The 2011 Sixty Symbols video Spy Satellites (from Deep Sky Videos) shows amateur astrophotographer Nik Szymanek and his telescope.

Question: Can someone identify the model and design of this particular telescope and it's mount, and explain why there are so many baffles inside the tube (isn't this more than typical?) and the structure of the tube? Is it some composite? Why the spiral pattern?

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  • $\begingroup$ Doesn't the primary look a bit dirty? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Sep 30, 2019 at 7:20
  • $\begingroup$ I know one guy who can Nik Szymanek. You'll find a contact link on his website that will lget you an email address. $\endgroup$ Sep 30, 2019 at 10:10
  • $\begingroup$ @StephenG it's possible others will find that useful. I'm kinda shy. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Sep 30, 2019 at 11:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "shy" is not the first expression that I would have used for someone prominent on a public forum. :-) $\endgroup$ Sep 30, 2019 at 12:36

1 Answer 1


Szymanek says he took some of his Flickr images with a GSO 10" Ritchey-Chrétien telescope. At least one third party offers these with Altair Astro branding and says the tube is made of carbon fiber.

The Ritchey-Chrétien design is a Cassegrain with hyperbolic primary and secondary mirrors. It minimizes coma and spherical aberration at the expense of field curvature. The baffle tube forward of the hole in the primary is required to shade the image plane from direct skylight. Many Cassegrain telescopes also have a short baffle tube aft of the secondary.

The multiple baffle rings inside the main tube just darken the tube more completely than black paint alone. They are more likely separate rings than a continuous helix. The alternative would be to roughen the surface e.g. with flocking paper.

The mount looks like an older Software Bisque Paramount, a robotic German equatorial mount. On current models the declination axis housing is cylindrical rather than rectangular.

  • $\begingroup$ +1 thanks for the pretty thorough telescope detective work! $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Oct 1, 2019 at 7:02

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