Seriously large aperture
for the seriously avid astronomer
The Great Red Spot Astronomy Jupiter Series of large aperture telescopes
is a truly large telescope with a primary mirror of 40 inches in
We had the opportunity of starting with a completely blank sheet of paper
for our design. Most telescope companies have to make any new telescope
match the “look and feel” of other telescopes in their line, or worse,
have to choose from whatever features their Asian suppliers offer.
Sometimes the only difference between brands is the color of the paint.
JUPITER DESIGN GOALS
PROTECT THE PRIMARY
A disturbing trend we have seen lately with some telescopes is to have
the Primary Mirror totally exposed. Owners of these telescopes quickly
find to their horror that people walking nearby kick up small
stones out of the grass – you hear them pinging off the face of the
mirror all night long.
We ran the numbers, and adding protection around the mirror added a mere 28
to the design- a small price to pay for the security of a $40,000
mirror. The mirror enclosure also blocks stray light, giving higher
contrast images at the eyepiece.
We completely enclosed the back and sides of the Secondary mirror
securely protecting it from dew and damage. This design allows you to set it on the ground without
damaging the secondary
mirror. Our mirror holder is entirely made of aluminum, no plastic
disk to crack as other designs. We fully offset secondary mirror,
allowing for proper optical collimation and preventing vignetting in the
COMPUTER WIRING AND CONNECTIONS:
disturbing trend we see is that some manufacturers have been installing
the ServoCat brain on the outside of their telescopes, leaving the
wiring open to damage. Even worse, some have the face of the ServoCat
sticking out of the telescope body at ground level. One can too easily
step on the connectors and break them off flush with the face of the
control box! In addition, placing the computer ports at
ground level where they can collect dew and dirt is an alarming design
We designed the wiring for minimal exposure. Tucked out of harm’s
way, the ServoCat has no connectors exposed or placed anywhere they may be stepped on.
Although some customers live under dark skies and use their
telescopes only at home, many others enjoy taking their telescopes out using
them with astronomy clubs or public outreach. Those who choose to
travel with their telescopes will be pleased to know that we designed
the 40-inch Jupiter so that it may be easily hauled and set up.
We designed the Jupiter series telescopes for peak performance rather
than design them to a certain price point.
Our telescopes are true performers, not just eye candy.
Fiber has reached a “boutique” status in America lately, including
ballpoint pens, briefcases, golf tees; anything you can imagine. Do any
of these items require carbon fiber? Not at all, but it sure looks
pretty. Carbon Fiber is not very durable (ask anyone with a bicycle
frame made from it), and you have to be careful not to leave it for
prolonged periods in sunlight.
To manufacture the UTA light shroud in Carbon Fiber would have cost just
over $900, and the two-inch truss poles would have run $3600. Would either of
these choices have improved the performance of the telescope? Not
one bit. We just saved you $4500.
All of the aluminum is
anodized flat black. We could have buffed all of the
aluminum to a mirror finish before anodizing, but every smudge and fingerprint on the glossy surface would be
A giant telescope like our Jupiter Series is at its best working in the
field, not sitting around looking pretty.
GRS JUPITER FEATURES
Our 40” parabolic mirror is a cast monolithic piece of SupraMax from the
Schott Glass Company in Germany. Great Red Spot uses no fused “honeycomb
sandwich” construction. History has shown that many fused mirrors can
de-laminate over time, ruining their figure. SupraMax is a low
expansion borosilicate. We would never use Soda Lime or Plate Glass for
a telescope of this quality.
Made by master optician Mike Lockwood, the mirror is crafted to the
highest standards of quality.
The most important structural part of any telescope is the mirror cell.
We made the Jupiter cell from USA made steel. Steel is three times stiffer
than aluminum and is the obvious choice in this most critical area.
edge support is provided by a 49 strands of stainless steel cable.
Extensive computer modeling has shown that a cable sling is
accurate edge support available. The cable prevents astigmatism and
keeps the mirror from pulling away from the support triangles at low
Our mirror cell provides 27 points of support.
The support triangle's movements are completely guided by spherical
bearings, giving you a slop free system.
We make our massive truss poles from
high strength 6061 alloy
aluminum. They are 2" in diameter, and anodized in
Seamless 6061 aluminum truss is strong and lightweight; you can step on
them without damage (Do not try that with brittle carbon fiber).
Our Altitude Bearings are lightweight cast aluminum. Cast aluminum is
much stronger than plywood laminate used in lesser designs. At 52 inches
in diameter, our bearings have massive staying power. This allow you to
change from small planetary eyepieces to heavy binoviewers without needing to add
No one can argue that the best focuser available is the FeatherTouch by
Starlight Instruments. The FeatherTouch focuser is simply the smoothest,
highest gear ratio, highest precision focuser made. We never considered
any other focuser for a telescope of this caliber.
Our UTA features a 360° light shield that keeps stray light out of the
focuser and from reaching the secondary mirror, assuring you of the
highest contrast images. Other lesser designs skimp on the light
shielding in order to save money and weight. Saving a few pounds but
loosing precious contrast at the eyepiece is a tradeoff you should never
The controls for the Argo Navis and ServoCat are both up on the UTA
where they belong. It makes the most sense to have your computer and
controls at your fingertips while observing. Who wants to climb up and
down a ladder just to read object descriptions or GOTO the next nearby
object in the Virgo Cluster? We placed the controls with the serious
observer in mind.
We chose the most durable finder scope in the galaxy, the Telrad.
Unlike other reflex finders, the Telrad works from several feet away
without introducing a parallax error. What does this mean to you? You
can stand on the ground and sight through the Telrad while it is many
feet above your head. We have found that you cannot do that with any
ServoCat and Argo Navis
Please inquire about availability and shipping dates: