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Useful helpers: StarSense AutoAlign for Skywatcher mounts

September 22 2017, Stefan Taube

People who already have a Celestron mount know about the StarSense AutoAlign module for the automatic alignment of the mount. However, Celestron also offers this technology for Skywatcher mounts: The Celestron StarSense AutoAlign module for Skywatcher.

StarSense AutoAlign Modul

Why is this accessory useful?

Mounts with integrated computer control (“GoTo”) enable the search for sky objects from a database, simply by pressing a button. For this to work correctly, the computer needs some information, like date, time, observation location and alignment of the telescope right at the beginning. You can only use the GoTo control, after having completed the alignment procedure. The StarSense AutoAlign module is a convenient helper who will do most of the work involved.

For this purpose, the module is mounted to the optical tube and not to the finder scope. An integrated camera scans the night sky and runs the alignment automatically. If you are using an azimuthal mount with GPS (e.g. a Celestron CPC) the initialisation and alignment of the telescope will run fully automatically. You only need to switch the telescope on, and wait for approx. three minutes, until it is ready for star gazing!

When using an equatorial mount, you must also align the polar axis with the polar star. Also in this case, the StarSense AutoAlign module will help you: The hand controller of the module will assist you in the polar alignment, so that you don’t need a pole finder. Once the polar axis has been aligned, any further alignment will be automatically performed by the camera, just as with an azimuthal mount.

Use the possibilities of the StarSense AutoAlign for Skywatcher or Celestron for even more fun with your hobby!


iOptron: A variety of astronomical mounts

September 15 2017, Stefan Taube

Mounts from iOptron are becoming more and more popular, not only in the USA, but also in Europe. Reasons for this also include product diversity, mechanical quality and excellent equipment. Let us introduce a selection of mounts from  iOptron:

The iEQ45 Pro GoTo is of particular interest for astro-photographers.


The mount can support twenty kilogrammes and is thus in the size range that is preferred by most ambitious amateur astronomers. It can also accommodate ample sized optics, but is still easy to transport. The tripod with its 50 millimetre legs ensures stability.

While stargazing, the iEQ45 Pro is quickly ready for use. Its readiness is assured by the integrated GPS, the electronically supported alignment of the mount with the polar star and the various initialisation methods for the GoTo system. The GoTo system will assist you in finding your way through the sky. The iEQ45 Pro is equipped with an eight-line remote to make sure that you won’t lose track.

If you are a novice and would like to start slightly smaller, then the CEM25P GoTo would be the right choice. This mount is available for a considerably lower price, but still is able to carry 12 kilogrammes. A 6-inch Newton telescope is a good match for this mount.


Unbelievably quiet and load-bearing AZ Pro GoTo


The only time you need an equatorial mount is when you want to take photos of faint nebulae and galaxies. In all other cases, the azimuthal mount AZ Pro GoTo is a highly interesting alternative. The AZ Pro is simply remarkable: It works almost silently, when carrying even heavy optics of up to 15 kilogrammes!

This mount does this with all imaginable comfort: Large display, GPS, automatic alignment and installed power pack. You don’t need a Powertank! Without an external power supply and due to its dice-shape design, the AZ Pro is very compact – more mobility is hardly possible!

With an azimuthal mount of this kind, you can, in addition to visual observations, also take photos of the Moon and planets, or use the Atik Infinity camera for video astronomy.


The smallest mount from iOptron is the SkyTracker Pro


Over many years, the photo mount SkyTracker Pro has found lots of friends. No further explanation required.

Photo mounts like this one enable astro-photography directly with a DSLR, i.e. without any telescope.

This is simple, possible anywhere and very well suited for taking photos of large constellations, allowing you to take photos of the Milky Way or just atmospheric landscape shots with the night sky.


The observatory mount from iOpton: CEM60 GoTo


With a load bearing capacity of 27 kilogrammes, the CEM60 GoTo is not the biggest mount at Astroshop. However, it is a very interesting solution for stationary operation on a concrete column, because it meets the requirements of many small garden observatories and is available for quite a reasonable price.

Special ports below the dual mounting saddle enable the operation of accessories for astro-photography applications. In case you do not want to constantly operate the mount stationary, the scope of delivery also includes a transport case. For mobile use, we can also supply you with the matching iOptron tripod or even an especially high-quality wooden tripod from Berlebach.

This is a selection of particularly interesting mounts from iOptron. You will find the whole product range here.


Summer campaign: Celestron CGE Pro telescopes for particularly reasonable prices!

September 8 2017, Stefan Taube

Now is a good time to get prepared for the dark season: Celestron CGE Pro telescopes are now available with 20% discount!

CGEPro1400The CGE Pro is the most powerful mount from Celestron. It is able to carry the large 14-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain optics or the RASA astrograph without any strain. However, with its sturdy tripod, this mount is still suitable for mobile use.

Choose your CGE Pro telescope:

You already have a large telescope? No problem, we currently also offer the CGE Pro mount without optics for a very favourable price!

This offer ends on the 30th of September 2017. Order now!


30% Discount: Universe2go now only 69.90 Euro

August 31 2017, Marcus Schenk

A must-have in any astronomy household: The Augmented-Reality Planetarium Universe2go has never been so affordable!

The smart AR goggles show you and explains the night sky – all without hours of hovering over star charts and books.  Simply download the Universe2go app, place your smartphone in the goggles and off you go! Universe2go shows you constellations, the Moon, planets, and even nebulae, accompanied by more than 3 hours of audio commentary.  Sky & Telescope magazine was so convinced, that Universe2go received the prestigious award, Hot Product 2017.

