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Now in stock: The Vaonis STELLINA smart telescope!

November 6 2019, Elias Erdnüß

Vaonis STELLINA: innovative control, top-quality design, high-tech

Observing the starry sky through a telescope is an unmatchable experience. However, observing some targets can be an anti-climax or even a disappointment: faint nebulae and galaxies are often only visible as shadowy undefined spots of light.

Beautiful details and colours are usually only possible with the help of astrophotography, where the light captured by the telescope is collected and accumulated over long periods of time, creating stunning images of these faint deep sky objects.

Astrophotography however is a hobby with an extremely steep learning curve. For a beginner it can be many months before the first beautiful picture is produced. Even after mastering the first steps in astrophotography, it takes many hours of processing the images before the nebula or galaxy is revealed in all its beauty.

The fully automatic STELLINA smart telescope from the French start-up company  Vaonis  promises to combine the advantages of astrophotography with the direct experience of live observing. This is done in as user-friendly a way as possible since the telescope has no eyepiece, but instead has an integrated camera. This means that images are continually being collected and processed. Using a smartphone or tablet you can watch live as, over the course of a few minutes, more and more details of the target become visible.

The control and operation of the telescope is revolutionary and simple. At the push of a button, STELLINA orients itself completely independently using visible stars. The desired observing target is then selected using a smartphone or tablet. The telescope travels to the correct location in the sky – that’s it!

M83, the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy – with STELLINA, details and colours are clearly visible in the spiral arms.

Of course we at Astroshop were also curious whether  STELLINA  actually keeps its promises. Luckily, we have already been able to test it. As a matter of fact, we have never seen a GoTo telescope that can be controlled so intuitively and easily without prior experience. Even after a short time, the resulting pictures show an incredible amount of detail compared to what is expected from a conventional telescope. Although the quality of the images is not quite comparable to those from a professional astrophotographer, (here an automatic process can’t yet replace the expert), the images are almost immediately visible, not only after hours of processing. Therefore STELLINA is perfect for shared observing with friends and acquaintances.

Until now this telescope was only available by pre-order. From now on  Vaonis STELLINA is in stock and directly available. The ideal high-end Christmas gift!

New Starquest Telescope from Skywatcher

October 30 2019, Stefan Taube

Skywatcher’s new Starquest telescopes combine small optics with a lightweight equatorial mount in a new design. A lightweight aluminium tripod with a storage shelf is also included, the perfect telescope for easy transportation and a quick view of the sky.

Skywatcher Newton 130/650 Starquest EQ

Skywatcher Newton 130/650 Starquest EQ

The high-quality Starquest mount contains a worm gear with 122 teeth on each axis. This ensures high stability and sensitive manual tracking with the easy-to-use flexible shafts – even beginners can easily cope.

The correct telescope to choose from depends on your preferred application:

  • The refractor AC 102/500 shows large sections of the sky. Large objects such as nebulae, open star clusters or comets can be observed with it.
  • The Maksutov MC 102/1300 is particularly compact. Despite its small size, this telescope has a very long focal length. It allows high levels of magnification, and is a real specialist for the Moon and planets – but also planetary nebulae and double stars can easily be observed with the Maksutov. With this selection of potential objects and the rear-facing lens position, the Maksutov is ideal for the balcony observatory in light-polluted cities. Another advantage is the closed optical tube: the mirror cannot become contaminated.
  • The Newton 130/650 telescope is the best compromise. It has the widest aperture and therefore collects most light. Even faint nebulae can still be identified. The Newton telescope is also particularly inexpensive due to its design. However the relatively long tube has the greatest lever effect on the mount.

More information and all the models can be found here in Astroshop.

Mercury transit 2019: these products will turn the transit into an experience

October 11 2019, Marcus Schenk

We only see a Mercury transit every 3.5 to 13 years. On 11 November 2019 this rare event will take place once more. An inferior conjunction occurs as Mercury crosses in front of the Sun and we can observe this in broad daylight. Don’t miss the astronomical highlight of the year! But what do you need to observe it? With the following products you will be well prepared for a successful sighting.

