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Comet ZTF visible in January

January 12 2023, Bernd Gährken

The discovery of dark matter is one of the greatest astronomical achievements of the last 100 years. Fritz Zwicky was the first to research this phenomenon. He recognised that gravity produced by unknown particles was a dominant force in our universe and that the majority of the matter in our universe is not visible. He was never awarded a Nobel Prize for dark matter as he died in 1974. But the significance of his discovery is clear today.

Zwicky’s domain was Mount Palomar. A new camera system there has been named after him. It was developed to detect transient objects with rapidly changing magnitudes, such as supernovae, gamma ray bursts, neutron star collisions, and moving objects like comets and asteroids.

In March 2022, the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) detected a new comet, which is able to cross over to being visible with the naked eye at the beginning of 2023. It will not be a bright object when seen with the naked eye, however it should already be clearly visible with binoculars or a telescope by the end of December.

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) will reach its maximum magnitude of 5 mag and will then be visible in the sky near the Polaris for a few days. A dark sky is important for observation, a moonless night preferably. The Moon is waxing at this time and the full moon is on 5th February. The comet is circumpolar and visible for the entire night. However, the waxing Moon means that the moonless early morning hours will be ideally suited to observation. Finder charts can be found at:

https://cometchasing.skyhound.com/

It is 2 years since the last comets were visible from the UK. In summer 2020, comet NEOWISE adorned the sky. A comparable spectacle should not be expected for ZTF. But comets are unpredictable. Even NEOWISE was predicted to be much fainter than it was.

Neowise im Jahre 2020

Astronomy Highlights in Winter 2022/2023

November 30 2022, Marcus Schenk

Mars at opposition, two planetary occultations by the Moon, the Geminids and beautiful triangular arrangements between the Moon and the planets. This winter, there are many reasons to look towards the stars. And you should join in!

In the “Astronomy Highlights in Winter 2022/23” infographic, you can find important celestial events for the next three months. Have fun observing!

December

02/12 Conjunction between the Moon and Jupiter

When darkness is upon us, we can gaze at the Moon and Jupiter on the south-eastern horizon. The gas giant will be blazing with an intensity of -2.5 magnitudes.

05/12 The Moon occults Uranus

The Moon and the planets travel along an imaginary line known as the ecliptic. This is the plane along which the planets and the Sun appear to move. Every now and then, the Moon occults one of the planets. And that time has come once again, as the dark side of the Moon approaches and occults Uranus at 5:34pm.

07/12 Conjunction between the Moon and Plejades

In the early hours of 7 December, the almost-full moon reaches the Golden Gate of the Ecliptic, which is flanked by the famous Hyades and Pleiades star clusters.

08/12 The Moon occults Mars/Opposition

Mars is at opposition to the Sun today and is  shining particularly bright and looks magnificent through a telescope. During this year’s opposition, the planet reaches a diameter of 17 arc seconds and a height of 66 degrees above the horizon from central Europe. And today is also a double event as, in the early hours of 8 December, at around 6am, our Moon occults the Red Planet.

14/12 Geminids

If the skies are clear in the evening, look towards the south. You will see the Geminids meteors emerging from the constellation of Gemini. Or more precisely, from a spot two degrees above the star, Pollux. With 120 meteors per hour, this shower is one of the events with the highest fall rates. In the early evening, up to 10pm, you can view it undisturbed by the Moon, as this is when our satellite appears over the horizon.

Lunar phases:

08/12 Full moon, 16/12 Waning quarter, 23/12 New moon, 30/12 Waxing quarter

January

01/01 Conjunction between the Moon and Uranus

Over and over, encounters or occultation between the Moon and planets take place along the path of the ecliptic. At the start of the new year, the Moon scrapes past Uranus at a distance of only half a degree.

03/01 Conjunction between Moon and Mars

Two bodies are competing for brightness today… the Moon and Mars. Both appear in the eastern skies when darkness falls. The Moon passes eastward beneath Mars.

03/01 Quadrantids

The next meteors are on their way to us – the Quadrantids. This meteor shower originates in the constellation of Bootes. The meteors shoot across the sky at a maximum rate of 120 per hour. The Moon only leaves our field of vision in the early hours of the morning.

