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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.

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New in July: Cameras, Astro-Binoculars and More!

July 14 2017, Joshua Taboga

We are happy to present you with a small selection of articles, which we recently have added to our catalog!

1. Astrel Instruments Camera AST8300-B-M-FW Mono



New Camera from Astrel Instruments


With its optional touchscreen color screen, Astrel’s new camera can be used as a stand-alone solution for aspiring astro-photographers.  You have the possibilities of an astronomical CCD camera, but do not need a PC or laptop alongside your telescope!  The filter wheel is even integrated into the camera housing.


2. Guiding and Planet Cameras from QHY


The ALccd-QHY Camera 5P-II Mono offers amazing resolution with its 2.2 µm pixels.


We are continuously expanding our selection of Alccd-QHY cameras. Especially popular are the sensitive and small models from QHY, which are not only great for imaging the Moon and planets, but also for autoguiding with off-axis guiders or guide scopes.


3. APM Bino 100 mm 45° Semi-Apo 1,25″

APM Fernglas

Reasonably priced large Bino for astronomy and nature watching.

See better with two eyes!  Great for astronomy!  These spherically corrected dual-lense gap Semi APO Bino offers you an extremely high contrast.  Each set comes with a pair of eyepieces with 18 mm focal length.


4. Lunatico DuoScope Prism Clamps for Counterweight Bars



With DuoScope you can attach a second optic to the counterweight bar.


Counterweights are dead weight, so mount a second optic onto the bar, for example to use for autoguiding or a second camera with a large field of view.  The Spanish manufacturer Lunatico created its prism clamp  oder bracket. Both solutions allow for precision when aligning the second scope. Lastly, the DuoScope Camera Mount allows you to do the same with a camera


5. PegasusAstro Ultimate Powerbox Hub

PegasusAstro PowerHub

Your new power hub!

 PegasusAstro came up with an interesting solution for observatories and other stationary telescopes. With the Ultimate Powerboxyou no longer have to worry about power your mount, camera, heated dew cap and other electrical equipment.  You can finally get the cable spaghetti under control.  Accompanying the Powerbox, you will find an environmental sensor in the box, which keeps track of temperature and humidity.


Everything You Need for the Solar Eclipse

July 7 2017, Joshua Taboga

The big moment inches ever closer.  On the 21st of August, 2017 millions of people in the USA will witness a total solar eclipse.  The event of the decade will soon be upon us!  Do you have everything for the “Great American Eclipse”?  Or are a couple things missing from your toolkit?  Check out our list below of necessary and useful products.

1. The Most Important: Solar Eclipse Glasses

Experience the eclipse in the simplest of ways, with Omegon SunSafe Solar Eclipse Glasses.  The glasses give you the ability to safely and comfortably look at the Sun.

Omegon's Solar Eclipse glasses allow you to safely view the elcipse.

Omegon’s Solar Eclipse glasses allow you to safely view the elcipse.

•    Orange, natural image of the Sun
•    Optimal for solar observations, including viewing sunspots and eclipses
•    Completely Safe: SunSafe material certified according to ISO guidelines
•    One size fits all
•    Harmful sun rays blocked by a factor of 100,000
•    Optical density – at least ND5

Price: one set $2.90 (£ 2.90), 5 pack $9.90 (£ 8.90)
Omegon Solar Eclipse Glasses

Alternatively, Baader offers Solar Eclipse Glasses – Solar Viewer AstroSolar® Silver/Gold. The glasses provide 100% safety and the Sun will appear blue/white.

Baader Solar Eclipse Glasses with AstroSolar film

Baader Solar Eclipse Glasses with AstroSolar film

Price: $3.50 (£ 3.90), set $29.00 (£ 25.90)
See Baader Solar Eclipse Glasses

Warning: These glasses are to be exclusively used for visual observations.  Do not use them in combination with an optical instrument.

2. Solar filter for Your Telescope

Frameless film filters

A classic for fans of solar observation is the Astrosolar Solar Filter film.  Being somewhat of an art and craft situation, users can build their own filter frame.  The advantage is the cheap price and variety of sizes available.  Most buy the small 20cm x 29cm or the large 50cm x 100cm.

