Double Star

In Brief:

Observatories involved: Republic Observatory

Instruments: Innes Refractor






van den Bos was one of the great double star observers and in 1969 the Lowell planetary project threatened to become the death knell for double star observing at the Republic Observatory. It was decided that the observatory must share the Innes refractor, used for double star work, with taking photographs of the planets. With this telescope a problem arose with the very long focal length (f/90), which made the telescope very slow. The filters were in a very narrow band allowing very little light through and thus the photos required very long exposures. To take the required 45 exposures per hour took much longer than anticipated, leaving little time for anything else. In practice, this instrument became a dedicated instrument to the Lowell project.

van den Bos retired at this time, stayed at an old age home near the Observatory grounds. For about a year Mr De Klerk fetched van den Bos at his home and the two of them tried to observe double stars in between the taking photographs for the Lowell project. It meant taking the camera off the Innes refractor and replacing it with a micrometer, until it was time to take the next photo. It proved impractical and they gave up after a while. [Personal communication with G Roberts: CL]



Personal communication with G Roberts