16/01 Pallas at opposition

With a diameter of 588 kilometres, the asteroid Pallas is the second largest in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. During its opposition, it is so bright that we can easily see it with a small telescope and, theoretically, even with binoculars. To tell it apart from the stars, you should use a star chart whilst observing.

22/01 Conjunction between Saturn and Venus

A good view of the horizon is essential for this event. During twilight, the stunningly bright Venus outshines the considerably weaker, but still bright, Saturn above the western horizon. From 5:30pm, we have an hour-long opportunity to follow this celestial pair, both of which become weaker and then disappear into the haze.

23/01 The Moon near Venus and Saturn

An attractive event for all who are interested… Today a slim crescent moon joins the planets Venus and Saturn. Together, they are a dream team for a wonderful twilight photo.

30/01 Conjunction between the Moon and Mars

This evening, the Moon visits the Red Planet. During the night, our satellite draws nearer until both objects are around one degree apart in the morning hours.

Lunar phases:

07/01 Full moon, 15/01 Waning quarter, 21/01 New moon, 28/01 Waxing quarter

February

15/02 Conjunction between Venus and Neptune

Venus and Neptune come to within 0.25 degrees of each other – a very close encounter between two very different planets. Whilst Venus beams like a floodlight, Neptune shines 50,000 times less bright.

22/02 Conjunction between Venus and Jupiter

This evening, the crescent moon appears with two planets. A beautiful view which you should not miss.

27/02 Conjunction between the Moon and Mars

This evening, Mars and the Moon can both be found in the constellation Taurus.

Lunar phases:

05/02 Full moon, 13/02 Waning quarter, 20/02 New moon, 27/02 Waxing quarter

A change of scenery: Astroshop now has a new design

October 13 2022, Stefan Taube

If you are one of our long-standing customers, you have probably already noticed that we have modernised our online shop.

The new shop is actually the fourth in our 20+ year history. Our last complete overhaul was 13 years ago, so a change of scenery was long overdue. With our new design, we are responding to technological developments as well as to the changing demands of online shopping.

What’s changed?

  • The design is more contemporary and more clearly laid out
  • The layout adapts to the device used, no matter whether that’s a computer, tablet or smartphone
  • More content can be accessed by scrolling, so fewer clicks are required
  • A link to the magazine, our comprehensive library of information about practical astronomy, is now in the header next to the shop

What doesn’t change?

Well, that’s easy: the many advantages you enjoy as an Astroshop customer:

  • Personal advice and service with our own specialist workshop
  • Fast, reliable delivery from Europe’s largest warehouse for telescopes and accessories
  • Fair prices thanks to the direct import of many brands and our proven best price guarantee

What do you think of the new design? We look forward to receiving your feedback and will definitely bear this in mind as we continually develop our shop.

For all nostalgia fans we have put together screenshots of all the previous versions of the shop:

Aus der Frühgeschichte

 

Astroshop im Mittelalter

 

Astroshop in der Neuzeit

Astronomy highlights in Autumn 2022

August 31 2022, Marcus Schenk

Autumn is on its way, and the evenings get dark earlier. For many, this marks the start of a great observing season. And it’s all there: Saturn is eye-catching as it shines in the night sky, Jupiter is at opposition and there will even be a partial eclipse of the Sun! What’s more, the Moon will occult Uranus. And that’s just the start!

In our “Astronomy Highlights in Autumn 2022” infographic, you’ll find many of the important celestial events at a glance. Information and further explanations of the events can be found in the accompanying text.

Have fun observing!

September

11/09 Conjunction between the Moon and Jupiter

The Moon and Jupiter rise almost together and we can admire them at around 9 p.m. above the eastern horizon.

14/09 The Moon occults Uranus

The Moon and the planets move along an imaginary line in the sky known as the ecliptic. This refers to the apparent path along which planets move around the Sun. Once in a while the Moon occults one of the planets. Now, on the 14th, it’s that time again: the Moon approaches with its illuminated side and occults Uranus at around 10 p.m.

16/09 Conjunction between the Moon and Mars

Shortly before midnight, the constellation Taurus climbs above the eastern horizon and will look particularly attractive today, because it also marks the meeting place of Mars and the Moon. Together with Aldebaran, Capella and the Pleiades, it makes a lovely sight.