In the special case for astrophotographers, a photo film with the optical density of 3.8 affords the user the possibility of using short exposure times.  Put simply, this filter allows only 0.016% of light through – perfectly fine for photography, but still too much for the naked eye.  For visual observations, you should consider adding a ND 2.0 Filter or simply using a film made for visual purposes.

Baader Solar Eclipse Glasses with AstroSolar film

Baader Solar Eclipse Glasses with AstroSolar film

Warning: Always place the film in front of the optics and not behind.

Price: 20x29cm  $ 25.00(£ 22.90), 50x100cm $ 75.00 (£ 67.00)
See Baader Astrosolar Solor Filter Film

Framed Filter for Telescopes

The manufacturer Baader has come up with an elegant solution for telescopes: the ASTF Sonnenfilter. This filter is suitable for telescopes from 70mm to 290mm diameter. Three centering pins affix the filter inside or outside of the tube. An overview, which filter best suites your telescope, is available here: Filter Finder Tool.

ASTF Filter mounted on a Schmidt-Cassergrain Telescope

ASTF Filter mounted on a Schmidt-Cassergrain Telescope

Baader AstroSolar Telescope Solar Filter ASTF 80mm Article-Nr.: 46632
Baader AstroSolar Telescope Solar Filter ASTF 100mm Article-Nr.: 46633
Baader AstroSolar Telescope Solar Filter ASTF 120mm Article-Nr.: 46634
Baader AstroSolar Telescope Solar Filter ASTF 140mm Article-Nr.: 46635
Baader AstroSolar Telescope Solar Filter ASTF 160mm Article-Nr.: 46636
Baader AstroSolar Telescope Solar Filter ASTF 180mm Article-Nr.: 46637
Baader AstroSolar Telescope Solar Filter ASTF 200mm Article-Nr.: 46638
Baader AstroSolar Telescope Solar Filter ASTF 240mm Article-Nr.: 46639
Baader AstroSolar Telescope Solar Filter ASTF 280mm Article-Nr.: 46640


Filter for Binoculars

Even with binoculars, a solar eclipse can have quite an fantastic effect.  The best thing is that a smaller pair of binoculars easily fit into a suitcase.  Our special binocular filters are flat on one side, allowing your binoculars to remain fully functional.  Available for 40mm to 110mm.

Baader ASBF Filter for Binoculars and Cameras

Baader ASBF Filter for Binoculars and Cameras

Baader ASBF Filter for Binoculars and Cameras

By the way: These filters are great for camera lenses.

Baader AstroSolar Binocular Solar Filter ASBF 50mm Article-Nr.: 46641
Baader AstroSolar Binocular Solar Filter ASBF 60mm Article-Nr.: 46642
Baader AstroSolar Binocular Solar Filter ASBF 70mm Article-Nr.: 46665
Baader AstroSolar Binocular Solar Filter ASBF 80mm Article-Nr.: 46667
Baader AstroSolar Binocular Solar Filter ASBF 100mm Article-Nr.: 46668


3. Solar Prisms: The Better Choice?

Many have already heard.  Aside from solar filters, solar prisms are also available.  However, are they a true alternative?  Most definitely – if your goal is detail solar observation – but only for refractors up to 150mm (no reflector telescopes)

In comparison to a lens filter, the Herschel Wedge offers a clear, contrast-rich image of the sun.  Advanced solar observers swear on it.  With a Herschel Wedge, you will see the finest details, whether a granulation or structures surrounding a sunspot.

A Herschel Wedge creates a wonderfully contrast-rich image of the Sun.

A Herschel Wedge creates a wonderfully contrast-rich image of the Sun.

Tip: While observing with a Herschel Wedge, a ND 3.0 and a variable gray filter are requisite.

APM 1.25″ solar prism / Herschel wedge Article-Nr.: 18916
Baader OD 3,0 ND Filter 1,25“ Article-Nr.: 10885
Omegon Variabler Gray filter 1,25″ Article-Nr.: 7399
Baader Cool-Ceramic Safety Herschel prism V visual, 2″ Article-Nr.: 16816

4. The Sun in H-Alpha Light

Images of a solar eclipse in H-Alpha are unusual and create a lot of attention.  Photos of partial phases with protuberances and spots and flares are simply appealing to the eye.  The Quark Solar Filter from Daystar transforms your refractor into a bonafide solar telescope that shows you the sun in H-Alpha light.  Now would be the best opportunity to turn a dream into reality.

