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Now available: face masks

May 18 2020, Marcus Schenk

The corona virus is regarded as a cause of the Covid-19 (SARS-Cov-2) disease. The recently-implemented mandatory wearing of face masks helps us to contain the virus. Therefore, we are offering you cotton or polyester non-medical face masks, and special respirators with KN95 filtering effect.

Mund- und Nasenmaske MYONE

Face masks from MYONE

 

Cotton face masks

Masketo’s washable fabric masks are black and are made of 100% cotton. This means: you can easily wash them in the washing machine at 60°C and reuse them. The nose clip can be adjusted as necessary, so you can be sure that the mask fits you perfectly. The big advantage over disposable paper masks: they save money, eliminate waste and most people find that breathing through a fabric mask is significantly more comfortable.

The masks from MYONE are also made of 100% cotton, are available in white, and are anatomically designed in sizes M and L. The advantage: they are just as comfortable as the Masketo black masks, however thanks to the design, a nose clip is not necessary. Therefore, you can also sterilize the mask in the microwave.

Note: These masks serve to reduce the risk of transmission in the environment through airborne infection. This is not a medical product within the definition of the MPG, and is not personal protective equipment (PPE).

Respirators with KN95 filtering effect

The respirators with the KN95 filtering effect  protect both you and your environment at the same time. According to Wikipedia, they are functionally equivalent to the FFP2 respirators, which are mostly reserved for medical staff. It’s just good to know you’re protected when you are out and about in public. Especially if you have contact with a lot of other people. This makes the KN95 masks great: because 95% of the particles greater than 0.3 μm are filtered.

Masks with astronomical designs

As a hobby astronomer or space fan you absolutely need something like this: face masks with astronomical designs. 

Although you could be mistaken: the name of the  “Corona Borealis” face masks has really nothing to do with the virus. It is the Latin name of the Northern Crown. The mask features the design of this beautiful constellation with its main star Alpha Coronae Borealis.

Good to know: Soon we will also be offering face masks with other attractive astronomical images.

Every purchase helps to save lives

Many countries have been badly hit by Covid-19, ventilation equipment and medical care is in short supply. How can we help? For every order we will forward EUR 1 to “Doctors Without Borders”. In the Corona crisis, the humanitarian organization fights against death and for life in more than 50 countries. Be a role model and join in: by purchasing a mask you are helping exactly the people who are desperate for your help.

Get your face mask. Now.

MiniTrack with Polar Wedge: Photos made even easier.

May 6 2020, Marcus Schenk

Have you spent months marvelling at the photos of the night sky which your MiniTrack produces? Or have you often caught yourself thinking that you would like to take photos like these?

Today we would like to show you a combination which helps to make everything function even better.

MiniTrack mit Polhöhenwiege

A sample set-up for more professional photos: The Omegon MiniTrack with a camera and polarscope on the new polar wedge.

 

Picture this: It is dark, you can only just make out the outline of your MiniTrack and are kneeling in front of your tripod in order to line it up. You could say it is a bit of a test of your patience. Finally, you have to align the ball-head with the celestial pole. Ugh. If that doesn’t make you sweat at minus 5 degrees, nothing will.
Is there a simpler way? With more precision? Perhaps like you are accustomed to on big mounts?

A clever idea: now also for the MiniTrack.

Whether you have a MiniTrack LX2, an LX3 or the North and South variant: When combined with the compact Omegon pole height cradle, alignment with the north celestial pole is even more precise. Using adjusting screws for the azimuth and the polar height, you can set the required angle to the precise degree. This means you can work with your MiniTrack as easily as with any large mount. Due to the more precise setting, you can achieve exposures with fewer errors. This is indeed a clever addition which has been long awaited by many people.

 

How do you assemble your MiniTrack?

It’s simple: the polar wedge attaches to your tripod via a 3/8” thread. An integrated spirit level shows you when you have reached a level setting. Simply secure your MiniTrack using a standard Vixen-style dovetail bar. Your mount is then assembled and subsequently can be stowed away again in seconds, as usual.
Do you have a different manufacturer’s model instead of a MiniTrack? Of course, you can also use a different travel mount on the polar wedge.