16/09 Neptune at opposition

Our farthest planet is at opposition to the Sun tonight. Neptune is currently 4.3 billion kilometres away from us and shines with a magnitude of 7.8. Its light takes 4 hours to reach the Earth. We can even see Neptune with binoculars, though it cannot be distinguished from a star. It is only with a telescope that can we identify it as a planet with certainty. But it’s not so easy to find as Jupiter or Saturn. A star chart or app will help you.

26/09 Jupiter at opposition

An opposition is quite special: for this is when a planet is directly opposite the Sun and shines brightly all night long. Jupiter is currently at an altitude of 42 degrees above the horizon. This is considerably higher than in recent years, which greatly improves the quality of our observations.

Lunar phases:

03/09 First Quarter, 10/09 Full Moon, 17/09 Last Quarter, 25/09 New Moon

October

05/10 Conjunction between the Moon and Saturn

Tonight, the Moon passes below the ringed planet. On the Moon you can also observe the phenomenon known as the Golden Handle, an illuminated mountain at the Moon’s terminator.

08/10 Conjunction between the Moon and Jupiter

Time for a planetary evening! The Moon and Jupiter meet today in the constellation Capricorn. In September, Jupiter was at opposition to the Sun and is still an excellent object for any telescope. Tonight, we won’t be disturbed by a bright Moon.

11/10 Mercury in the morning

From 5 October, we can catch Mercury in the morning sky. The closest planet to the Sun is usually too close to it, which is why we rarely see it. October is the only time this year that it is visible in the night sky.

14/10 Conjunction between the Moon and Mars

From midnight, we get a taste of winter because then the constellations Auriga and Taurus appear above the horizon. In the middle of all this we can also see Mars and the Moon, which are particularly close to one another today. Can you see the red colour of our neighbouring planet?

21/10 Orionids

The Orionids are a small meteor shower producing around 20 meteors per hour. The radiant is located in the constellation Orion near the star Betelgeuse. Although you can observe the shooting stars throughout the month, they will be at their peak between 20 and 21 October. The best time to observe them is between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.

24/10 Conjunction between the Moon and Mercury

Are you an early riser? Perfect, because this morning you can take a quick look at the slender crescent Moon and Mercury. For this you will need an elevated location or an unobstructed view towards the horizon. Then, just before sunrise from 6:50 a.m., you will discover the two celestial bodies.

25/10 Partial solar eclipse

The last partial eclipse that was visible to us was on 10 June 2021. A little more than a year later we can follow the next one. It starts at around 11a.m. on 25 October when the Moon moves in front of the Sun and obscures around 25% of it.

Important: use a solar filter when observing. Safe filters are available in our Astroshop.

Lunar phases: 09/10 Full Moon, 17/10 Last Quarter, 25/10 New Moon

November

01/11 Conjunction between the Moon and Saturn

The waxing crescent Moon and the planet Saturn are now to be found together in the constellation Capricorn.

04/11 Conjunction between the Moon and Jupiter

This evening, the waxing Moon meets the planet Jupiter, which was at opposition in September. Over the course of the night, the two celestial bodies approach at a distance of around 2 degrees.

09/11 Uranus at opposition

Uranus is one of the most distant gas giants. It appears only as a tiny, greenish disc in a telescope and we cannot make out any detail. However, you can still distinguish it as a planet. Find Uranus with a star chart or, easier still, with your telescope’s GoTo system. Then you can identify the planet using 150 to 200 times magnification.

11/11 Conjunction between the Moon and Mars

Tonight, the waning Moon finds itself close to the planet Mars. The Red Planet is between the Moon and Aldebaran, the brightest star in the constellation Taurus. An interesting task for today is to compare the intensity of the red colours of Mars, Aldebaran and Betelgeuse.

17/11 Leonids

From 16 to 17/11, the Leonids reach their peak. Together with the Perseids, they are among the most famous meteor showers. In some years these meteors fall like raindrops from the sky. This usually happens every 33 years when the Earth meets the Leonids’ debris cloud. In normal years, the peak does not exceed 20 meteors per hour. This year, you can observe them during the first half of the night, undisturbed by moonlight.

Lunar phases: 08/11 Full Moon, 16/11 Last Quarter, 23/11 New Moon, 30/11 First Quarter

New: Services for Telescopes and Accessories

August 30 2022, Marcus Schenk

Discover our new workshop services here!

W have a professionally-equipped workshop, an optical bench and trained service personnel to diagnose and correct optical, mechanical and electronic problems with your equipment, quickly and professionally. Your Omegon telescope will feel just as happy with us as instruments from Meade, Celestron, Skywatcher and iOptron. We are an authorised service partner for all of these manufacturers. We can often assist with other brands so please do get in touch with us if your instrument brand is not mentioned.

Our services at a glance:

  • Collimation and adjustment of large binoculars
  • Filter testing (transmission measurement) with a spectrophotometer
  • Service, tuning and repair of mounts
  • Software updates and replacement of electronic components
  • Cleaning, adjustment and collimation of optics
  • Star testing using an artificial star
  • Interferometer measurement and autocollimation

You want to repair your telescope or have it checked? We are looking forward to hearing from you. Email: [email protected] Telephone: +49 8191 94049-1.

HEM27 – the new iOptron mounts featuring top-class technology!

June 3 2022, Jan Ströher

The recent trend towards hybrid Harmonic Drive mounts is not without reason: they are compact, light, can be used on camera tripods and yet have a high load-carrying capacity, which is far superior to the more basic camera mount. In addition, they are equipped with all the technical features of a large equatorial mount. Due to their design and mechanical construction, they also do not require any counterweight(s) – a further advantage for transportation. This is why the term “hybrid” is used: you have all the advantages of a camera mount, such as quick assembly, easy transportation, compactness and precise tracking of the night sky. All these features are then combined with the advantages of larger equatorial mounts, such as GoTo functions, a hand controller with object catalogue, permanent drive gear error correction (PEC), various tracking modes and a high payload capacity in relation to its own weight – all without a counterweight bar with corresponding counterweight. These mounts’ mechanics provide the perfect balance for your telescope.

HEM27 on camera tripod

iOptron is continuing this trend and introduces yet more innovation with the new HEM27 series. The series consists of three variants: a classic HEM27, one with iPolar and an EC version.

iOptron thereby offers a selection of hybrid mounts to suit all requirements. All HEM27 mounts have a low dead weight of just under 4kg, but a load-carrying capacity of up to 13.5kg! This means that they can also be used for telescopes that would normally only be found on mounts in the mid-range weight class. So you can use a telescope weighing 5–6kg and still have sufficient capacity for astrophotography equipment. This means that you have the choice of a much broader range of telescopes with the HEM27 compared to regular camera mounts, which usually have a load limit of 3–5kg.

A carrying case is included with the HEM series

iOptron has equipped this series with the well-established Go2Nova® software and a database of 212,000 objects – just like the larger CEM and GEM series of iOptron mounts. The internal cable management provides security and order, and a dual saddle plate allows the use of Vixen/GP and Losmandy prism rails. An ST-4 autoguiding port is available as well as built-in WLAN, a bubble level and an emergency brake system which stops the mount if the power supply is interrupted abruptly. When you continue, the location memory means that the mount does not have to be re-aligned and re-programmed for your location. As you would expect from iOptron: all HEM27 models feature extremely quiet and smooth stepper motors.

The HEM series will be available in summer. You can find first details here at Astroshop!

Astronomy Highlights – Summer 2022

June 1 2022, Marcus Schenk

Summer shooting stars, planetary chains and Saturn and Pluto at opposition… Don’t miss out on these astronomical delicacies. And in August, an occultation of a bright star by the Moon awaits us.

In the “Astronomy Highlights in Summer 2022” infographic, you can find numerous important celestial events at a glance. You can find dates and detailed descriptions of the events in the accompanying text.

Have fun observing!

June

03/06 Conjunction between the Moon and M44

The waxing Moon crosses the ecliptic within the constellation Cancer this evening. In doing so, it approaches the M44 star cluster. You can admire both using binoculars with a large field of view.

16/06 Mercury at greatest western elongation

Mercury is at its greatest western elongation today. It, therefore, reaches its greatest angular distance from the Sun. Unfortunately, we have almost no time to view it and only experienced binocular observers will be able to make it out at dawn.

