For the entire 2016-2017 season we had been fighting optical issues with our RiLA 600mm telescope. The scope is a mechanical and optical masterpiece from Officina Stellare, capable of incredible contrast and detail. However, as a result of moving the telescope to install a new mount, and the daily high temperatures in Thailand (often in the high 30’s C), our star shapes suffered to the point where our images were not publishable.
We had performed both primary and secondary collimation, but still our star shapes showed wings. Officina Stellare agreed that this was due to a pinched primary mirror. Here is a 3d image of a star showing the aberration. This image should be perfectly symmetrical if there is no aberration.
Our attempts to correct this ourselves fell short, so in May (literally the weekend before heavy rains signaled the start of our long rainy season) Officina Stellare’s Giovanni Del Lago visited for a service call.
Over the course of 2 evenings, Gio was able to correct the pinch, allowing a proper collimation.
And as long as he was here, he gave the primary mirror a proper cleaning.
We have since built a 200+ point model for pointing of the mount, and are ready for imaging as soon as the rainy season ends (probably late October or November).