Are you also inspired by the idea of creating better shots with the help of your MiniTrack? Then take a look at the Omegon Polar Wedge.

It’s finally here! The Unistellar eVscope is now available.

April 24 2020, Elias Erdnüß

The Unistellar eVscope is a computer-assisted Newtonian telescope on an altazimuth GoTo mount.

 

After years of development, the eagerly-awaited eVscope from Unistellar, a French start-up company, is now finally in stock.  Until now it was only available to early supporters of the successful Kickstarter campaign, but now you can also buy it from Astroshop.

The eVscope simplifies the operation and extends the functionality of a classic telescope. It ensures that getting started in the fascinating hobby of astronomy is made as easy as possible.

Thanks to live stacking, the eVscope displays the structures and colours of nebulae and galaxies.

 

Unlike a classic telescope, the image is not generated directly, but instead is captured by a highly sensitive sensor. The image is then processed by an integrated computer, and projected through an eyepiece to the observer’s eye by means of a high-contrast OLED screen. The telescope can collect light over a long period of time (live stacking) and process the image in such a way that enables the structures and colours of faint nebulae and galaxies to be clearly visible! These details are usually not visible with purely optical telescopes of this size.

With an eVscope, a sensor takes an image of the night sky. This image can be viewed on a smartphone or via a live projection system using a high contrast OLED display.

 

In addition, the integrated computer makes operating the eVscope very easy: using visible stars the telescope calculates its exact position (plate solving). Then the built-in motors can accurately point to any selected observing target. Unlike conventional GoTo telescopes, you are spared the cumbersome input of GPS coordinates and the time, as well as star alignment which, for beginners, is thoroughly confusing. Simply switch on and get going!

You control the eVscope using a smartphone app. You can find more information here!

Gran Turismo GT 81: the high-end telescope from William Optics!

April 9 2020, Stefan Taube

The Gran Turismo 81 refractor is a triplet apochromat with a lens unit with FPL-53 glass from Ohara, Japan. This combination ensures maximum colour purity and high contrast! The GT81 is therefore a versatile refracting telescope which satisfies every requirement!

William Optics GT 81 Astroshop

Apochromat refractor AP 81/478 Gran Turismo GT 81 from William Optics.

Equipped with an optional diagonal mirror, with this apochromat you can observe the Moon and the planets in high contrast. This fast telescope also enables sustained observing of more difficult deep sky objects: star clusters, galaxies and nebulae. Thanks to needle-sharp star images, resolving and observing globular clusters becomes a particular pleasure.

For astrophotography, we recommend the field flattener and focal length reducer (flattener/reducer) Flat6AIII. With this, the telescope delivers a flat field with the same focal position, even for full-frame cameras. The Bahtinov mask integrated into the telescope body helps with precise focusing.

Using the dovetail plate integrated into the frame, you can equip your Gran Turismo with a finder scope or guiding scope.

The very robust and stable GT81-Apo is ideally suited for mobile astronomy and astro-photography. The tube weight of four kilograms is easily accommodated by medium-sized mounts. Take this apo with you to a dark sky and discover the best objects from the Messier and NGC catalogues. The GT81 from William Optics will be, after the Firstlight, your new favourite telescope!

High-quality canvas prints with astronomical themes

April 8 2020, Stefan Taube

We are offering you high-quality semi-gloss astronomical photographs printed onto canvas. The canvas is stretched onto a pine wood frame, which is equipped with sawtooth brackets, ready for hanging. Every picture is hand-finished and individually checked!

Die Andromedagalaxie auf Leinwand

The Andromeda galaxy on canvas

The pictures are all images created by the astrophotographer Boris Štromar. The following images are currently available:

Each image is available in three sizes.

Secure shipping: The pictures are individually shrink-wrapped and supplied with corner protectors.

Oklop_Leinwanddruck

The astronomical themes and high-quality prints ensure a pleasant ambience.

