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The Dragonfly Telescope with $100,000 Lens

The Dragonfly Telescope with $100,000 Lens.

The Dragonfly Telephoto Array is one of the smallest professional astronomical telescopes in existence.  It uses ten ordinary Canon 400mm f/2.8L IS II lenses that cost $9,999 each. That’s $100,000 in photo gear. Commissioned in 2013 with only three lenses, the array is growing in size and proving capable of detecting extremely faint, complex structure around galaxies.

dragonfly 10 lens
THE DRAGONFLY TELESCOPE

“Dragonfly is designed to reveal the faint structure by greatly reducing scattered light and internal reflections within its optics. It achieves this using ten, commercially available Canon 400mm lenses with unprecedented nano-fabricated coatings with sub-wavelength structure on optical glasses.

Also, Dragonfly images a galaxy through multiple lenses simultaneously — akin to a dragonfly’s compound eye — enabling further removal of unwanted light. The result is an image in which extremely faint galaxy structure is visible.

dragonflycapture
photos taken by Dragonfly

The array began imaging targets in 2013 from its home at the New Mexico Skies hosting facility. Images have shown Dragonfly is at least ten times more efficient than its nearest rival and will be able to detect faint structures predicted by current merger models.”

canon 400mm f2.8 lens
Canon 400mm f2.8 EF Mount L-Series Lens

 

Here are quick specs for Canon 400mm f2.8 EF Mount L-Series Lens

Aperture Range: f/2.8-32.
Fluorite Optics for Sharper Images.
Three Mode Optical Image Stabilization.
Ultrasonic Autofocus Motor.
Manual Focus Override.
Power Focus Mode and Focus Preset.
Autofocus Stop Button Feature.
Dust & Moisture Proof & Fluorine Coating.
Security Slot for Wire-Type Locks.

[via University of Toronto via Astronomy Now]


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  1. I was so confused about what to buy, but this makes it unaedstrndable.

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