QUARK Protuberance Filter: Transform your refractor into an H-Alpha telescope.

QUARK Protuberance Filter: Transform your refractor into an H-Alpha telescope.

DayStar Solar Filter QUARK H-Alpha, Protuberance Article-Nr.: 44774
DayStar Solar Filter Combo QUARK H-Alpha, Chromosphere Article-Nr.: 48679



Imaged with the Omegon ED80 Apo and a Daystar Quark, Photo: Carlos Malagón

Imaged with the Omegon ED80 Apo and a Daystar Quark, Photo: Carlos Malagón

5. Small Scopes and Mounts for the Road

For those traveling by plane probably need to limit their baggage.  The nice thing about the eclipse is that you don’t need a large instrument.  A small Apochromat and a compact mount will suffice.

Tracking, Autoguiding or Time Lapse are all a possibility.

The iOptron Mount SkyTracker Pro is popular on astro-trips and weighs only 1.1kg.

The iOptron Mount SkyTracker Pro is popular on astro-trips and weighs only 1.1kg.

The mounts available range from a mechanical AZ Mini Mount to the heavy duty Cube Mount with a Go-to System:

iOptron Mount SkyTracker Pro Article-Nr.: 51870
Skywatcher Mount Star Adventurer, Set Article-Nr.: 45119
Omegon Mount AZ-Baby Article-Nr.: 49753
Omegon Tripod ball-head Pro OM20 Article-Nr.: 33149
Omegon Pro carbon-fibre tripod Article Mount-Nr.: 33146


6. Books about the Sun

A clear-as-day and basic entry into the topic can be found in the book Your Guide to the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse, Springer Verlag.

PS: Be sure to get what you need for the solar eclipse today, to ensure that your trip is an unforgetable experience.


Solar Eclipse 2017 USA: What to know

July 6 2017, Joshua Taboga

Something impressive will move in front of the Sun and obscure our star.  The Sun’s rays will disappear, shadows will change, the temperature will drop and the stars will shine brightly in the middle of the day.  A wind will come up and the animal would will be strangely still.

Earlier peoples felt fear.  The Chinese thought a giant dragon swallowed the Sun.  Only with a roar and bellowing was the dragon forced to spit the Sun out again.  Indeed, the idea is eerie, not knowing what exactly is going on… of course, was the event we call a solar eclipse.

Solar Eclipse fans have long known: on August 21st, 2017, a total solar eclipse will take place from coast to coast across the USA.  A once in a lifetime experience, which many people are longing for.

All the important info and numbers, as well as what a solar eclipse looks like, can be found below in this article.

Solar eclipse Slider EN

Data Compact: The Great American Solar Eclipse 2017

The total solar eclipse will stretch from the Pacific, across North America, to the Atlantic.  Most interesting will be the population centers, because the eclipse’s path will traverse not only desolate deserts, but also cities and towns.  Across the American continent, the thin path of totality at a width of 115 km or 71.5 miles will stretch across 14 U.S. states.  On the day of the 21st of August, millions of people will experience the eclipse first hand, lasting a total of 2 minutes and 40 seconds.

The partial phases of the eclipse will be visible north and south of the path of totality throughout the entirety of the USA.  Partiality will stretch north through Canada and south through Mexico as well as northern South America.
Of special note: The Americans have already termed this solar eclipse the “Great American Eclipse”.

© NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

© NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio

What is a Total Solar Eclipse?

An interesting coincidence: the Sun is around 400 times larger than the Moon, but is also 400 times further away from the Earth than the Moon.  That means, the Moon and Sun appear to have the same diameter in the sky.  Such a lucky coincidence, since it makes a solar eclipse possible in the first place, allowing the Moon to completely obscure the Moon.  Were the Moon a bit smaller or further from the Earth, we would never have the pleasure of witnessing a total solar eclipse.  The result would be a ring of fire eclipse, although that is a story for another time.