18/06 Conjunction between the Moon and Saturn

This morning, the Moon visits Saturn and both can be found 9 degrees apart in the constellation Capricorn.

22/06 Conjunction between Jupiter and Mars

Time for night owls and astronomers. From 2am, you can see Jupiter and Mars rising up over the eastern horizon. The Moon can be found at the centre of the event. A wonderful sight.

26/06 The Moon near Venus

This month, the planets are predominantly visible in the morning sky. They are lined up along a diagonal like a cosmic chain. The Moon will be paying most of the planets a visit and, on the 26th, it is Venus’ turn. The display is especially attractive three days before new Moon.

July

01/07   Conjunction between Venus and Aldebaran

Venus is almost as bright as possible – even bright stars found nearby can appear quite dull in comparison. On the first of the month, Venus approaches Taurus’ main star: Aldebaran.

16/07 Conjunction between the Moon and Saturn

The Moon passes by Saturn tonight and moves from the constellation Capricorn to Aquarius. The ringed planet is then even more visible and it reaches its opposition next month. This marks the start of the Summer of the Gas Giants.

19/07 Conjunction between the Moon and Jupiter

There are two competitors in the sky: the Moon and Jupiter. The gas giant has a magnitude of -2.5 and is only outshone by Venus and our own Moon.

20/07 Pluto at opposition

The former planet and current dwarf planet is at opposition and shining with a magnitude of 14.3. Finding it with a telescope is a challenge and it will only work if you have an  accurate star chart.

22/07 Conjunction between the Moon and Mars

After rising shortly before 1am, the Moon meets Mars, which is glowing red at a distance of five degrees. However, our satellite is much closer to Uranus, with only 2.6 degrees between them today.

26/07 Conjunction between the Moon and Venus

When the first light of dawn appears, it’s worth taking a glance at the horizon. There is a conjunction between the dazzling Venus and the wafer thin, 27-day-old crescent moon this morning. An excellent opportunity for some stunning photographs!

August

06/08 The Moon occults Delta Sco

Delta Sco is a star within the constellation of Scorpio which, at a magnitude of 2, can be found in the centre of its distinctive, tripartite pincers. This evening the dark side of the Moon is occulting it. This is always the best kind of occultation as the star suddenly disappears as if into thin air. To follow the start of the occultation at 23:52, you need a high elevation and an excellent view of the southwest horizon.

11/08 Conjunction between the Moon and Saturn

In the night between 11 and 12 August, the Moon approaches the ringed planets. As Saturn reaches it opposition this month, it can be easily seen for the entire month.

13/08 Perseids

The absolute highlight of every August is the Perseids meteor shower. We are able to see up to 100 meteors per hour tonight. Admittedly, this is only because the Moon is not interfering. This year, the bright, almost full Moon disrupts viewing and you will only be able to possibly see the brightest meteors. Using binoculars you have a chance to catch a few dim ones.

14/08 Saturn at opposition

In past years, Saturn has stopped just above the horizon due to the location of the ecliptic. This made successful viewing difficult. But the ringed planet climbed higher up the celestial ladder and reached an altitude of 20 degrees in 2019 and of 24 degrees in 2021. During its current opposition in August 2022, it reaches even greater heights of up to 26 degrees. A clear advantage as, the higher the position, the less we have to battle against light pollution. On 14 August, Saturn reaches opposition and can be clearly seen for the whole night. We can recognise it by its yellow colour and its gentle glow.

15/08 Conjunction between the Moon and Jupiter

During the nights of 14 and 15 August, the Moon approaches and passes by Jupiter. This encounter can be seen all night as our largest planet will now be visible throughout the night. Jupiter reaches opposition in the coming month.

19/08 Conjunction between the Moon and Mars

Are you missing that winter sky feeling? And in summer? You can get the chance after midnight. Then, there is a conjunction between Mars and the Moon within the constellation Taurus, right at the Golden Gate of the Ecliptic. A little higher up, the Pleiades light up the sky.

Astronomy Highlights Spring 2022

March 1 2022, Marcus Schenk

Close conjunctions between planets, a bright Venus and a total lunar eclipse: In this quarter, the heavens are offering up some delicious morsels which are worth viewing. What’s happening with Mercury, for example? The small, nimble planet will soon reach its best evening visibility.

