Paracorr Type-2: Imaging the Skies with Luca Marinelli

This week’s guest blog post is by Luca Marinelli. He images the sky with a Teleskop Service ONTC 10″ Carbon Tube f/4 Newtonian equipped with our Tele Vue Paracorr Type 2 coma corrector.

The Rosette Nebula (NGC 2244): Animals on Parade by AstroBin user Luca Marinelli. All rights reserved. Imaged through Teleskop Service ONTC 10″ f/4 Newtonian with Tele Vue Paracorr Type 2 coma corrector and ZWO ASI1600MM Pro mono camera. The narrowband filters used for imaging reveal various layers of material within the heart of the Rosette. The resulting dimensional quality draws the viewer from the ruddy edges of the nebula into the aqua-colored center and then out the “back” aperture of the structure. Filters used in this Hubble SHO palette image were: Astrodon Narrowband 3nm: Ha (26×300″, 44×360″), OIII (74×360″), SII (4×300″, 54×360″) with Gain: 139, Offset: 50 for a total integration time of: 19.7 hours. Software: Main Sequence Generator Pro, PHD2 Guiding, PixInsight 1.8, & Photoshop CC.

I have been interested in photography since a very young age. I remember learning to take pictures with my father’s Russian-made Zenit-E 35mm fully-manual SLR (you had to remember to close the iris by hand before shooting to set the desired aperture!) when I was in elementary school. I have pursued nature and adventure photography ever since and some of my images have been published.

The Tulip Nebula (Sh2-101) and Cygnus X-1 Bow Shock by AstroBin user Luca Marinelli. All rights reserved. Imaged through Teleskop Service ONTC 10″ f/4 Newtonian with Tele Vue Paracorr Type 2 coma corrector and Atik 383L+ Mono camera. This emission nebula in the constellation Cygnus glows by ultraviolet light emitted by an association of young “O” and “B” type giant stars. But there is another famous object to see here: The faint blue arch to the right of the Tulip Nebula is the shock front of powerful jets from the black hole accretion disk in the Cygnus X-1 system. Filters used in this Hubble palette photo were Astrodon Narrowband 3nm series Ha (28×1200″), OIII (41×1200″), & SII (30×1200″) for a total integration time of 33.0 hours. Software: Main Sequence Generator Pro, StarNet++, PHD2 Guiding, PixInsight 1.8, & Photoshop CC. Tone mapping following J.P. Metsavainio’s workflow.
I am a physicist and, professionally, I am a different kind of imager: I develop technologies for brain MRI at GE Research. In graduate school, I had friends in the astrophysics and astronomy departments, but I never formally studied astronomy. Almost two years ago, for my oldest son’s fourth birthday, my wife and I decided that it would be fun to get a little telescope as a present for him. I looked around and bought a Celestron NexStar 102SLT. The moment I put my eye on the wobbly eyepiece I was hooked. Immediately I decided to try and connect my DSLR to it. Of course, it didn’t work. I couldn’t even balance it. That didn’t deter me, I bought an equatorial mount and started pointing my camera lenses to the sky. Of course, shortly after a real imaging telescope was next and the rest, as they say, is history.
 
The Pinwheel Galaxy (M101) by AstroBin user Luca Marinelli. All rights reserved. Imaged through Teleskop Service ONTC 10″ f/4 Newtonian with Tele Vue Paracorr Type 2 coma corrector and ZWO ASI1600MM Pro mono camera. The galaxy core is composed of older yellowish stars while the bluish tint in the spiral arms are young stars formed in the pink star-forming regions throughout the arms. These star-forming regions are created due to hydrogen in the arms being compressed by tidal forces from nearby companion galaxies. Filters used were Astrodon Tru-Balance Gen2 E-Series (36mm): L (386×20, 412×30″), R (172×60″), G (169×60″), B (39×30″, 3×45″, 143×60″), and Astrodon Narrowband 5nm Ha (58×360″). LRGB data was done with Gain: 76 and Offset: 30 while Ha data used Gain: 139 and Offset: 50. Total integration time: 19.8 hours. Software: Main Sequence Generator Pro, PHD2 Guiding, PixInsight 1.8, & Photoshop CC.

Paracorr Type 2 has been an invaluable component of my imaging train. Stars are always tight and round, with no discernible aberrations.

