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Stefan Taube

Stefan Taube

Posts composed by Stefan Taube

Now available: the GreenLine roll-off roof observatory from DomeParts!

May 21 2019, Stefan Taube

We are pleased to offer the roll-off roof observatory GreenLine from DomeParts GmbH – now available at a great price. You can now realise your dream of having your own very own garden observatory. It’s also perfect for astronomy clubs.

The Greenline roll-off roof observatory is available in three sizes:

The larger size GreenLine Plus is perfect for astronomical organisations.

DomeParts GreenLine

A GreenLine observatory in the exhibition area of the astronomy fair AME.

The advantages of a roll-off roof observatory compared to a classic dome observatory are clear:

  • The observatory looks like a typical garden shed and so blends in perfectly in any domestic setting. The wooden GreenLine is not only well-designed, but looks great too.
  • The roof can be fully retracted giving you an unobstructed view of the sky in every direction.
  • The inside of the cabin adjusts quickly to the ambient temperature, eliminating turbulent air currents which can often arise with a dome opening.
DomeParts GreenLine Omegon

GreenLine observatory with an Omegon RC on an iOptron CEM60 mount.

The open roof of the roll-off roof observatory offers plenty of room to manoeuvre even for a large-aperture telescope. Here in the picture the GreenLine observatory is equipped with an Omegon RC Truss telescope on an iOptron CEM60 mount.

The delivery time for a GreenLine roll-off roof observatory is around one month. You can put the observatory together yourself or let our construction team build it for you.  Get in touch with us: We’re happy to give you advice and provide you with a quote.

The Celestron CPC 800 EdgeHD Now Available as an Affordable Moon-Set

April 18 2019, Stefan Taube

Get the Celestron CPC Deluxe 800 EdgeHD telescope in an affordable set with high-grade accessories now and experience lunar and planetary observation like never before!

Together with the telescope, the set comprises:

The scope of supply also includes an eyepiece with a focal length of 40 millimeters, which is very practical for gaining a general overview. It is, however, unsuitable for high magnification observation that is desired when observing the Moon and the planets. Therefore, the two Morpheus eyepieces make an excellent addition. The neutral density filter dims the dazzling moonlight and increases the contrast during lunar observations.

The entire set can be yours for only 3,709 €. Save 397 € compared to the manufacturer’s recommended retail price! Benefit from this unrivalled value for money offer now and observe not only the moon but also the Jupiter and Saturn oppositions this summer!

 

Celestron CPC 800 EdgeHD

Celestron SC 203/2032 CPC Deluxe 800 EdgeHD GoTo

 

For years this telescope has been a favourite among the beloved Celestron CPC Deluxe Family. The series offers compact Schmidt-Cassegrain-lenses with highly stable and easy to transport fork mounts. Thanks to the built-in GPS and the advanced computer control, you are good to go in no time – even without prior knowledge. Reach for the stars with the GoTo hand control box! Now you have all the fascinating celestial objects in the palm of your hand.

In the deluxe version of this series, Celestron merges telescopes with corrected EdgeHD lenses together with the CPC mount. So you can enjoy crystal clear images right until the edge of the field of view!

Our offer for the CPC Deluxe 800 EdgeHD set is valid until the end of September 2019!

Special price on Meade LX600 telescope!

April 11 2019, Stefan Taube

The telescopes of the LX600 series from Meade Instruments are ideal for transportation under dark skies. The telescopes can be quickly set up and precisely controlled thanks to the Starlock camera system. We are currently offering the Meade telescope ACF-SC 254/2032 Starlock LX600 for just 5,299 euros. Save 1,401 euros!

Meade LX600

Meade telescope ACF-SC 254/2032 Starlock LX600

The lenses of the LX600 series are of the type schmidt-cassegrain telescope, or SC telescope for short. These are mirrored telescopes with a hole in the main mirror which enables light to reach the ocular. The positioning of this ocular has the advantage of barely changing the position used to look into the ocular when adjusting to look at various objects in the sky: Once the telescope has been adjusted to a height that is comfortable for you, it remains at that height.

