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Archive for the 'New Products' category

Compact and smart: The new mount AZ-GTi from Skywatcher

October 20 2017, Stefan Taube

Astronomy with a smartphone:

It all began with telescopes of the series Nexstar Evolution: Celestron equipped this series with WIFI, so that they can be controlled via mobile units by using the SkyPortal app.

The graphic user interface offers many possibilities and can be intuitively controlled. The omission of a hand controller is another benefit of controlling the system via an app. This way one needs only a limited amount of equipment.

Now available: The new AZ-GTi from Skywatcher:

The mount AZ-GTi GoTo WiFi from Skywatcher is completely new. It carries telescopes with a weight of up to 5 kilogrammes, which can be directed to almost 10,000 sky objects via a smartphone using the SynScan app.

AZ-GTi

With this GoTo control even beginners will easily find their way around the sky. The mount not only swings the telescope to the desired object, but also keeps on tracking, keeping the object in the eyepiece, despite the earth’s rotation.

The mount AZ-GTi is an azimuthal mount, which, in contrast to an equatorial mounting does not permit astrophotography with longer exposure times. However, azimuthal mounts are smaller, lighter and ready more quickly for use than equatorial mounts.

Skywatcher AZ-GTi telescopes:

Skywatcher currently offers the AZ-GTi in three sets. The most inexpensive set is the Explorer-130PS AZ-GTi. Here you can obtain the mount with a Newton telescope and an aperture of 130 millimetres. The combination is not only more reasonable in price, but also has the biggest mirror optics and thus the highest light gathering capacity.

The combination with the 127mm Maksutov is also very interesting: SkyMax-127 AZ-GTi GoTo WiFi. Despite its high focal length, the Maksutov still has a short tube and, as a closed system, is almost indestructible.

An app for the mobile unit offers more possibilities than a hand controller, and the smartphone is always close at hand. Controlling the system via smartphone makes sense especially for small mounts.

Photos taken of the sun in H-Alpha light with the filter QUARK and the new ToupTek camera.

October 13 2017, Stefan Taube

Our Spanish Colleague Carlos Malagon has a clear view of our day star almost every day. He sent us this image of the sun he had taken with the new camera EP3CMOS02300KMC from ToupTek:

H-Alpha-Sonne

The image shows the chromosphere of the sun: This is a part of the sun’s atmosphere above the photosphere, appearing in light with a wavelength of 656 nanometres. This wavelength is also referred to as H-Alpha. It represents a certain excitement condition of the hydrogen atoms in the sun’s atmosphere. At the edge of the sun you see a very nice protuberance.

Besides the camera from ToupTek Carlos Malagon used the H-Alpha filter QUARK from DayStar and the Omegon Pro Apo 80/500 on the mount SkyWatcher Star Adventurer.

This small mount is ideal for travelling. It carries a camera with small optics and tracks it parallel to the rotation of the sky. The Star Adventurer can be screwed on any photo tripod. For this purpose, Carlos Malagon used the Omegon aluminium tripod Titania 500. The photo below shows the complete equipment.

Carlos_Ausrüstung

By the way: Since the sun filter QUARK can simply be inserted into the eyepiece holder between camera and telescope, it can also be quickly removed. The easy to handle equipment can then be simply used to take photos of the night sky.

New telescopes from Omegon: On the right track with Advanced X and ProDob Dobson

October 6 2017, Stefan Taube

The new Omegon telescopes are impressive instruments for any visual stargazer. With the Advanced X and ProDob Dobsonian telescopes, gazing at planets, nebulae and galaxies becomes a lot of fun. Just as with other equipment? No. Because these telescopes are in many ways a lot better than other Dobson telescopes.

Both new series are equipped with a particularly good mirror with up to 94% reflection for bright images. And with a fan which allows you to start observing even earlier.

The Dobson telescopes from Omegon consist of only two parts. Even if you have a stressful day and little time, these telescopes will provide you with many pleasant stargazing hours. Because set up only takes a few minutes, you can start stargazing almost instantaneously. And all this for a lower price than comparable models on an equatorial mount.

Omegon now offers two new Dobson series – in excellent workmanship.

Omegon Dobson telescope Advanced X

A fast telescope for easy observation of planets, star clusters, nebulae and galaxies. Excellent workmanship, consisting of only two parts and very easy to operate. Suitable for any Astro beginner, because no axes need to be aligned. A simple principle: Set up and watch.