Warning: never look directly at the Sun without a suitable filter. A solar filter is always required for observing.

Solar filter film  

The Baader AstroSolar solar filter film is available in various sizes, it is effective and very good value. Use the film to make your own solar filter which you can then attach to the front of your telescope.

AstroSolar-Sonnenfolie

The AstroSolar solar filter in 210 x 297mm format

 

Mounted solar filter

Is do-it-yourself not really your thing? Then a ready-mounted filter is the perfect solution for you. The Omegon filters for smaller telescopes or the Baader ASTF filters are good value and are available for many sizes of telescopes. You simply choose the diameter that suits your telescope and attach the filter to the front of your telescope. Before long you will be safely looking at the Sun and discovering sunspots – and of course Mercury.

Tip: to be certain which filter will fit your telescope, measure the outer diameter of your tube before making your selection.

Omegon-Sonnenfilter

Omegon solar filter mounted on a photoscope

Solar filter for binoculars and cameras

You can also follow the Mercury transit with binoculars. Just by attaching two normal solar filters? This works particularly well with the AstroSolar binocular filter.  They are laterally cut in such a way that they don’t make contact even with objective lenses that are very close together. This is also an advantage for DSLR cameras: the flattened filter edges makes it possible to attach a camera flush to a telescope or a mounting plate.

ASBF-Filter

ASBF filter for binoculars and cameras

Herschel wedge

Even more contrast is on offer from the professional for solar observing: a Herschel wedge. Combined with a ND3.0 filter it can be connected to a refracting telescope. The advantage: you see the Sun in front of a black background, and the granulation and sunspots appear in unimagined levels of detail.

 Herschelkeil

A Herschel wedge offers a beautiful picture of the Sun with a refractor

H-alpha telescope

You will experience a bit of the action when  observing the Sun in H-alpha light. In a very narrow, deep-red band with a wavelength of 656nm you can observe a very active Sun. Prominences flare millions of kilometers into space and are changing rapidly. Even when you see no sunspots on the Sun, there is almost always something to see.

H-alpha-Sonnentelekop

H-alpha solar telescope from Coronado

Mercury transit T-Shirt

For huge fans of astronomy: show your passion for astronomy with the new Mercury transit T-shirt. It shows the progress of the transit with all the important information and timings. So anyone can look to see when Mercury will appear in front of the Sun, or how long we still need to wait until the next transit.

Omegon-T-Shirt-Merkurtransit

Omegon Mercury transit T-shirt

Smartphone adapter

Photographing the Sun swiftly and simply: with a smartphone adapter you can quickly take beautiful pictures of the Mercury transit. It works really well with small telescopes. Simply attach the Omegon smartphone adapter to your eyepiece, and soon you will be capturing these astronomical moments for ever.

Omegon-Easypic-Universal-Smartphone-Adapter

Omegon Easypic universal smartphone adapter

Omegon 70/400 Backpack with solar filter

If you are looking for a small travel solar telescope, then the Omegon Backpack 70/400 AZ is perfect. The set includes a finder scope, mirror star-diagonal, eyepieces and of course the appropriate solar filter. You get all of this together in a practical rucksack.

Omegon-Teleskop-AC-70-400-Solar-BackPack

Omegon AC-70-400 Backpack solar telescope

The Sun on your neck

When observing the Sun for hours on end you need to take precautions against sunburn. A normal hat only protects the scalp. But when you are bending forward and observing through an eyepiece then your neck is exposed to the Sun. Lunt offers appropriate protection against this: a sun hat with neck protection.

Sonnenhut-mit-Nackenschutz

Sun hat with neck protection

Finding the Sun made easy

Sometimes its hard to believe how hard it can be to find the Sun with a telescope without spending a lot of time searching for it. Finding it is much easier with the Geoptik 1.25’’ solar finder.