In the “Astronomy Highlights in Spring 2022” infographic, you can find at a glance numerous important celestial events. You can find dates and detailed descriptions of the events in the accompanying text.

Have fun observing!

March

08/03 Conjunction between the Moon and the Pleiades

This evening, the six-day-old Moon approaches the Pleiades open star cluster.

12/03 Conjunction between Venus and Mars

Shortly before sunrise, Venus and Mars can be seen over the south-eastern horizon. Venus is almost half-illuminated and shining with a magnitude of magnitude -4.5

20/03 Venus at greatest western elongation

Venus is at its greatest western elongation today. It, therefore, reaches its greatest angular distance from the Sun and can maintain an acceptable altitude above the horizon. It is now 50% illuminated.

23/03 Conjunction between Saturn and Mars

Just above the horizon, we can look forward to an attractive celestial display. Venus, Mars and Saturn are waiting for us in a planetary triangle. A good opportunity to compare their various magnitudes.

28/03 Conjunction between the Moon, Venus, Saturn and Mars

On 23 March, we are able to marvel at three planets. Today the slender crescent moon is keeping the trio company. Grab your camera and capture this beautiful event for ever.

April

05/04 Conjunction between Mars and Saturn

A rare event? Yes, because this morning Mars is passing by the ringed planet at a distance of only 20 arc seconds. A good opportunity to view both planets through binoculars or a telescope, or for a photo of both celestial bodies.

05/04 Moon in Davis’ Dog

An asterism is a random collection of stars which we perceive in pretty patterns. Today the Moon brushes past “Davis’ Dog”, a pattern of stars which resembles a dog or a fox. When viewed through binoculars, the sight is very delightful. In some places, the Moon occults bright stars.

17/04 Conjunction between Mercury and Uranus

This evening sees Mercury passing Uranus at a distance of only two degrees. This means you can locate both planets within the visual field of a pair of binoculars. A high vantage point is desirable since the planets are only 4 degrees above the horizon at 9pm.

24/04 Mercury in the evening sky

Mercury achieves its best evening visibility this year. Do you still want to see it? Then the time is now. At dusk, it can be found just above the western and north-western horizon. But only for the next 10 to 14 days, before it disappears.

27/04 Conjunction between Venus and Jupiter

Three days before the new Moon, its narrow crescent comes into conjunction with the planets Venus and Jupiter.

29/04 Conjunction between Mercury and the Pleiades

The winter constellation of Taurus goes down in the west. In the twilight, Mercury approaches the well-known Pleiades star cluster. You can marvel at both in the visual field of a pair of binoculars.

May

01/05 Conjunction between Venus and Jupiter

At a distance of barely 20 arc seconds, Venus “scrapes” past Jupiter. Such a close encounter is seldom seen. The only downside is that you have to drag yourself out of bed early as it can only be seen in the morning sky.

02/05 Conjunction between the Moon and Mercury

For those who prefer to observe in the evenings, you can catch a last glimpse of Mercury today. The spectacle takes place just above the western horizon but is especially attractive. A delicate waxing crescent moon to the left and, to the right, the Pleiades.

12/05 Venus, Jupiter, Mars in alignment

Shortly before dawn, we can see Venus, Jupiter and Mars sitting in a neat row. A little further up, we can also find Saturn. The band of planets stretches from the eastern horizon almost diagonally across the sky.

16/05 Total lunar eclipse

The last visible lunar eclipse took place in January 2019. Three years later, the event is repeating itself. However, visibility for the current eclipse is sadly not optimal. We cannot fully follow it, only the first part. The Moon enters the Earth’s umbral shadow at 04:28. At this time, our satellite is still 8 degrees above the horizon. Just at the start of the totality, the Moon goes down in the southwest. We won’t be able to see another total lunar eclipse until 2025 – and that will be in the evening.

28/05 Tau Herculids

The Tau Herculids are a meteor shower which we have not previously recommended in our Astronomy Highlights. Why? They are usually barely noticeable and not so exciting with a maximum of two meteors per hour. Only avid meteor fans get anything out of them. But this year could be different. This year, the Earth crosses paths with the trail of dust left by the disintegrating 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 comet in 1995. This year, it could be quite the shower. The International Meteor Organisation (IMO) is encouraging people to collect observational data.

