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The Giant Eye and the Big Eye

The 40" and 30" public telescopes with a 5' 6" person for size comparison.

One of the great experiences visitors will taste at the MHO is the opportunity to peer through very large telescopes, and we mean very large, under an extremely dark night sky. A short document describes the experience with the giant eye.

Of primary concern with the very large public telescopes is the safety and security of our guests. Typically telescopes of this size require ladders, up to 12'! We have designed these large telescopes so that ladders are not required, even looking overhead! This required pushing the design envelop and results in a rather short stubby design. This as terrific added benefit; an extremely wide field of (FOV), indeed the 30" telescope has a FOV of 1.58 degrees, 10X the area of the moon.

The 40" public telescope, which dwarfs its 30" sister, will have an astonishing 1.41 degrees FOV, 8X the area of the full moon. It also has almost twice the light gathering capability of its 30" sister, which means objects seen in this telescope will appear twice as bright.

The 30" telescopes will deliver the best wide-field telescopic views in the world! The combination of an extremely dark night sky, very high quality optics and an ultra-large field of view are unmatched.

Every clear night these telescopes will be available to guests, interpreters will be on hand to guide visitors, with a presentation beforehand in the lecture theatre.

They will give extremely spectacular views of star clusters, galaxies, nebulae, comets etc. The telescopes are sufficiently big that nebulae will show color and 50,000 stars will be visible in a single field of view when viewing the largest globular star clusters. Galaxies like the Andromeda Galaxy and the nearby pinwheel Galaxy, the brightest and nearest large galaxies in the universe to us, will show an immense amount of detail, including giant star clouds with hundreds of millions of stars.

30" Telescope Specifications:

Aperture --> 30" (0.762m)
Focal ratio --> f/2.17
Focal length --> 65-inch -1.65m
Mass --> ~110 lb. (57 Kg)!!!
Tracking and GoTo --> Yes
Height of eyepiece at zenith --> 5' 3" - 1.35m
M2 minor axis --> 9.7" (0.246m)
M1 mass --> 40 lbs (18 Kg)
M2 mass --> 3.5 lbs (1.59Kg)
Construction --> carbon fiber
Altitude Bearing --> 5.0" I.D., 5.5" O.D. (ball bearings between two races)
FOV with ES 30mm 100deg Paracorr II --> 1.58 deg!

40" Telescope Specifications:

Aperture --> 40" (1.00m)
Focal ratio --> f/1.85
Focal length --> 74-inch -1.85m
Mass --> ~200 lb. (100 Kg)!!!
Tracking and GoTo --> Yes
Height of eyepiece at zenith --> 5' 3" - 1.35m (when seated in pit)
M2 minor axis --> 13.6" (0.345m)
Construction --> carbon fiber
FOV with ES 30mm 100deg Paracorr II --> 1.41 deg!

The MHO public telescopes are built with open-back cellular mirrors and carbon fiber, a high performance nano-material. This combination as well as a minimalist design allows for an ultra-light yet extremely high performance visual telescope.

Due to the large mirrors, very dark night sky, paying careful attention to every factor that influences image quality, the telescopes will produce visual views of the universe that will amaze and astound visitors. Put quite simply it will be the best visual views of the universe available anywhere in the world by a large extent.

©2017 The Madawaska Highlands Observatory, Canada.