Simply attach the sun finder to your focuser and right away you can centre the Sun over your mount’s axes. The Euro EMC solar finder offers an alternative way of finding the Sun. It consists of a pinhole and a small screen onto which a small image of the sun is projected. Simply attach the finder to your tube using the Velcro straps included.

Geoptik Sonnensucher

Geoptik solar finder

Equipped with these you’ll be well prepared for the Mercury transit.

Special offer: Vixen binocular telescope BT-81S-A complete package!

October 9 2019, Stefan Taube

Binoculars are often underrated as instruments for astronomy. Yet the view of the night sky through large-aperture binoculars is a unique experience!

Binocular viewing supports our natural stereoscopic vision. It allows especially relaxed observing and offers a 3D effect that can only be achieved with a telescope by using a binocular viewer accessory.

Vixen BT 81S

Vixen BT-81S-A binocular telescope set

Compared to telescopes, binoculars have a larger field of view at lower levels of magnification. Therefore they are especially suited to observing star fields, open star clusters, dark nebulae and comets.

For many years Vixen, the Japanese manufacturer, has been offering an interesting range of astronomical binoculars with their BT series. Right now we are offering you the BT-81S-A as a complete package for a special price: you get the binoculars including a tripod, mount and eyepiece now for just EUR 1,699. You save EUR 200 compared to the manufacturer’s recommended price!

The BT-81S-A has two achromatic lenses with magnesium fluoride coatings. The colour-corrected fast lenses, with a focal ratio of f/6, combined with the special fork mount, allow an expansive visual stroll across the night sky which is truly addictive!

With an 81mm aperture, the BT-81S-A is among the smaller large-aperture binoculars. But in return it is easily portable, weighing 4 kilograms and being 480 millimetres long.

You can find more information and ordering options here in the Astroshop.

Celestron RASA Astrographs: Telescopes for Astrophotography

September 20 2019, Stefan Taube

The RASA range of telescopes were developed specifically and exclusively for astrophotography. They are very fast; with a focal length of f/2 they take pictures twenty times faster than a Schmidt-Cassegrain lens at f/10! Because of this a tracking control is not required, and generally fewer demands are placed on the mount!

The RASA 1100 model with a 279 millimetre aperture has already been on the market for some time, and Celestron is now also offering a smaller version, the RASA 800, with a 203 millimetre aperture.

Celestron Astrograph S 203/400 RASA 800

Celestron Astrograph S 203/400 RASA 800

This optical system is also within reach of smaller budgets with the RASA 800, particularly since it can be used with a smaller mount. The illustration above shows the RASA 800 with the AVX mount. This astrograph is optimised for astrophotography cameras with a 22 millimetre field diagonal. The larger RASA 1100 is the better choice for those who prefer to use a DLSR for their photography.

The abbreviation RASA stands for the developers’ names: Rowe-Ackermann-Schmidt-Astrograph. It is basically a normal, routinely-produced Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain instrument; that is with a spherical primary mirror in front of which is a corrector plate invented by Bernhard Schmidt. Instead of using a secondary mirror to direct the light path towards the Cassegrain focus at the end of the telescope, the camera sensor is incorporated in the prime focus. A corrector assembly comprising four lenses made of especially high-quality glass ensures optimal illumination.

Die RASA-Optik von Celestron

The RASA telescope from Celestron

As the term astrograph implies, RASA telescopes are designed exclusively for photography. There is no option to use an eyepiece. But if you are an amateur astronomer who specialises in astrophotography, you will not see this as a disadvantage, instead you will quickly learn to appreciate the advantages of the RASA telescopes.

Infographic: The Astronomy Highlights of Autumn 2019

September 2 2019, Marcus Schenk

 

In the next three months, from September to November, there are once again some great observing opportunities that we should not miss. A special event is fast approaching: the very rare transit of Mercury across the Sun. But there are also other smaller events to be seen.