As the New Moon moves in front of the Sun’s disk and covers it, a shadow will fall onto a slim are of the Earth and darkens the stretch of land.  This region then experiences a total solar eclipse!  On the outside of this region, the Sun will only be partially eclipsed, meaning the Moon will only cover part of the Sun.

A solar eclipse can only occur, while the Moon is in the “new” phase, as the Sun and Moon find themselves in a nodal point.

Sonnenfinsternis Schema

Of course, we have a New Moon every month, but not a solar eclipse.  Why?  The Moon actually orbits the Earth at 5° degree deviation from the ecliptic.  Most often the New Moon moves past, above or below, the Sun, resulting in no eclipse.

However, returning to the dragon swallowing the Sun.  The point of intersection, where the Moon and ecliptic cross.  When the New Moon and Sun by chance meet at this point of intersection, the Moon no longer moves past the sun, but obscures it.  The then becomes black and the corona majestically lights up behind it.

Then a very long, round but sharp moving shadow falls upon the Earth, which can be a maximum of 273 km or 170 miles wide.  The totality, meaning the complete covering of the Sun, can last a maximum of 7.5 minutes.  Most of the time, we don’t get to experience such ideal circumstances.  In the case of the USA, the shadow is only 115 km or 71.5 miles and last a total 2 minutes and 40 seconds.

How Will the Eclipse Happen?

The path of the eclipse will pass across the middle of the USA.  More precisely, through the states of Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.  The beginning will take place in Oregon.  At 10:16 AM PDT (Pacific Daylight Time), the first people will witness the total phase.  In the Oregonian capital of Salem, the eclipse will last a maximum of 1 minute and 58 seconds.

From there, it will proceed to Idaho and then Wyoming – the Cowboy State.  In Casper, the event will occur at 11:43 AM MDT and will last 2 minutes and 27 seconds.  The weather there August is very often clear and sunny.  The further one travels east from there, the higher the chance of cloud cover.  In Kentucky, the length of totality will reach its height at 2 minutes and 40 seconds.  At 2:42 EDT, the shadow of the eclipse will reach South Carolina.  After that, the shadow will jet off over the Atlantic towards Africa and Europe.

"Eclipse Predictions by Fred Espenak,"

“Eclipse Predictions by Fred Espenak,”

From West to East in 1.5 Hours

The core shadow will race across the American continent at a speed of 4,260 kmh or 2,647 mph, which is approximately double the speed of a modern day fighter jet. Altogether, the shadow will traverse more than 4,000 km or 2,500 miles of North America over a period of 1.5 hours, totaling about three hours of eclipse, from first to last contact.

Only with Eye Protection

Perhaps, you have already long had plans to travel to a specific spot in the USA and witness the total eclipse. Supposedly, the number of people experiencing the eclipse will reach around 7.4 million people. What is of utmost importance is to protect your eyes!

Never look directly at the Sun without protection!  Solar Eclipse glasses are a must, to adequately protect your eyes. Should you decide to travel to a spot in the USA to see the eclipse, we recommend Omegon’s certified Solar Eclipse Glasses.

Similarly, a solar filter is also must for a telescope. A large selection of filters are available here.

If you cannot follow this event at location, you can access NASA’s live stream.

Interesting Links:

Solar Eclipse Site NASA:


Impressions of Astroshop’s ScopeDome Construction in Bad Liebenwerda, Germany

July 5 2017, Joshua Taboga

Astroshop was in Bad Liebenwerda, Germany, to construct a 4 meter ScopeDome observatory.

 Bad Liebenwerda - 1  Bad Liebenwerda - 2  Bad Liebenwerda - 3  Bad Liebenwerda - 5 Bad Liebenwerda - 4

The building’s stature provided an excellent view of the horizon.

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The 4 meter ScopeDome observatory found a home at a private building at the Reiss GmbH headquarters.

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The primary instrument was mounted onto a stable concrete pillar, which reaches beyond the height of the building and is anchored into the ground.