  • Teflon pads in height and azimuth axis
  • Primary mirror with 94% mirror coating
  • Primary mirror fan
  • 2” Crayford focuser
  • 8×50 finderOmegon Dobson Teleskop Advanced X

Omegon Dobson telescope ProDob

To make sure that you always stay on track when observing!

Omegon Pro Dobson telescopes for successful stargazing nights.

The new friction system makes the exact alignment and tracking of sky objects an even simpler task. The axes run in needle bearings in azimuth and ball bearings in the height axis, instead of Teflon pads.

This allows even lighter navigation of the telescope and extremely soft following of your movements. Keep celestial objects in your field of view, even with high magnification. An unbeatable advantage! For this purpose the range of high-quality accessories includes: e.g. the Omegon SWA 32mm eyepiece. It is of a much better quality than many other eyepieces, which are normally part of the scope of delivery of other telescopes. Our customers’ reviews: “Super!”, “Simply high-class.” or “[…] just perfect and good”.

 

  • Friction system: ultra-soft and precise movement
  • Needle bearings: soft and exact movement in azimuth – even with just one finger
  • Primary mirror with 94% mirror coating
  • Primary mirror fan: quicker cooling, ready faster for stargazing
  • Red dot finder Deluxe, premium eyepiece 2” SWA 32mmOmegon Dobson Teleskop ProDob

No matter whether you’re a beginner or an advanced stargazer: With an Omegon Dobson under the dark sky, you will experience everything the universe has to offer. If you are looking for a telescope for visual observations you should buy a Omegon Advanced X or ProDob telescope.

Skywatcher AZ-5: The new azimuthal mount for small optics

September 29 2017, Stefan Taube

A small all-around mount for nature observations and star gazing. It does not always have to be the biggest telescope, many times you just want to have a glance at the Moon, planets or the Milky Way. For this purpose, the new mount AZ-5 Deluxe from Skywatcher is just ideal!

Skywatcher Montierung AZ-5 Deluxe mit Stativ

This mount is able to carry optics of up to five kilogrammes, whereby the standardised prism rail connection also accepts telescopes from manufacturers other than Skywatcher. With an optionally available L-holder one can also connect binoculars or a spotting scope with a camera screw.

The AZ-5 Deluxe is equipped with a friction clutch for quick adjustment of the desired object: Simply apply slight pressure to the tube to move the optics to the right direction. Sensitive fine tuning and tracking is then accomplished via two flexible shafts. The mount and optics rest on a sturdy aluminium tripod.

The mount can also be used for nature observations. The fork arm can be adjusted in various positions, so that looking down into a valley is also possible.

Skywatcher also offers the AZ-5 Deluxe in a set with different optics. We would like to briefly introduce these sets:

Explorer_130

The Explorer-130PS AZ-5 is a Newton telescope. Telescopes of this design offer the largest aperture for your money. They gather more light from faint star clusters and galaxies than other telescopes of the same price range.

This telescope in combination with the mount is well suited for beginners who would just like to watch, but not take any photos, and who are looking for a simple instrument for occasional observing sessions on the balcony.

Startravel-102

The name Startravel-102 AZ-5 stands for an achromatic refractor. This optical system is slightly more expensive than the Newton, but has some advantages. The refractor provides sharper images, because it has no secondary mirror in the optical path.

Even experienced stargazers may have lots of fun with this instrument, because it is very quickly set up for use and then enables the observation of large sky fields (“Rich field”) and comets. Equipped with a 45°-Amici-Prism, it is well suited for nature observations.

Skymax-127

The Maksutov Skymax-127 AZ-5 has been a very popular instrument for many years. With its large focal length, it brings the Moon, planets or other objects very close, even on a bright day, with sharp contours.

In combination with a motorised mount, this telescope’s optics are highly suitable for photographic purposes. Looking at it this way, the set Skymax-127 AZ-5 is an investment in the future or a supplement, if you already have an astronomical mount, but would additionally like to have a light AZ-mount and Maksutov optics.

 

 

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!

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.

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!

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

 

Astrel-Kamera

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

Alccd-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

 

DuoScope

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.

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!

ETX125

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:

AudioStar

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!

 

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:

CGX-L-1400

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:

CGX-L-Antrieb

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.

20.10.2017
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