Official Inauguration of Zeds 2.0

"On this date; the 6th day of April, the year 2016 A.D"
To celebrate the official inauguration of Zeds 2.0, Aamna Saleem brought this cosmic version of a cheesecake. Thank you, Aamna!

To celebrate the official inauguration of Zeds 2.0, Aamna Saleem brought this cosmic version of a cheesecake. Thank you, Aamna!

It is finally ready! The extension to the original Zeds Astronomical Observatory, after 12 years of the initial observatory construction, is finally here! Enter: Zeds 2.0 ! An observatory that can house 3 telescopes at any given time, ready for use.

Cutting the celebratory cake for Zeds 2.0

Cutting the celebratory cake for Zeds 2.0


The inauguration day was celebrated by setting up Sameer Rashid Shami's Celestron 8SE telescope on top of the Celestron AVX mount. Sameer had waited a really long time (almost a year) before the appropriate testing could be done (water proofing, electrical wiring and gauging weathering effects) to allow moving in the equipment. 

The Celestron 8SE on top of the Celestron AVX mount; looking rather ominous!

The Celestron 8SE on top of the Celestron AVX mount; looking rather ominous!

The observatory has a roll-off roof that is more than twice the size of the original telescope room for, what can now safely be assumed to be Zeds 1.0! Currently it houses 2 telescopes. One being Sameer's 8" SCT on a Celestron AVX mount, the other being CBSAP 127mm Apochromatic refractor on a Celestron CGEM mount.

First light image from the new observatory. This image shows the galaxy pair M51 also known as the Whirlpool Galaxy, named after its conspicuous display of beautiful spiral arms. What is also evident is a smaller companion galaxy seen up top that is in a cosmic ballet with the bigger, more massive partner below.  Image credits: Sameer Rashid Shami Telescope and Camera: Celestron 8SE, SBIG STF8300 monochrome CCD Autoguider: SBIG STI monochrome CCD

First light image from the new observatory. This image shows the galaxy pair M51 also known as the Whirlpool Galaxy, named after its conspicuous display of beautiful spiral arms. What is also evident is a smaller companion galaxy seen up top that is in a cosmic ballet with the bigger, more massive partner below. 
Image credits: Sameer Rashid Shami
Telescope and Camera: Celestron 8SE, SBIG STF8300 monochrome CCD
Autoguider: SBIG STI monochrome CCD

In the coming days, in addition to imaging galaxies, star clusters and planets, the new observatory is planned to be used for gathering photometric as well as spectroscopic data for stars and star clusters as well as astrometric data for Asteroids and Comets.

Bright days (or rather, dark nights) await us in the future!

LET THE OBSERVATIONS, BEGIN!