Centurion 18 History

The Centurion 18 is not your "telescope as usual".

1999 prototype image

It is neither an SCT, refractor, Maksutov, nor Newtonian.

It is totally designed to deliver optimal deep sky CCD imaging in the form of an amateur sized telescope, but without the old standard human interface, the eyepiece.











Centurion 18 & ST- 2000 CCD.

An optimal balance between focal length (field of view), focal ratio (exposure time) and image scale (again, focal length) with typical seeing included was considered. After a little thought it became obvious that a 50"focal length and f/2.8 speed which dictated an 18"aperture would be an ideal system. A large field of view covering up to a 35mm film format while possessing sharpness par with 7 micron sized pixels narrowed down the optical design choices, while the marketability /cost concerns defined a feature set such as computer control, mount type and tube style.

Based on this, a design was chosen utilizing a hyperbolic primary mirror and field corrector lens assembly. Some later work at Kitt Peak, helping on a new technology 50" telescope, inspired the overall mechanical design. Soon after, a world class optical designer was contracted to design the Centurion 18 optics and a large prototype project began.