You can find more information and ordering options here at Astroshop.

 

Astronomy shirts: with these the stars look good on you.

April 3 2020, Marcus Schenk

Fashion and astronomy: do they go together? Amateur astronomers have always liked to show other people what excites them. You don’t even have to be inspired by nerds like Sheldon Cooper. Astro fans can do it alone. Do you love the Universe? Show it off with Omegon’s space shirts!

These black T-shirts are made of quality cotton and are comfortable to wear all day long. An elaborately-produced digital print ensures a stable motif and long-lasting fresh colours. Available in sizes M, L, XL, 2XL and 3XL and in regular or unisex fit. The T-shirts are designed and printed in the EU.

  1. Milky-Way

The Milky Way – our home. When you take a look at this shirt, you can immediately visualise where our solar system is located: on the edge of the Orion Arm in our galaxy.

Milky-Way-Shirt

The Milky Way shirt with the position of our solar system.

  1. Star chart

A view of the starry sky: where is the Big Dipper, where is the Summer Triangle? You will find it immediately on this star chart.

T-Shirt Sternenkarte

Star chart T-shirt: The starry sky all day long.

  1. Solar system

Our planets! How far away are they, how long does it take to orbit the Sun and how many moons does Jupiter have again? This T-shirt not only looks great, it is also very informative. A wearable infographic of the solar system.

Planeten T-Shirt

The T-shirt with lots of information about the planets.

4. The Dobsonian observer

Go on the look-out again, and enjoy observing galaxies and nebulae with your Dobsonian telescope. All you need is a telescope and the canopy of stars. A really special feeling.

T-Shirt Dobson

The T-shirt for Dobsonian observers.

  1. Meteor shower

A forest in darkness and shooting stars in the sky. A T-shirt for astronomers and anyone who wants to be a little closer to the stars.

Omegon-T-Shirt-Meteorshower.

Omegon T-shirt meteor shower

6. Astrophotography

A notebook, power and a telescope: who wouldn’t think that this is about astrophotographers. After all, the most beautiful images of the Universe are thanks to them. For anyone who likes to collect and capture photons with their telescope, this T-shirt is the garment of choice.

T-Shirt Astrofotografie

Our astrophotography T-shirt.

So which T-shirt will you wear at the next get-together with your astro-friends?

Two new ranges of binoculars: BD II XD and SV II

April 1 2020, Betty Lux

This year Kowa have, once again, come up with new ranges of binoculars. With immediate effect you can benefit from the further development of two well-known product families.

Demand a wider angle of view: Kowa BD II XD binoculars

What can simplify birdwatching and the next nature trip? Presumably this is the question the Kowa developers were asking themselves as they put together the BD II XD. The answer is clear: the 6.5×32 model offers an exceptional visual field of 10° with which you will be able to locate birds, animals and other targets much more easily, and observe them effortlessly. On top of that comes greater ease of use – the BD II XD range sits wonderfully in the hand and is compact – as well as special Kowa XD lenses. The advantage: the lens material is enriched with fluorite, a material which yet again hugely increases not just contrast, but also resolving power.

Kowa wide angle binocular BD II XD

However the BD II XD range is not just of interest to ornithologists and outdoor enthusiasts, but also for amateur astronomers. Thanks to the wide field of view and crystal clear imaging performance, you can conveniently and spectacularly enjoy the Moon, the planets and constellations.

Further development of the proven SV range: Kowa SV II binoculars

The Kowa SV range is well-known and tried and tested by birdwatchers. But Kowa is not resting on its laurels, but instead has once again significantly improved their ease of use. The SV II range now has a fresh, green, new look and has improved lens caps which cannot be so easily mislaid. The eyecups are robust, the focusing runs smoothly and is easy to operate.

Kowa bincular SV II

So all in all a real outdoors binocular that offers excellent value for money. This range also includes the KR coating developed by Kowa, which makes the binoculars ready for action in any weather, while ensuring that water or dirt can accumulate on the lenses.

We offer all new products and of course all the well-proven Kowa optics ranges. Click through our selection and you will quickly find the perfect pair of binoculars for you.

