and research opportunities posted by these organizations will not be posted on the RASO WWW site, as members are expected to integrate themselves into the larger community and such a move would simply duplicate information readily available on the WWW.
The Remote Astronomical Society was founded to promote research in astronomy by offering state-of-the-art equipment to amateurs astronomers, educational organizations and professionals at low cost.
RASO caters to the beginning astronomer and visual observers who wish to try their hand at CCD imaging by providing detailed guides to the equipment. Beginners are expected to spend most of their telescope time to learn CCD imaging and many make the decision to stick with taking “pretty pictures.” However, once mastered many wish to move on to contribute to astronomical research. Our commitment is reflected in our “contract” that assures our research partners of independence and freedom to pursue their research projects without interference from, but with the assistance of, the RAS Observatory.
Many RASO Observers have their own telescopes and even permanent observatories. So, why do they perform their research at RASO? First, they have access to equipment beyond their individual means. Second, they can collect data very efficiently, saving the “fun stuff” for their backyard observatories. Many RASO observers are armed only with binoculars and small portable “grab-and-go” telescopes. Some are confined to large cities without dark skies, some are handicapped. The power of the Internet allows these observers opportunities to explore the heavens and become research scientists.
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The Remote Research Society Observatory is located under the darkest skies in New Mexico, near the Apache Point Observatory, home of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and the Astrophysical Research Consortium. RASO provides the tools you need to fulfill your desire to contribute to astronomical research. And, it’s not all work. Take the astrophotographs of your dreams in between solving the mysteries of the universe.
What do we do?
In a three words: Research and Fun. RASO observers use a certain amount of their telescope time to collect scientific data. Some of these data are sent to such organizations as the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, the U.S. Naval Observatory, and the American Association of Variable Star Observers to be compiled for the use of professional astronomers in support of research projects ranging from identifying near Earth Asteroids (NEOs) to studies of Blazars.
Some of these data are published in scientific journals by RASO observers, often in concert with professional astronomers. RASO observers also spend time having fun, imaging the deed sky with the state-of-the-art telescopes and CCD equipment available through RASO membership.
How Does It Work?
RASO is a remote, robotic, observatory. Members pay a subscription for access to the telescopes and other equipment. This puts professional-level telescopes within the reach of those who cannot afford to invest $50,000 in a telescope, much less an observatory under one of the darkest skies in North America (and Australia!). RASO puts astronomical research and imaging within the grasp of anyone who is connected to the Internet, worldwide.