Observatory Kipshoven

Photo of Observatory Kipshoven

Observatory Kipshoven is a private observatory dedicated to scientific measurements and research, with a specific focus on photometry and speckle interferometry.

After quite a lot of setup and configuration over the years, the observatory’s operation is autonomous. My interactions with the telescope are typically limited to reading the status messages it sends to my phone.

The dome cooling down at sunset
The dome cooling down at sunset

The telescope at Observatory Kipshoven is a corrected GSO Ritchey-Chrétien RC10. It features a 0.25-meter aperture and offers a balance between field of view and resolution. The telescope has a corrected field with lenses I installed inside of the focuser, improved internal baffling, and an autofocusing ability.

The dome is a ScopeDome 2M “Full Automation”, including a weather sensor that the observatory uses to automatically open and close as weather conditions change.

Old imaging train. OAG w/ ASI174MM not pictured. The remote control and heating elements are long gone
Old imaging train. OAG w/ ASI174MM not pictured. The remote control and heating elements are long gone

A QHY268M camera with a monochrome sensor and a 2" filter wheel equipped with various scientific filters is used for capturing images, replacing an earlier QHY600.

The CRC10 is undermounted on an EQ6-R mount (22kg of its 20kg weight limit) and is thus guided off-axis with a second camera, an ASI174MM.

A ZWO EAF (Electronic Auto Focuser) is installed with a 3D printed plate combined with one of ZWO’s mounting adapters.

Targets include exoplanets, eclipsing binary stars, variable stars, supernovae, orbiting binary stars, satellites, space debris, and applicable photocenter astrometry targets. Observations are uploaded to a local server, published, shared, or contributed to a growing number of projects.

Leon Bewersdorff
Leon Bewersdorff
Computer Science Student at RWTH Aachen University, Research/Operations at OurSky