C/2019 Y4 ATLAS: A bright comet for the naked eye?

March 27 2020, Marcus Schenk

A yawning emptiness. No visitors.

For years, there has not been much going on in the vast expanses of the solar systems, just the planets continued their orbits around the sun.

However, the time for waiting has now passed.

We are being visited by a bright comet which could become a real highlight in April and May – maybe even for the naked eye.

It has the wonderful name of C/2019 Y4 ATLAS. Even now, it can be clearly seen with the telescope. During these times of corona, where we have to stay at home and go without social contact, this makes a welcome change. Keep your telescope at the ready because this could be really exciting!

Komet Y4 ATLAS

The C/2019 Y4 ATLAS comet, with its green coma, near the M81 and M82 galaxies on the 19th/20th March 2020. Photographed using a Canon 600Da – Canon EF 200mm f2.8 L – @f3.5 (step-down-ring as a front aperture), 76 x 2min -> 2h32min – ISO800, Vixen GP-DX – MGEN II. Editing and processing in DeepSkyStacker and Photoshop. Image author: Johannes Hildebrandt

The major comet of 2020?

Hawaii is home to the Asteroid Terrestrial impact Last Alert System, abbreviated to ATLAS. It scans the sky for near-earth objects, which could be of danger to the earth, and is designed to predict a possible impact. However, on the 28th December 2019, the robot-supported system discovered this comet on its way through our solar system. The astronomers observed that it is following a very similar orbit to that of the Great Comet of 1844 which, at that time, achieved a brightness of -1 mag. There has even been speculation that Y4 ATLAS might possibly be a fragment of the then tail-star and could achieve a similar brightness – this fact alone makes following the path of this comet exciting.

Can we expect to see something similar from the C/2019 Y4 ATLAS?

Strong increase in brightness until May

What is certain is that its brightness is rapidly increasing. At the time of its discovery in December, it was still unreachable at 19 mag. In the interim, however, it has been able to increase its brightness to about eight magnitudes. Overall, this is an increase of 25,000 times! However, it will get really interesting from now until the end of May, because it is continuously getting brighter – in fact, it has already exceeded the original expectations in this respect.

It is now entering our region from the outer planets. On the 24th May, it will race past the earth at a distance of 117 million kilometres away and, on the 31st May, it will reach its closest point to the sun – and this despite being within Mercury’s orbit. According to the forecasts, it may reach a brightness of 2 mag – this would not just make it visible with all types of binoculars, but also with the naked eye!

Really good for us, as inhabitants of the northern hemisphere, is the fact that the comet is almost ideally positioned.

We have already observed it…

During the last few days, some members of our team have already been able to observe the comet. I, too, used last weekend for observation. I was able to identify it immediately using my 12“ Taurus Dobson telescope  The diffuse spot stood out clearly from the surrounding stars. The coma appeared uniformly round with a brighter core area. At the edge of a small-town sky, and after observation with my SWA 32mm eyepiece I used a Nagler 11mm with an approx. 140-times magnification. The comet thereby gained even more contrast and stood out even better from the background of the sky. A fantastic experience! However, the comet could also be seen with the 20+40×100 Nightstar large binoculars.

Zeichnung von Komet C/2019 Y4 ATLAS

An image of the C/2019 Y4 ATLAS on the 22nd March 2020 which reflects the visual impression of the 12″ Dobson telescope. Marcus Schenk.

Where can you find the C/2019 Y4 ATLAS comet?

Not at the bottom of the horizon, but high up and circumpolar. This is a dream position for an observer! Our vagabond is currently travelling through the Great Bear which is luckily now high in the sky in spring – this means that you have a good opportunity to observe it using your telescope. If you are planning to acquire a telescope first, then now would be a good time.

In the months of April and May, the comet will be moving through the giraffe constellation and heading for Perseus. It will become significantly brighter but, with time, it will lose altitude. At this time, a rather dark place and a few clouds on the horizon become even more important. In these times of corona and strict curfews, I was happy to be able to observe the comet from my garden at its still high altitude.