The SC telescopes from Meade are fitted with a special corrective lens that counteracts the typical imaging faults of SC lenses. Meade calls this optical design ACF (Advanced Coma-Free). The observer not only has a sharp focus of the stars in the centre, but also of those on the edge of the viewing field.

Other benefits of the LX-600 series:

  • The SC lenses are, by the nature of their construction, very compact and, therefore, easy to transport. These lenses usually have an aperture ration of f/10, thus a very high focal distance. The LX600 telescopes have an aperture ratio of f/8. This makes them even more compact and they require a shorter exposure time for photography.
  • The LX600 telescopes are permanently installed in a very stable fork mount.  The disadvantage of this mounting method is its high weight, compared to telescope systems in which the mount can be completely disconnected from the lens. With the LX600 telescopes, you can split the fork mount into two pieces, thus eliminating this disadvantage, at least in part.
  • A real highlight of the LX600 telescopes is the Starlock system, which consists of two cameras. These take on a number of tasks: Automatic correction of the periodic error, precise location of the selected object in the sky and, in particular, autoguiding. The latter refers to the fact that the Starlock system always maintains the selected sky objects precisely in the telescope’s field of view – an important requirement when it comes to astrophotography! Here, it is carried out automatically without the need for a separate computer.
Meade LX 600 Starlock

Meade LX 600 Starlock

And speaking of astrophotography: If you do not only wish to observe, but also to record long-exposures of objects with weak light, the LX600 telescope can be retrofitted with an X wedge at any time. This polar wedge converts every LX600 with azimuthal set-up into a camera with parallactic mount.

In the download section of ACF-SC 254/2032 Starlock LX600, you will find an English language test report from the magazine Sky & Telescope. The conclusions of the tester are clear:

I can confidently say that it’s the best telescope of its type that I’ve yet tested for astrophotography.

Do not miss out on the opportunity to acquire a very advanced telescope system at a relatively cost-effective price: Our special offer for the ACF-SC 254/2032 Starlock LX600 is valid only until 30 June 2019!

 

iOptron mounts: A new addition to the CEM family

April 4 2019, Stefan Taube

CEM series mounts from iOptron are already widely used in the US and are becoming increasingly well known in Europe too. The CEM25P mount for portable astrophotography with Newtonian telescopes of up to 6 inches aperture and the CEM60 mount for use in observatories have proved particularly popular.

With their new CEM40 and CEM40-EC with encoders, iOptron now provides a middle range mount capable of carrying loads of up to 18 kilograms. The CEM40 is hence ideally suited for astrophotography with telescopes of up to 8 inches (200 millimetres) in aperture.

iOptron CEM40

The CEM40 is the latest addition to iOptron’s CEM series

The abbreviation CEM stands for centre-balance equatorial mount, i.e. for equatorial mounts which are supported at their centre of gravity. This design ensures an excellent relation between weight and carrying capacity. The CEM40 weighs only 7 kilograms and yet can carry OTAs up to 2.5 times heavier. The amazing carrying capacity of CEM mounts has been constantly reaffirmed by our customers – especially regarding the CEM25P.

The CEM40 comes equipped with an electronic pole finder, known as ‘iPolar’. A laptop is required to operate this however, so the CEM40 is particularly suitable for astrophotographers who already use a laptop for their camera. iPolar and built-in GPS provide easy and accurate alignment and GoTo computer control initialization.

The encoders installed in the CEM40-EC version ensure very high GoTo accuracy and allow worm gear permanent periodic error correction – a problem that all mounts suffer from. The CEM40-EC does away with the need for guiding with your astrophotography.

The CEM family now covers a wide range of load carrying capacities, offering a suitable model for every budget!