Now is your chance to save 30% on the original price of Universe2go.  Buy your Universe2go star viewer for 69.90 Euros instead of 99.00 Euros.  You save more than 29 Euros

Get yours now: Buy Universe2go now for only 69.90 Euros (59.90 £ or 69.90 $) – with FREE shipping worldwide.

Would you like more information about Universe2go? Then read these fascinating blog posts:

5 Reasons, why Universe2go is Totally Different than Other Astronomy Apps


Dome Installation of a 2.6m Milkyway Observatory in Costa del Sol, Spain

August 26 2017, Joshua Taboga supplied and installed a 2.6m Milky Way dome in Costa del Sol, southern Spain.





The observatory was equipped with an Omegon Pro RC 14 on a Skywatcher EQ8 mount.


Omegon RC2

Omegon RC1

Astroshop successfully carried out collimation and commissioning and the observatory was quickly ready to start taking on tasks in astrometry and photometry, which were to be submitted to and used by the Minor Planet Center.



The Perseids 2017: Infographic about the Meteor Shower on the 11th of August

August 9 2017, Joshua Taboga

Once again, August is upon us and with it comes falling stars.  The most meteors of the Perseids will fall in the night of the 11th to the 12th of August.  A completely unobstructed view of the meteor shower will not be a possibility, unfortunately, as the Moon, illuminated at 82%, will light up the night sky.  The brighter meteors will be easy to see, in spite of it all.

So where to look?  When and how can you see the meteor shower?  Check out the infographic below for the most important information about the Perseids meteor shower.

At a glance, quick and informative.





Impressions of Astroshop’s ScopeDome Construction in Pram, Austria

August 9 2017, Joshua Taboga

Astroshop was in Pram, Austria, to build a 3-Meter ScopeDome Observatory.  

Pram 1 Pram 2

Spectroscopy was the motivation of constructing the dome. 

Pram 3 Pram 4 Pram 5

Not far from the house, the owner should be able to control the observatory and equipment within it. 

Pram 6 Pram 7 Pram 9 Pram 8

The high concrete wall was constructed to accommodate the equipment and allowed for more usable space inside the dome. 


Astronomik: new clip filters for Canon DSLR cameras

July 31 2017, Stefan Taube

Northern German company Astronomik is a specialist for astronomical filters for astrophotographers or purely visual star gazers. Clip filters are a special innovation of Astronomik. These filters have a special mounting shape, which allows them to be placed directly into a DSLR or system camera – without using any tools!

Astronomik currently offer clip filters for:

The camera mentioned last is designed with extremely high sensitivity. We offer this camera as a specially astro-modified camera. For more information please follow this link: Sony Alpha 7s Astro.

For APS-C Format EOS cameras from Canon, Astronomik have now developed a new series. A special feature of these new XT filters is the very thin carrier with a thickness of only 0.3 mm, to which the filter layer is applied. When using filters with thicker glass carriers, image faults may become visible in the corners of the photos. Stars appear slightly dash shaped. This can be particularly noticed when using short focal lengths. So if you would like to use a Canon EOS with the camera lens on a camera mount to take wide angle shots of the night sky, an XT filter might be the right investment.

XT filters are available in the usual versions, from CLS to H-alpha all the way to SII filters. For novices we especially recommend the CLS filter, which suppresses artificial light pollution.

The red transmission curve reveals: The CLS filter blocks the light from the yellow street lamps.

The red transmission curve reveals: The CLS filter blocks the light from the yellow street lamps.


By the way: Removing a clip filter from the camera housing is just as easy as putting it in.


Impressions of Astroshop’s ScopeDome Construction in Paisley, Scotland

July 18 2017, Joshua Taboga

Astroshop was in Paisley, Scotland, to construct a 3-Meter ScopeDome Observatory.

Paisley - 1

Reaching the property was a challenge.  Several pieces of the observatory had to be carried across the adjacent golf course.

Paisley - 3

The observatory was one of the few that the team mounted onto a wooden base.  The column for the telescope was, of course, installed separate from the base.

Paisley - 4 Paisley - 5

Paisley - 6 Paisley - 7


SkyGuider Pro: the large camera mount from iOptron

July 17 2017, Stefan Taube

The SkyTracker Pro from iOptron is one of the most popular camera mounts. This handy unit tracks photographic equipment of up to three kilograms in weight to follow the rotation of the sky. This allows you to take panorama shots of the night sky with long exposure times.

The new SkyGuider Pro from iOptron can even carry up to five kilograms of photographic equipment. This is easily sufficient for a small telescope, such as the Photography Scope with camera. The scope of delivery already includes a mounting plate for small telescopes.

The scope of delivery also includes a counterweight for balancing the photographic equipment. This provides stability and takes pressure off the rotation axis.

However, you can also install a second camera with up to three kilograms in weight instead of the counterweight. This way you can take photos of the same sky area, but with two different focal lengths.
Alternatively, you can use the second camera as an autoguider.

On the product page for the iOptron Mount SkyGuider Pro you will find an illustration showing the vast variety of applications for this camera mount.

In addition to the counterweight, the scope of delivery of the SkyGuider Pro includes almost everything you need. The only thing missing is a tripod and a ball head might also make sense. Both these articles can be found under the tab “Recommended Accessories” on the product page.

The SkyGuider Pro comes with a power pack which can simply be recharged via USB. There is hardly any mount for sky photography available for use with photographic equipment of up to five kilograms in weight, that is more light-weight or more compact. As with other mounts from iOptron, the SkyGuider Pro also offers a satisfying, solid mechanical design. We are convinced that this new camera mount will meet your approval!


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