The new astronomical infographic “Astronomy Highlights in Autumn 2019” offers you a quick graphical overview. This will keep you up to date and let you know what is happening in the sky.

September:

1 September: Alpha Aurigids

The Alpha Aurigids are a fast meteor shower moving at a speed of 65 km/s, which originated from the comet Kiess C/1911. At their peak on 1 September, around six meteors per hour are visible. The radiant, that is the place from which the meteors appear to originate, lies in the constellation Auriga below the star Capella.

6 September: The Moon meets Jupiter

At a distance of just under 5° the Moon is approaching Jupiter this evening. At dusk we see them as bright objects that are close to one another.

8 September: The Moon meets Saturn

While the Moon was seen near Jupiter two days ago, it is today visiting the ringed planet Saturn. Both celestial bodies approach one another at a distance of 1.5°.

9 September: The Moon’s Golden Handle

This evening we experience the Moon’s golden handle. A fairly rare event that can only be seen during a Moon phase of 83%. We can then discover a closed semicircle of golden light on the dark side of the Moon’s boundary between light and shadow. The reason for this: we are looking at Mare Imbrium and Sinus Iridum crater, which is surrounded by the Montes Jura range. While the crater is still lying in darkness, the Sun rises over the mountain peaks and we see the famous handle.

10 September: Neptune in opposition

Neptune is one of the outlying gas giants of our solar system. At a distance of 4.5 billion kilometres, it takes 165 years to orbit the Sun. Its light is en route for 4 hours and 10 minutes before it arrives at the Earth. During its opposition it is particularly easy to see in Aquarius. At 1am it reaches its highest point, around 36° above the horizon.

20 September: The Moon meets Aldebaran

The waning Moon, which is 72% illuminated, meets Aldebaran, the main star of Taurus, during the night of September 20. Aldebaran is a red giant, a star that has reached the last phase of its life. It shines 150 times brighter than the Sun and is so large that if it were to replace of the Sun it would reach as far as Mercury.

October

3 October: The Moon meets Jupiter

An especially pretty sight awaits us this evening: the Moon meets up with bright Jupiter. This impressive conjunction is worth observing, especially as dusk begins.

5 October: The Moon meets Saturn

In the early evening in Sagittarius, just above the horizon, today you can see a conjunction of Saturn and the Moon.

9 October: The October Draconids

Shooting stars appear to be falling from the constellation Draco on 9 October: this is the Draconids meteor shower. As they dart across the sky they are a fascinating spectacle, even for amateur astronomers. The radiant is located near the star Draconis. Draco is a circumpolar constellation, therefore the radiant lies at an optimal visible altitude in the evening sky.

12 October: Amphitrite in opposition

Amphitrite is a sea goddess in Greek mythology and is married to Poseidon. In the sky, however, Amphitrite is an asteroid of the main asteroid belt, which is now in opposition. It is 211 million kilometres away from Earth. It is currently in Pisces below the constellation Andromeda.

17 October: The Moon meets the Hyades

The Hyades open star cluster is very old at 600 million years and forms a V-shape with its brightest stars. The Moon visits the cluster tonight. By the way: the star Aldebaran does not belong to the Hyades.

20 October: Mercury’s greatest eastern elongation

Mercury is at its greatest elongation angle of 24°, but we still don’t see it in the evening sky.

21 October: Orionids

The Orionids are a smaller meteor shower with an activity of about 25 meteors per hour. The radiant is located in the constellation Orion near the star Betelgeuse. Although you can watch the shooting stars all month long, the peak is seen between 20 and 21 October.

23 October: The Moon meets Regulus

Today the slender crescent moon can be found at a distance of around 10 degrees from Regulus, the main star in Leo.