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Solar Eclipse in the Rocky Mountains with Wyoming Stargazing

July 4 2017, Joshua Taboga

If you are contemplating traveling to the USA for the Total Solar Eclipse on August 21st, check out Wyoming Stargazing, a non-profit organization aspiring to “educate and inspire through Wyoming’s extraordinary skies”.

logo    logo

The organization, based in Jackson, Wyoming, was founded by local Jackson resident, Dr. Samuel Singer, as a way to further stoke the interest of exploring “the extraordinary in the ordinary”.  Indeed, the night sky may seem just ordinary to many people, but from the standpoint just above beautiful Jackson, peering beyond our own world offers a glimpse of what was, is and will be awe-inspiring, while offering a large dose of perspective to our every day lives.  We are but a small part of the Universe – a fact that makes our world, teeming with life, all the more special and amazing.  To learn more about what Wyoming Stargazing stands for and aspires to achieve, check out their website here.

Eclipse 2017


Wyoming Stargazing is holding a two-day, pre-eclipse event on the summit of Snow King, just above Jackson.   If you are interested in participating or simply making yourself wise to the events in the area, click the image above.

For basic info about the solar eclipse, as well as a map of the eclipse’s path across the United States, see Wyoming Stargazing’s 2017 Solar Eclipse page.  The organization has also started a Solar Eclipse blog, entitled “100 Days until Totality Blog“, offering history, tid-bids and interesting facts about past eclipses, and of course the upcoming eclipse in two month’s time.

If you happen to be in the neighborhood, stop by Jackson!  Come for the sights!  Stay for big wonderful Wyoming!


Good things always return: The ETX-125 telescope from Meade

June 29 2017, Stefan Taube

It is available again, the ETX-125 from Meade. Easy to transport, versatile in use and computer controlled – this made the ETX-125 a classic in the past!


The advantages of the Meade ETX-125:

  • Compact Maksutov optics: Longer focal length despite the short tube. Ideal for watching the moon and planets, but also for observing nature in the daytime. The robust Maksutov is stable in adjustment and, due to the closed tube, has a well protected mirror.
  • With its opening of 127 millimetres, it is the biggest optics of the ETX series and also suitable for watching objects beyond our solar system: The Orion nebula, the big star cluster M13 in the Hercules constellation, and many other objects.
  • The optical tube is fixed in a bracket mount. It reliably carries the optical system, its motors in both axes align it with the desired observation object and track the telescope in line with any rotation of the sky. The integrated battery compartment provides the required electric current for the motors during outdoor use. However, the ETX-125 can also be powered via an optionally available power supply unit.
  • The tube is actually fixed in the fork, but the fork can be removed from the tripod for easier transportation. The steel pipe tripod carries the telescope without any negative wobbling. Another special feature: The tripod comes with an integrated equatorial wedge. This makes the azimuthal bracket mounting an equatorial GoTo mount, as is needed for astro photography.

And all this for a fair price!

The Meade ETX-125 is a GoTo telescope. This means that it is equipped with computer control, which makes it possible for beginners to find and identify objects in the sky.

The telescope is controlled via the new AudioStar-Handbox:


With AudioStar, you can choose from 30,000 celestial objects. However, the control also suggests objects for watching. A special feature of AudioStar is the audio output. It provides interesting information about the chosen object – however, only in English.

The compact, robust and computer controlled Meade ETX-125 also convinces in its new design!



Impressions of Astroshop’s ScopeDome Construction in Koszalin, Poland

June 26 2017, Joshua Taboga

Astroshop was in Polen, to construct a ScopeDome observatory for the city of Koszalin.  The city observatory was the result of a citizen initiative.


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The 5.5 meter ScopeDome observatory houses a 16 inch GSO RC on a EQ 8.

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After finishing construction, the second phase started to install the primary instruments, as well as other equipment.


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The Observatory is regularly visited and provides astronomy enthusiasts a welcome and well-known point of contact in Koszalin and the broader region.

Work on the dome and continued use has been well documented on the organisation’s Facebook page.


Focusers: This is how you optimise your telescope on the accessories side

June 19 2017, Marcus Schenk

A focuser is most likely the component, that is used most frequently and intensively on a telescope. How often do you plug in eyepieces, adapters and cameras? Yes, a focuser has to cope with quite a lot. But is it of sufficient quality? Many telescopes are designed for a very reasonable price – this can then be noticed on the focuser. Optimising the focuser has a tremendous effect at this point.