New: NB1 nebula filter from IDAS

March 25 2019, Stefan Taube

Luminescent emission nebulae, supernova remnants and planetary nebulae are all particularly beautiful objects pertaining to the night sky. This applies both to the simple process of visual observation, as well as to astrophotography. Nature illuminates such nebulae in specific spectral colours: the red light of hydrogen, the blue-green light of oxygen ions and also in the colours of sulphur and nitrogen ions.  Nebula filters enable these colours to pass through whilst blocking the diffused light of the natural luminance of the sky and of light pollution. The result is a marked increase in contrast.

With the Nebula Booster NB1, the filter specialists IDAS are introducing a new, very high-performing filter of this type onto the market, and one that is not overly expensive! As the transmission curve shows, the filter has high transmission and is permeable for all relevant spectral lines, with a surprisingly narrow passband: A real nebula intensifier!

Transmission curve IDAS NB1

 

The filter is ideal for photographing large nebula regions since it enables the typical colours of these objects to pass and blocks the disruptive skyglow. The filter quickly and completely cuts off near infrared up to 1100 nanometres. This is important since cameras are sensitive to this range, but telescopic lenses are optimised for the visible spectral range and are faulty in the infrared range.

IDAS Nebula Booster NB1

IDAS Nebula Booster NB1

 

The Nebula Booster NB1 is available with two versions which cover both of the common filter thread sizes and can be screw-fitted to the housings of eyepieces or cameras.

New focus motor for Celestron telescopes

February 26 2019, Stefan Taube

When it comes to astrophotography, the right focus is the most important thing. Even the best optics only deliver sharp images if the focus is spot on. A motorized focus has two advantages over manual focusing: it is vibration-free and very precise. If you remotely control your telescope via your PC, you definitely need motorization.

For the very popular SC telescopes of the Celestron brand, numerous solutions from different suppliers have been available. Celestron now offers its own model, the focus motor for SC and EdgeHD optics.

Celestron Fokussiermotor für SC- und EdgeHD-Optiken

Celestron focus motor for SC and EdgeHD optics.

The motor fits all SC, EdgeHD and RASA optics, as well as the two new Maksutovs with CGEM-II and CGX mounts. Exceptions are optics built before 2006 and the 9.25″ EdgeHD. An additional adapter is required for the RASA 1100, as the RASA 1100 is already supplied with a FeatherTouch micro-focus. The adapter requires you to dismantle the focuser partially to fit the motor.

If you are using a Celestron mount, power is simply supplied via the mount’s AUX port. A cable for this is included in the scope of delivery. If all AUX ports on your mount are already occupied, simply use the Celestron Aux Port Splitter.

The motor can be controlled in three ways:

  • With the NexStar+ controller: Simply press the MENU button, select Focuser and you can use the two arrow keys to control the motor and adjust its speed. Version 5.30+ of the installed firmware is required. You can update your Nexstar control via the Internet at any time. The controller is not only suitable for visual observation, but also for astrophotography with a DSLR, i.e. without a laptop.
  • With a laptop or PC: If you operate your telescope remotely or have connected an astrophotography camera, it is best to use the free program Celestron Focuser Utility for Windows. For this purpose, you need to connect the NexStar hand controller to the computer via USB, not the focus motor itself. The new CGX and CGX-L mounts can be controlled with the Celestron PWI software. The focuser can also be addressed via this program. The CGX and CGX-L mounts can be connected directly to the laptop or PC via USB without manual control.
  • Without a Celestron mount: If you have a Celestron optic mounted on another brand’s mount, you can control the focus motor via the USB port. The USB port should supply 900mA. As an alternative to the USB power supply, you can also operate the focus motor via main power or a Powertank. However, a power supply unit or power cable is not included in the scope of delivery.

The Celestron focus motor for SC and EdgeHD optics is a really useful accessory that is easy to adapt and operate.

Special Offer! The SUNocular 8×32 from Lunt

February 12 2019, Stefan Taube

Imagine a solar telescope that is just as manageable as a pair of binoculars, or a pair of binoculars that can be used to observe the sun as safely as if using a regular solar telescope. The SUNocular 8×32 from Lunt is precisely that. This unusual instrument for observing the sun is currently available at a special price of 98 euros. You will get 121 euros off the recommended retail price!

