Sunday, 6 May 2018

Der Schiefspiegler (and Hawkwind)

This weekend is May bank holiday weekend and with the extra day I decided to attempt at making a Schiefspiegler Telescope. I used a concave shaving mirror, a convex car reversing mirror and a magnifying glass. Once I had everything in alignment (which was quite tricky) the results were good. My Scheifspiegler had two main advantages over the Digges-Bourne perspective glass. Firstly the combination of the concave and convex lenses greatly reduced the aberration and gave more sharper images. Secondly the additional mirror enables the telescope to be forward facing and much easier to use. The magnification is about the same as before so no real change. The disadvantage is that no one ever thought of assembling this combination of mirrors and a lens in the Tudor era. The Tudors would have had suitable quality lenses and mirrors available but the idea of combining them together never progressed beyond the single lens and mirror proposed by Leonard Digges.

The photo above shows my Schiefspiegler pictured together with a Hawkwind LP.  The album in the photo is the reissued 2015 edition on red vinyl and is pressed on two discs. I bought the original album on its day of release back in August 1976. However, I was on holiday at the time so I didn't get to listen to it until the family holiday was over a week later. Its still one of my favourite Hawkwind albums although many of the band's fans dislike it because of the absence of the bassist Lemmy. I still own the original version although it is showing signs of wear so I was delighted when Let Them Eat Vinyl reissued it with bonus tracks.   So what can be seen through the Schiefspiegler? I took the image below this afternoon which shows Ely cathedral and also the spire of St. Mary's church from about five miles away. Its a good sharp image with plenty of detail. It is my intention to point this telescope at the night sky and try to get some decent images over the next few weeks.  

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