Having a good look at your current focuser quickly reveals whether you can achieve even better results with your telescope.

An interesting question: What is the purpose of a high-quality, accurately moving focuser? What should it be able to do?


Five arguments for a good focuser

A focuser should

… be free of play.
You probably know this? You turn the focuser wheel, but the mechanical system rotates without any effect. And all of a sudden, it starts to move. On the one hand this is annoying, on the other hand it gives you the feeling of working with low-quality material.

…be free of any shifting.
You turn the focuser wheel, but Jupiter performs a rain dance and is jumping about in the eyepiece. Even worse in a camera. The object may even jump out of the field of view. Diagnosis: Shifting. This should be remedied as quickly as possible by using a good focuser.

…not bend when a camera is connected.
Unstable focusers sometimes lead to fatal results for your astro photographs. If the focuser tube bends, a photo may be sharp in one corner, but blurred in the other. Now, who wants such a result after an otherwise successful photo session. Further down, you find a list with a load capacity that specifies the maximum camera load, which should help to avoid such problems.

…have an accurate, fine focus adjustment.
Anyone enthusiastic about astro photography knows: Focusing the camera on an object in the sky is a challenge. This is much easier with a smooth running focuser or a 1:10 dual reduction. This allows you to adjust the focus in the range of tenths of a millimetre. This all to find the exact sharpness.

…not slip when using heavy accessories.
A heavy eyepiece may have a weight of up to 1 kg, camera equipment may even be heavier. In this case, it is an advantage to have a focuser that does not slip under a heavy weight.

Our product range includes some Omegon focusers, with which you can easily optimise your telescope and enhance its performance. For even more fun when star gazing. Especially the Omegon products of the series V-Power, Omegon Pro and the Omegon Hybrid Caryford Dual Speed are dedicated for these five wishes and fulfil them with high precision. The mentioned Omegon Hybrid Caryford Dual Speed has even been designed with a very low construction height. On very fast Newton systems, with e.g. f/5, one can reduce the vignetting and enhance the illumination.

You surely want to know whether the focuser matches your telescope. How high is the backfocus? What are the adapter measurements? How high is the load capacity of the focuser? This new list provides all information at a glance. You can immediately see, which focuser would suit you best.



CGX-L: The Large Version of the New Celestron Mount

June 12 2017, Stefan Taube

At the beginning of February, we introduced the latest development from Celestron: Celestron CGX. The CGX now has a big sister. The brand-new  CGX-L mount is able to carry 34 kilogrammes and thus almost 10 kilogrammes more than the CGX.

The large 14 inch optics can thus also be used with the new technology of the CGX-mounts:


The generously sized 144 millimetre worm gears are an important factor in increasing the load bearing capacity. They enable smooth running, even when carrying heavy telescopes. Apart from this, the dovetail clamps were extended to 270 millimetres, so that large telescopes are also securely held in place.

The illustration shows the mount head with the large worm gear and the toothed belt drive:


Another positive aspect: Additional AUX ports and the autoguider connection on the DEC-axis ensure a better cable management.

If you intend to use large optics with photo equipment, you need a heavy counter weight. With 31.5 millimetres in diameter, the counterweight shaft has been adequately dimensioned for carrying heavy loads.

Despite the increased load bearing capacity, the CGX-L is still portable. And not only the mount is able to carry higher loads: Celestron delivers the CGX-L with a steel tripod which has been considerably reinforced compared to the CGX. The tripod legs have a diameter of 70 millimetres!

The CGX-L is a universally usable mount, with hardly any limits: You may use it stationary in your garden observatory or transport it to telescope meetings or to your favourite observation location.

We offer the mounts CGX and CGX-L individually. With the dual saddle plate, you can combine these mounts with almost any optics system. But you can also decide on a complete telescope system consisting of mount and Schmidt-Cassegrain optics. You will find these product series under the two links CGX- telescopes and CGX-L telescopes.

No matter whether you decide for the CGX or directly for the larger sister CGX-L, you will receive a modern mount, which will set the standard for the next few years.


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