Celestron 36cm (14") Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Astrograph (RASA) f/2.2 Optical Tube Assembly (OTA Only)
This larger version of the original Celestron 11" RASA was developed for the field of Space Situational Awareness (SSA). SSA is a project dedicated to detecting and mapping space junk in orbit.
In 2015, SSA professionals discovered the smaller 11" RASA is an ideal instrument for this application. With its fast focal ratio and wide field of view it can detect even small pieces of space junk traveling at extraordinarily high speeds. There are now dozens of RASA telescopes in use around the world every night scanning the skies to protect satellites, at a fraction of the cost of other systems!
Celestron’s team collaborated with SSA experts to develop an even better telescope to meet this important need. The result is the 14" RASA 36 which can detect individual pieces of debris measuring less than 1 meter!
First introduced in 2014, the Celestron Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Astrographic (RASA) telescope has an 14″ aperture and a fast f/2.2 system. This very popular instrument offers astrophotographers a way of obtaining wide-field imaging in a fraction of the time, even without the use of an autoguider.
Celestron has now announced a bigger brother to the 11″ model – the RASA 36 – a 14″/36cm aperture version. Designed and introduced as cost-effective optical system for space surveillance, Space Situational Awareness (SSA;) advanced wide field astroimaging, and other scientific applications, it offers unprecedented value in aperture, speed, field of view, and optical performance. The RASA design has a convenient external prime-focus image capture location with a flat focal plane, providing small spot sizes to the edge of a wide field. The result is images free of optical defects like field curvature, off-axis coma, and astigmatism.
The 36 cm aperture version is the largest RASA that Celestron manufactures. This astrograph is the biggest and fastest (f/2.2) optical instrument of its kind available “off-the-shelf.” Unlike most telescopes, which only focus visible light (400-700 nm), the RASA 36 cm focuses an extended spectral range (400-900 nm), allowing a brighter signal to be detected by a camera sensor. The RASA 36 cm also features a redesigned focus system, which ensures easy and stable focusing.
The RASA 36 cm’s ample back-focus distance (77.5 mm) accommodates a wide variety of imaging sensors. A custom camera adaptor can be added for a field of view up to 4.4 degrees.
Since the USSR launched the Sputnik satellite in 1957, we have relied on earth-orbiting satellites to play an ever-increasing role in global communications. Today, thousands of satellites and hundreds of thousands of pieces of “space junk” now orbit our planet Earth.
It is a sobering thought that just one day, one stray piece of space junk could damage crucial satellites and disrupt communications on a worldwide scale. The field of Space Situational Awareness (SSA) is devoted to monitoring the space environment and protecting our satellites from debris by detecting and mapping space junk in orbit. In no small way, SSA makes our globally connected way of life possible.
In 2015, SSA professionals announced that Celestron’s original 11″ Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Astrograph (RASA) is an ideal instrument for SSA applications. Its fast focal ratio and wide field of view allow it to detect even small pieces of space junk traveling at extraordinarily high rates of speed. Currently, there are dozens of RASA telescopes in use around the world every night scanning the skies to protect our artificial satellites at a fraction of the cost of other systems.
Celestron’s team approached SSA experts to collaborate on an even better telescope to meet this important need. The result is the RASA 36. Assembled at our Torrance, California, headquarters from start to finish, this ultra-precise optical instrument can detect individual pieces of debris measuring less than 1 metre in size.