After imaging for about a year with a 4″ refractor, I wanted to get more reach for smaller targets and higher resolution. After considering several optical designs, I ordered a carbon tube fast 10” Newtonian astrograph from Teleskop-Service in Germany. After many conversations with experienced imagers, and poring over images on Astrobin.com, I decided that I didn’t want to “walk the steps” up the quality ladder for coma correctors and went straight for the top! The Tele Vue Paracorr Type 2 has been an invaluable component of my imaging train. Stars are always tight and round, with no discernible aberrations. Furthermore, it is fairly forgiving of the exact spacing to the sensor, allowing me to optimize rotation of the sensor relative to the off-axis guider for different camera. It doesn’t require sub-mm optimization of the spacing from the field lens to the sensor of the camera either, which is a huge time saver when swapping cameras. I prefer to spend my time collecting data than fiddling with tiny spacers.
 
The Dumbbell Nebula (M27) by AstroBin user Luca Marinelli. All rights reserved. Imaged through Teleskop Service ONTC 10″ f/4 Newtonian with Tele Vue Paracorr Type 2 coma corrector and Starlight Xpress Trius SX-814 mono camera. This was an AstroBin Image of the Day in July 2019.  This planetary nebula in the constellation Vulpecula (the Fox) is 1200 light-years distant from Earth. This was the first planetary nebula to ever be discovered (1764). It is formed by a dying star as it sheds layers of material into space. The composition of each layer differs based on the type of nuclear fusion reaction that star was using when the layer was created. Ultraviolet light from the central star excites these layers of gas and makes them glow. Filters used were Astrodon Tru-Balance Gen2 E-Series (36mm): R,G,B (40×45″) and Astrodon Narrowband 3nm Ha (39×900″), 3nm OIII: (31×900″) for a total integration time of 19.0 hours. Software: Main Sequence Generator Pro, PHD2 Guiding, PixInsight 1.8, & Photoshop CC.
Luca images from primarily from his backyard outside of Albany, NY. He is a member of the Albany Area Amateur Astronomers. This October he will give a presentation to the club on astrophotography and what we can learn about the Universe from our images. When the telescope doesn’t have a camera attached to it, Luca’s whole family now enjoys observing the sky through Tele Vue Nagler and Ethos eyepieces on the 10” Newt.
 
The Horsehead Nebula (Barnard 33) by AstroBin user Luca Marinelli. All rights reserved. Imaged through Teleskop Service ONTC 10″ f/4 Newtonian with Tele Vue Paracorr Type 2 coma corrector and ZWO ASI1600MM Pro mono camera. It is formed from the red glow of ionized hydrogen gas glowing behind a dark concentration of dust that looks like a horse’s head! Filters used were Astrodon Tru-Balance Gen2 E-Series (36mm): R (16×120″, 52×60″, 25×90″), G (106×30″, 41×60″), B (1×120″, 63×30″, 2×45″, 39×60″) and Astrodon Narrowband 3nm Ha: (6×180″, 47×300″). RGB data was collected with camera Gain: 76, Offset: 30 and Ha Gain: 139, Offset: 50. Total integration time was 9.0 hours. Target was too low on the horizon in light polluted part of the sky to acquire meaningful Luminance data. Luminance was synthesized from RGB and Ha data in PixInsight. Software: Main Sequence Generator Pro, PHD2 Guiding, PixInsight 1.8, & Photoshop CC.

Did you observe, sketch or image with Tele Vue gear? We’ll like your social media post on that if you tag it hashtag Tele Vue and the gear used. Example: 
#televue #paracorr #horseheadnebula #barnard33
 

About 2″ Paracorr Type-2 (VIP-2010)
Paracorr Type 2 system includes: 2″-1¼” adapter (top), Tunable-Top (middle), & Paracorr Type-2 body (bottom).

Our highly versatile 2″ Paracorr Type-2  comes with a “Tunable-Top” for visual use. It can handle both 2″ and 1¼” eyepieces with the included 2″-1¼” adapter. The Tunable-Top feature moves the eyepiece up and down to maintain the proper eyepiece field-stop to Paracorr lens distance to optimize coma correction. For f/3 Dob/Newts, the Paracorr Type-2 makes star images at the edge of the field of view 25 times smaller than without any correction.

You can separate Paracorr’s optical assembly from the Tunable-Top and use it with Tele Vue imaging system components to permit imaging with DSLR and CCD cameras. APS size formats 27mm-diameter or smaller are recommended to minimize field vignetting. (BIG Paracorr Type-2  is the 3″ version of the Paracorr designed for imaging with big chips.) Ideal for mirrors as fast as f/3, this is an essential accessory for wide-field imaging through fast Newtonians.

 
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