Lunt Sunocular

Lunt Solar Systems solar binoculars 8×32 SUNocular OD5

 

The SUNocular 8×32 features a permanently installed lens filter with a neutral density of 5, as is typical for sun filters designed for visual observation and allowing you to safely look at the sun. Since the filter is permanently installed, the SUNocular 8×32 is not suitable for use as binoculars for terrestrial observations. In order to ensure that there is no confusion on this point, we have classified this product under the Solar Telescope rubric for the sake of simplicity.

The SUNocular 8×32 allows you to see the photosphere of the sun. This layer, approximately 500 kilometres thick, creates almost all of the sun’s radiation in the visual spectral range. The photosphere shows sun spots with an eleven-year activity cycle.  We are currently between two cycles, and for this reason there are very few spots to be seen. But that will soon change, and this instrument allows you to be very well prepared when the change comes. You can observe, at any time and from any location, new sun spots appear as well as their day-to-day development.

The SUNocular 8×32 has all the typical features of a pair of binoculars of this size: central focus, dioptre balance, extremely rotatable eyepieces, carry strap and a very sturdy bag. Furthermore, the rubberised housing provides excellent grip!

By the way… The SUNocular 8×32 is also suitable for observing planets as they cross in front of the sun (transits) and for watching solar eclipses!

 

Improved Version of the Dobson LightBridge by Meade

February 7 2019, Stefan Taube

No other telescope produces the natural experience of the night sky as directly as a Dobson. Completely without a camera or any other electronic deflection – armed only with an infra-red lamp and star chart – discover nebulae, star clusters and galaxies.

Apart from good weather, two things are necessary to enjoy observation: As large a telescope as possible and a dark night sky. A Dobson is a reflector telescope with a relatively simple base. So, for your money, you’ll get a telescope that is bigger than others. The problem with the dark sky is, however, more difficult to solve. The Dobson telescope should fit in a car so you can drive to a good location for observing.

A large telescope that fits in a car is a contradiction in itself. This is resolved by the Dobson wire-mesh tube:

Gitterrohrdobson

This Dobson in the LightBridge series can be taken apart without tools.

As the figure shows, the telescope can be taken apart into relatively small parts. From left to right, you can see the rocker box, the mirror case, the tube rods and the carrier ring with the secondary mirror. On location, the truss tube Dobson can be built in a few minutes without any tools.

The manufacturer, Meade, was one of the first, with the Dobson telescopes in the LightBridge series to use this form of construction and at a price that is affordable for amateur astronomers. We can now offer the improved version, the LightBridge Plus.

Meade Dobson Teleskop N 254/1270 LightBridge Plus

Meade Dobson Telescope N 254/1270 LightBridge Plus

The new LightBridge Plus has an improved rocker box. It is somewhat lighter, has notched carry handles, a pre-installed eyepiece tray and a friction brake for the height axis. The box can be taken apart without tools so it can be easily transported. Meade now fits these telescopes with an improved eyepiece holder that has a fine-adjustment knob for precision focusing and comes with a high-quality 2-inch eyepiece with a 26-mm focal length.

As with the previous version, the LightBridge Plus has a main mirror fan for faster alignment of the mirror with the ambient temperature. As expected, the optics are fully adjustable. Thanks to the fast aperture ratio, the tube is relatively short and the viewing height at the zenith is not too high.

If you’ve always wanted a telescope with a large aperture, but just didn’t know how you’d carry it around, a LightBridge Plus is a very good choice at a fair price!

 

SALE: The Hyperion Universal Mark IV zoom eyepiece at a special price!

December 12 2018, Stefan Taube

A zoom eyepiece is really practical: It combines several focal lengths that can be adjusted simply by rotating the body. So, you don’t need a whole eyepiece set, and don’t have to switch them out if you want to increase magnification. Unfortunately, zoom eyepieces do not attain the edge sharpness and field of vision of a fixed focal length lens.