But, how can one find the comet now?

You can find an up-to-date search map on skyhound.com, for example.

Or, there is an up-to-date map for the respective day at Theskylive.

Would you like to get an even better view of the comet? The Lumicon Comet Filter can help you to see both the coma and a possible gas-tail contrast-enhanced.

Will we be able to see the comet with the naked eye? Well, despite all the calculations and predictions, this is written in the stars. Let us hope for the best! In the meantime, why not enjoy the comet with your telescope or binoculars. After all, who knows how many years we will have to wait again for such a bright comet?

If you are looking for a telescope, accessories or binoculars, we are here for you (despite the intensified corona crisis in Bavaria) and can be reached by phone and email. Furthermore, our courageous colleagues from the shipping department are holding the fort and will immediately despatch your orders.

Now available: the new MGEN autoguider from Lacerta!

March 19 2020, Stefan Taube

An autoguider is a very important accessory when taking astronomy photos involving long exposure times. The autoguider is a tracking control device that ensures that the mount always keeps the telescope pointing as precisely as possible at the astronomical object desired. The autoguider images a bright star on a separate camera in order to achieve this. The autoguider then uses the apparent movement of this star to calculate the appropriate control movements for the mount.

Lacerta Stand Alone Autoguider MGEN Version 3

Lacerta MGEN Version 3 stand-alone autoguider

It is possible to use a simple planetary camera, a laptop and free software from the Internet for this type of tracking control. The MGEN autoguider from Lacerta has also proven itself to be excellent. But the great advantage of using the MGEN autoguider is that you don’t even need a laptop or PC; hence the term ‘stand-alone’ autoguider. In particular, this type of stand-alone solution makes astrophotography with SLR cameras much easier, as you do not need a laptop when using this type of camera.

The MGEN autoguider also comes supplied with a matching camera and already has all the necessary software – simpler autoguiding is just not possible! Another great advantage is that the MGEN autoguider does not just use a single star for the tracking control, but several. This has the effect of increasing accuracy considerably! The following graphic comes from a test by the manufacturer and illustrates the higher precision you achieve with multi-star guiding:

Durch das Multistar Guiding ist die Nachführkontrolle unabhängig vom Seeing.

Multi-star guiding also means that tracking control is less dependent on the seeing.

The new version MGEN-3 autoguider offers many other improvements:

  • improved hardware allows the new, self-learning, AI multi-star guiding.
  • the large colour display makes operation easier.
  • the new quick-start function allows guiding to commence at the push of a button!
  • polar alignment using the digital Scheiner method.
  • power supply via USB (5V), only 1.2 watts.

This is, however, just a small selection. You can find the entire list of advantages on the Lacerta MGEN Version 3 stand-alone autoguider webpage.

Omegon wide-field binoculars: 30 Euro discount on the super eye

March 13 2020, Marcus Schenk

The wide-field binoculars are a compact tool for observing the star field. You can use it to observe stars, constellations or the Milky Way. However, not as with classic binoculars, but as if your eyes were significantly more sensitive and stronger. Or as if you suddenly had a super eye.

Sternfeldglas

Wide-field binoculars 2,1×42

Now cheaper
Get the Omegon binoculars 2.1×42 for star field observation now at an especially favorable price, because we have reduced it from 179,- to 149,-. You save 30,- Euro compared to the normal price.

Imagine that you see as many stars from the city as you do in the country. Imagine that on a warm evening in the Milky Way you see star clusters and large nebulae. And all this with a tool that looks like stargazing glasses and not binoculars. You may gaze at the starry sky again. This is the Omegon wide-field binoculars.

The advantages at a glance:
– Like glasses with which you look at the starry sky.

– Extremely bright: 42mm opening and 2.1x magnification.

– Wide range of vision: Observe complete constellations in one field of view.

– See significantly more stars than with the naked eye – even with light pollution.

– Pleasant view, even with glasses.

Enjoy the fantastic views of the starry sky with the wide-field binoculars.

27.05.2020
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