28 October: Uranus in opposition

Now there is another opportunity to take a look at distant Uranus: it can be seen all night during its opposition. With a brightness of 5.6 mag. you can see it with binoculars alone, but it is only recognisable as a planet using a telescope. You will find it in the constellation Aries. To find it draw a line from the bright star β Ari to the just 4.3 mag. dim star ξ1 Cet in the constellation Cetus. At the start of the last third of the line to ξ1 Cet, you will find the planet.

31 October: The Moon meets Jupiter

Tonight we see a slender and only 15% illuminated crescent Moon directly next to Jupiter.

November

2 November: The Moon meets Saturn and Jupiter

This evening we see a nice conjunction of the Moon, Saturn and Jupiter on the southwestern horizon.

6 November: Taurids

The Taurids are a two-part meteor shower with just 10 meteors per hour expected. What is much more interesting is that some bright fireballs may also be visible.

11 November: Mercury Transit

It only happens every 13 years: Mercury passes across the solar disc and we can follow this transit live through a telescope. It starts at 13:35 CET, the 2nd contact is at 13:37 CET, the middle at 16:19 CET, the 3rd contact 19:02 CET, finishing at 19:04 CET. Unfortunately we can only observe half of the transit because the Sun would have already disappeared under the horizon. Attention! Always use a suitable solar filter for your observation! Never observe the Sun without one! Observation without a special solar filter is dangerous and will lead to severe retinal damage. Let us advise you.

14 November: Asteroid Vesta in opposition

The asteroid Vesta belongs to the main asteroid belt and was one of the first bodies of its kind to be discovered. After Pallas, it is one of the largest asteroids with a diameter of 516 kilometres. On 14 November Vesta reaches a brightness of 6.5 mag. and so you can find and observe it with any telescope. It is currently in the constellation Cetus. You can find it relatively easily by extending a line from o Tau (in Taurus) about 2 degrees to the west. A star atlas is useful here.

17 November: Leonids

On 17 November the Leonids reach their peak. In addition to the Perseids, they are amongst the most famous meteor showers. There have been years when these meteors fell like raindrops from the sky. This usually happens every 33 years when the Earth collides with the Leonid cloud.

In normal years, the shower reaches a peak of no more than 20 meteors per hour. This year the rate of occurrence is a little lower, with 15 meteors per hour expected.

24 November: Jupiter meets Venus and the Moon meets Mars

In the last days of November there are two conjunctions: the Moon and Mars, and Jupiter and Venus.

In the early morning of the 24th we see a delicate crescent moon, Mars and, a little further below, Mercury. Then the following evening, in the very early twilight, there is a beautiful view of Jupiter and Venus.

28 November: Mercury’s greatest western elongation

Mercury reaches the best morning visibility of the year from 28 November at its greatest western elongation, now it has an angular separation from the Sun of 20 degrees. Through a telescope Mercury appears half-illuminated.

Swarovski Optik spotting scope promotion: Get a tripod head for free when you buy a 4-piece spotting scope package!

August 1 2019, Betty Lux

The purchase of a new ATX/ STX/ BTX spotting scope system is now particularly worthwhile. Because when you buy a 4-piece set of spotting scopes, you also get a tripod head for free. You can choose between the CTH compact tripod head or the PTH professional tripod head.

Swarovski Optik spotting scope promotion

This is how it works:

First choose your spotting scope set consisting of an objective lens and an eyepiece module. You can choose from the ATX-Series as well as the STX or BTX-Series. It doesn’t matter which model you prefer, the 65, 85 or 95.

The ATX/STX/BTX spotting scope series are a very good option for observers looking for a spotting scope that not only offers excellent image quality and maximum ease of use, but also maximum flexibility. As a result of the modular design, the objective modules and eyepiece modules can be combined with each other as needed and thus customised to the most wide-ranging requirements. We will be glad to assist you!

Swarovski Optik special offer package Spotting scope STX 30-70×95 with PCT tripod and BR Balance Rail + tripod head

Next, select your preferred Swarovski tripod, either the CCT compact carbon tripod or the PCT professional carbon tripod.