With the  Hyperion Universal Mark IV zoom eyepiece by Baader Planetarium it’s a different matter! This tried and tested zoom eyepiece has been improved even further, and offers, for magnification factors with 24 to 8 mm focal lengths, a very good image and at the greatest magnification factor, a field of view of 68°. Unlike other zoom eyepieces, the field of view is not narrowed at greater magnification!

You can now purchase the Hyperion Universal Mark IV for just 220 euros. You save € 25 on the recommended retail price!

Hyperion Mark IV Zoomokular

In the set with the 2.25x Barlow lens you can now even save 27 euros!

The word universal in the name of the Hyperion Universal Mark IV aims to offer almost unlimited uses: Use the zoom eyepiece visually with a long focal length Dobson telescope to view the planets and planetary nebulae, or with a Bino viewer or with a spotting scope for bird and nature watching.

This zoom eyepiece is also very good for a-focal photography:

Hyperion Mark IV Zoomokular Anwendungsbeispiel

Many adapters are available for the wide range of uses of the Hyperion Universal Mark IV.

By the way: Until the end of January 2019, you can purchase Hyperion series eyepieces at a special price!

Now Available: New Meade Telescopes of the Series LX65 and LX85

December 6 2018, Stefan Taube

The almighty has crossed the pond: the brand-new Meade telescopes of the Series LX65 and LX85.

Meade LX65 Maksutov

Meade LX65 Maksutov

The Meade Maksutov Telescope MC 127/1900 UHTC LX65 GoTo is immediately available and thanks to its high focal length is excellent for lunar and planetary observations.  The optics capture enough light, that even far-off objects show details, such as star clusters.

As with every LX65, this telescope features an azimuthal single-arm mount, which is light, easy to disassemble and even has an integrated battery compartment.  The AudioStar Handheld Controller makes it a breeze for beginners to find their way around the sky, while the database features more than 30,000 objects.  Conclusion: An excellent telescope for beginners or planet specialists, who are looking for a transportable telescope.

The LX85 Series has just arrived with several models.  These telescopes are delivered with the new LX85 mount.  As compared to the LX65, the LX85 series features a parallactic mount.  This sort of build features an axel which is parallel to the Earth’s axis, a trick which prevents the celestial objects from drifting in the telescope.  Such a feature is extremely important for longer exposures in Astrophotography.  The LX85 is an inexpensive mid-sized mount, which also has an AudioStar controller.

Meade-LX85-150mm

Meade LX85 Newton

The Meade Teleskop N 150/750 LX85 GoTo is available now.  Equipped with a Newton-style telescope with a 150 mm diameter, it features a parabolic mirror with 750 mm focal length.  The combination of 150/750 is very popular and can be found in nearly every telescope brand.  The mirror is big enough to be able to observe faint galaxies under a dark sky.  The quick focal ratio of f/5 makes it great for photography.

The LX85 is also available as a Newton Telescope with 200mm Mirror. For purely visual observations, it is a great choice, while a 150 mm Newton telescope would be less ideal for astrophotography, since stability is so important in taking photos.

For friends of lens-based telescopes, we offer Achromats, namely the Meade Telescope AC 120/700 LX85 GoTo and the Astrograph AP 70/350 Series 6000 LX85 GoTo. Last but not least, we also offer something special for astrophotography, which is also available without a mount: Meade AP 70/350 Series 6000 Astrograph OTA.

Meade-APO-Sky

The New Astrograph from Meade

This very interesting set-up for astrophotographers even received the Hot Product 2018 Award from Sky & Telescope!

Since we are on the subject of photography, we would like to share two camera tips from Meade: Have a look at version 4 of the legendary Deep Sky Imager.  The cooled cameras can be used universally.  The price-worthy LPI-G Cameras meanwhile are real planetary specials and perfect for beginners.

 

Meade-LPI-G-Blog

LPI-G Camera on a Meade Apo

The LPI-G-Kameras can also arrive just in time for the holidays!

23.05.2019
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