29/05 Conjunction between Mars and Jupiter

At three in the morning, Mars and Jupiter climb above the horizon. It will be immediately apparent that we are dealing with a very close conjunction here. The two planets pass each other at a distance of around 0.5 degrees. When viewed through binoculars, they will appear as a stunning pair in the same visual field.

Tecnosky OWL – magnificent, sharp focusing apochromats

January 27 2022, Jan Ströher

A few years ago the Italian company, Tecnosky, started producing their new, own-brand triplet apochromats known as “OWL”. The first model in the series was the OWL 80/480 apochromat, which was released in spring 2021. The OWL 90/560 was hot on its heels, with the OWL 130/900 SLD soon following in autumn. Soon the range will be blessed with new 70mm and 125mm aperture models. All OWL telescopes are based on a triplet lens design with FPL53 fluoride glass. However, the soon-to-arrive 125mm OWL will be an ED doublet.

The OWL 90/560 triplet

These features, combined with fully multi-coated lenses, blackened lens edges and a lens hood on the tube guarantee Strehl ratios upwards of 0.95! An optical interferometric certificate is attached to every single OWL telescope. Every specimen, therefore, undergoes a detailed quality check before distribution.

Optical test report (certificate) for OWL devices

These compact apochromats are great devices for astrophotography and also offer first-class, pure-colour image quality and joy for observing. Tecnosky also supplies reducer-flatteners calculated to suit the optics for each model. This means that OWLs, with their aperture ratios of f/6 – f/7, are ideally suited to photography.

Aesthetically, these “owls” also make an impression – they are all manufactured from high quality materials, are multi-coated, elegantly manufactured and have a white, black and red colour scheme to complete their look.

OWL 80/480 with FPL53 fluoride glass

All OWL models come with compatible prism rails, pipe clamps, Vixen viewfinder shoe, carry handle and retractable dew shield. These are this apochromat’s main features alongside the rotatable focuser with 1:10 reduction and locking mechanism, as well as a sturdy carry case. All in all, you get a first-class telescope with numerous great features for a reasonable price for this size category. The OWL 70 and 125 models will be available in our shop from spring 2022.

Discover the Tecnosky OWL series and sharpen your view of the night sky – elegant design included!

Helping children: Astroshop donates €10,000 to UNICEF

December 22 2021, Marcus Schenk

The smell of freshly baked biscuits hangs in the air, poinsettias glisten, and our thoughts turn to the gifts we might find under the Christmas tree. But it is also time to reflect and ask ourselves whether there are people in the world who are less fortunate than we are? Unfortunately, there are many. That is why Astroshop is donating €10,000 euros to the children’s charity UNICEF this year.

“When you wake up in the morning, remember what a gift it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy…”
Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor, 121-180

The background to our donation

Every year we put some thought to who we could help by making a donation. Last year we supported Doctors Without Borders, this year it’s UNICEF – the United Nations Children’s Fund.

Dominik Schwarz, CEO of Astroshop (Nimax) commented: “This year we want to help those who are especially suffering from the effects of the worldwide Corona pandemic; children.”

UNICEF was founded 75 years ago as a children’s charity and has done a great deal of good work since then. Active in 190 countries, it is committed to the well-being of children, to education, to helping with medical provisions, and to combating child poverty. UNICEF sees itself as the global children’s advocate.

The Corona pandemic is the worst crisis since in UNICEF’s history. Even before the pandemic, 1 billion children lived in poverty, without medical care, without education. According to a recent study, a further 100 million children have been added to this number in the last two years alone. The gap between rich and poor is widening and there is an imbalance in the way that rich and poor countries recover from the pandemic. Every person in the world should have the right to medicine, food, and education.

Merry Christmas from Astroshop from Landsberg am Lech

Dear customer, now is the time to relax and to recharge your batteries. We wish you and your family a happy Christmas and a few contemplative hours with freshly baked biscuits or the smell of freshly cut wood. Perhaps you will have the chance to enjoy the stars at New Moon at the turn of the year, and maybe even welcome some shooting stars (the Quadrantids).

Thank you for your trust in us, and we wish you a successful, happy New Year!

Your Astroshop team