• Chuck KimballChuck Kimball

- Chuck Kimball -

Julian, California

It has been a great pleasure and an honor to work with Scott for these 20 years! The early days of automated scope things were certainly challenging. Now, I am happy to work with things that work right out of the box, at least mostly. I have always enjoyed the tuning up process in almost every project I have taken on. Scott and Russ have given me the reward of being able to see suggestions put into reality.
Over the last coule of years, I have had the opportunity to test and image with the ED 80 air-spaced triplet and the David H. Levy Comet Hunter. I have been working with the ED127 air spaced triplet for some months now and can say that it consistently produces good images. A couple of my latest images with the ED127 are included below. Click on the images to see the page on my "in work" website, it will open in a new tab or window.
Many more images with the ED127 are waiting to be uploaded to the new site, but you can browse my old website for images with the Comet Hunter and the ED80 if you like.

"I have been honored to work with Chuck Kimball for nearly 20 years and through all of those years, I have watched Chuck push the limits of his equipment to capture spectacular images of the treasures of the night sky. His patience and his attention to the smallest details not only make him a great astrophotographer, but a great person in general.
If you are lucky enough to spend some time with the Kimball's you'll learn that they are passionate about everything that they do, from using reclaimed timbers to build their cabins, to the fine portraits that they have made as reknown professional photographers. His spirit and enthusiasm are very contagious. You'll learn that in about 2 minutes after meeting him. This energy that he brings when it comes to field testing and beta testing, has given us a lot of insight. And this has resulted in product improvements and it inspires ideas for new projects.
So I was very happy when Chuck agreed to maintain a page on Explore Scientific's website. I know you'll be looking forward, as I will, to the next addition to Kimball's universe!"

- Scott Roberts

"Field testing gives us the edge we are looking for As Explore Scientific's Beta and Field Testing Team Leader, I work with select individuals to make sure that our products are rigorously and continuously tested. We feel it is the best way to get long-term, detailed feedback on how our optics and mechanics perform under a wide range of conditions. We use the suggestions made by our field testers and from comments made by all of our customers in our program of continuous improvement of our products.
"The team consists of enthusiasts who have volunteered their time and expertise. Chuck Kimball is one of Explore's first beta and field testing gurus. This page is maintained by Chuck Kimball from his mountaintop home in Julian, California where he runs the Artists' Loft Bed and Breakfast. So if you are looking for the perfect get away, that has dark skies you can book a cabin with Chuck and Nan. I have stayed there and can attest first hand to the great skies!
If you are interested in volunteering for one of our selection rounds, please give me a call at (888) 599-7597 at extension 309
- Russ Tanton

What I am doing now...

"I am currently putting the ED127 through its paces, to see how deep I can go and how much resolution I can squeeze out of this 5-inch..."

Product Tested

- ED127 Air-Spaced Triplet

- David H. Levy Comet Hunter

- ED80 Air-Spaced Triplet


Latest Image

As the galaxies start to show up, I grabbed a few frames of an old favorite, M 101, with the ED 127 at f7.5. The focal length is a bit short for the smaller subject, but is still sharp enough to render a lot of things well. An interesting treat is to go to the full pixel image and browse for the very faint background galaxies... Remember, this is a hobby, we are very lucky to have such great instruments to let us do the best we can with what we have on hand!
Click the image for my web page with larger images.

the Fornax dwarf galaxy with ED127 Air-Spaced Triplet

Minkowski's was a good test, but the Fornax dwarf spherical galaxy is really a challenge. I went for it with doubts, and on seeing the first few sub-exposure come in, was convinced it was a waste of time so I folded things up. On a closer inspection, in the warm house, I had renewed hope and put time into the next three nights to get 4 total hours. The difficulty is caused by the very low luminosity, and the very low place in our northern sky. Most of the stars are around 15th to 17th magnitude and require pretty clean air. The five listed globulars are easily visible in the image.

ngc2264 with ED127

Our challenge was to design a portable instrument that has enough aperture to observe the broad range of celestial objects with an optimized optical design to serve as a true RFT that can also work well for high magnification observations of planets. We also wanted the telescope to serve as a serious optical solution for astroimaging. In short, we wanted a telescope that could do almost anything; a telescope that would be perfect for beginners to advanced astronomers alike.

Trumpler 5 taken with ED127 Air-Spaced Triplet.

Another seldom imaged open cluster, Trumpler 5, is often overlooked and overshadowed by the ngc 2264 group. Tr5 lies only a degree west of that group, standing out well in wide field images with its very golden stars. The cluster is very old, about 3 Gy, and is one of the most massive in our galaxy. There is a brilliant red carbon star near the center of this cluster.

M81,82 taken with the ES ED127 Air-Spaced Triplet

This often imaged pair of galaxies is an almost perfect fit for the ED127 at f/7.5 and an APS sensor, such as the one in my Canon 350d. I used the AstroTech AT2FF flattener with the 127 for this image while waiting for the new Explore dedicated flattener. Note the stars to the edges, good to better in my eye.

Abell 194 with the ED127

Abell 194, a nice galaxy cluster in Cetus, is a bit of a stretch in itself for the short focal length of the ED127, but the real challenge is a tiny object called Minkowski's object or Arp 133. It is thought to be the visual product of a powerful radio frequency jet, perhaps exacerbated by the interaction of the three larger galaxies. Check out the 100% image in the link to glimpse the star trail.