The leg segments of the Swarovski tripods are made of high-quality six-layer carbon fibre. The highest quality workmanship and the well thought-out design ensure stability when panning, turning and observing.

For accessories you can choose between the BR balance rail and the new VPA Variable Phone Adapter.

The BR balance rail matches perfectly with the ATX/STX/BTX series spotting scopes and can be individually adjusted. Two support points ensure a stable equilibrium and perfect stability.

Perfect for digi-scopers: with the VPA Variable Phone Adapter, your smartphone can connect to the Swarovski Optik spotting scope in no time at all to capture your unique observations.

Once you have chosen four components, Swarovski will send you the matching tripod head for free! Not only can you own a perfectly-matched complete package, you can also save money! When ordering, please indicate in the comment field which tripod head you have chosen.

The Swarovski tripod heads have been specially developed for extended observing. The integrated fluid bearing ensures smooth movements without tilting forwards or backwards thanks to the Counter Balance System.

Our example of a possible combination would be the spotting scope STX 30-70×95 with PCT tripod and BR Balance Rail. With this we would recommend the PTH tripod head, which completes your package.

Take advantage ofthis opportunity: only valid for new orders until 31 December 2019!

Infographic: 50th anniversary of the Moonlanding

July 19 2019, Marcus Schenk

moonlanding infographic

50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing: limited edition T-shirt

July 15 2019, Marcus Schenk

We at Astroshop.de are thrilled – a special anniversary is just around the corner, which no amateur astronomer can miss!

Fifty years ago NASA wrote world history! On 20 July 1969 the first humans landed on the Moon during the Apollo 11 mission.

Although under risky and dangerous circumstances, it worked out: Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took the first Moon walk and more than 600 million people followed them live in front of their television sets.

Our T-shirt: All the landing sites at a glance

Celebrate fifty years anniversary of the Moon landing with us and show that you are a fan too.  We now offer the new Apollo T-shirt in different sizes, in a very high quality, limited-edition, digital print.

moonlanding t-shirt

What can you see on the T-shirt?

On the front, the T-shirt features an accurate graphical image of the Moon. It also shows you the exact landing sites of the Apollo missions together with their dates. On the back you will find an image of Earth rising above the lunar surface. When the Apollo 8 astronauts happened to see the Earth rise, they captured this magical moment for all of humanity. The photo called “Earthrise” is one of the most iconic images ever shot.

This Apollo Moon T-shirt is only available in limited quantities. Order your Moon T-Shirt now!

Bushnell Spectator Sport Binoculars in the latest edition of Trekking Magazine

July 5 2019, Betty Lux

In the July edition of the Trekking Magazine you can get your money’s worth from the great outdoors. In the product review various brands of binoculars in different price ranges were presented, among them the Bushnell Spectator Sport 8×25.

Enjoy the magic of nature in close-up

What is the most important consideration when buying binoculars specifically for hiking, travel, and outdoor activities? The answer is really simple: they must be low weight. No-one wants heavy binoculars hanging from their neck for hours at a time. The Bushnell Spectator Sport PermaFocus 8×25 is a real lightweight, weighing just 304 grams. Anyone who thinks that this must compromise quality is mistaken; as is typical for Bushnell, all the latest innovations are on board. This includes multiple layers of coatings on the lens surfaces along with being nitrogen-purged to ensure no fogging due to temperature changes. This can happen anytime when hiking in the mountains, as all experienced hikers know only too well. The best feature: the built-in PermaFocus eliminates the need to continually adjust the focus – ensuring that you can immediately enjoy every precious moment of your tour.

Bushnell Spectator Sport Binoculars 8×25 PermaFocus

The Bushnell Spectator Sport with PermaFocus also comes in other sizes and objective lens diameters. All the binoculars that we recommend for travel or hiking can be found here. Take advantage of our wide range with many products in stock to find your new hiking binoculars.

14.11.2019
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