October 12 2021, Jan Ströher
Just as a car needs regular maintenance to work perfectly, a Newtonian telescope must be precisely adjusted from time to time in order to achieve the best possible optical performance and image quality. This is done by adjusting the mirrors so that the incident light, reflected by the primary and secondary mirrors, converges at a central point from which it is then directed into the focuser. In astronomy, the process of exact adjustment is called collimation. For correct collimation, the secondary mirror must be aligned with the focuser – lengthwise and centred. In addition, the secondary mirror must be aligned precisely with the centre of the primary mirror. Finally, the primary mirror should then be perfectly aligned with the axis now created by the focuser and secondary mirror.
To facilitate this process, there are various tools available to ensure the telescope’s collimation is as accurate as possible. Laser collimators in particular are very popular, as the laser beam can be used to precisely simulate the incident light in the telescope tube and align the two mirrors so that the laser beam is centred and directed into the focuser. Due to the red colour of the laser beam, the whole exercise becomes visually easy and ensures that even beginners can manage a fast, simple and effective collimation.
Collimation set from Farpoint
There are of course high-end devices among the range of collimator lasers, such as those from the American manufacturer Farpoint. This company produces and sells several collimator sets with 1.25″ and 2″ collimator lasers, with either 635nm or 650nm wavelength, as well as a robust padded case, in which the collimator can be stored and transported nicely protected from dust, moisture and other influences.
In our shop you will find the various high-tech lasers from Farpoint to suit your individual needs. Just take a look and perfect the performance of your Newtonian telescope!
October 7 2021, Stefan Taube
The Baader SunDancer II sun filter transforms smaller refractors quickly and simply into telescopes for solar observation using H-alpha spectral lines. In this wavelength, you can see the Sun’s chromosphere with dark filaments, bright radiation bursts and spectacular solar prominences!
Baader SunDancer II H-alpha 2″/1.25″ solar filter
Simply position the SunDancer II between the diagonal mirror and the eyepiece and connect it to a power source. The filter is then automatically brought to the optimal operating temperature so that no adjustments are required during longer observations.
The SunDancer II can be safely used on refracting telescopes with apertures up to 80 millimetres. An additional energy rejection filter is only required in front of the telescope for objective apertures upwards of 80 millimetres; alternatively, the telescope can be dimmed using an optional 80mm screen in front of the lens.
Telescopes with secondary mirrors, such as Newtonian, Maksutov or SCTs, always require an additional energy rejection filter, regardless of their size.
The complete solar disc can be seen in telescopes with apertures of up to 600mm.
The T2 thread beneath the eyepiece clamp facilitates easy adaptation for larger cameras:
SunDancer II with DSLR camera
A power supply unit is included. For mobile observation, a powerbank can also be used.
You can find further information on this particularly high-quality H-alpha filter for the eyepiece side here in our shop.
September 22 2021, Stefan Taube
The Heritage FlexTube telescope is a much-loved Dobsonian with a table-top tripod. Its very compact mount is easier to transport due to a collapsible upper part – it doesn’t get more compact!
The manufacturer Skywatcher now offers this handy Dobsonian with computerised controls: the Heritage FlexTube Virtuoso GTi telescope
Skywatcher Dobson N 150/750 Heritage FlexTube Virtuoso GTi telescope
The Virtuoso GTi’s mount hones in on selected objects and follows their path across the sky, so that they are always visible in the eyepiece.
The mount also has its own WiFi to which your smartphone can connect. Using the free SynScan app for iOS and Android, you can then set up and control your mount. Once the app is installed on your smartphone, you no longer need an internet connection to control the mount.
Manual controls are also not required and are therefore not included.
The motorised version of the Dobsonian is also very compact and easy to transport.
As with the non-motorised version, the Virtuoso GTi telescope also uses tried and tested 150/750 Newtonian optics. This 6-incher with a convenient aperture ratio reveals faint nebulae in the night sky, such as the famous Orion Nebula, the Messier 13 globular cluster or the Andromeda Galaxy, 2.5 million light years away.
By the way, you can also mount the Heritage FlexTube Virtuoso GTi on a camera tripod or an astronomical tripod with a photo thread, such as the Skywatcher tripod with 3/8″ mounting bolt.
August 27 2021, Marcus Schenk
Using the latest deluxe equatorial wedge, aligning the MiniTrack with the north celestial pole is easier than ever. The advantages? Spherical stars all night long.
How do you align your MiniTrack and other astrotrackers without an equatorial wedge? In theory, this is possible using a tripod head but the alignment and the fixed support sometimes resemble weather forecasting, in a word: uncertain. And yet, the photography session is meant to be a success.
The right tools for success
Thanks to the deluxe equatorial wedge, you can simply and precisely align your MiniTrack with the north celestial pole. It’s easy peasy lemon squeezy!
A robust locking mechanism provides permanent polar alignment, even when you are continuously focusing your camera on new targets.
In our set-up, we use an Omegon 32mm carbon tripod, the deluxe equatorial wedge and a MiniTrack 3 with pole finder.
Simple installation on any tripod
Using the 3/8 inch thread, you can attach the polar wedge to any camera tripod. To do so, you simply need a mini Vixen-style rail, such as the Omegon 55mm prism rail, which can be used with the MiniTrack. You can then connect and align your astrotracker easily.
Quality made in Portugal
The equatorial wedge is manufactured to the highest quality and consists of CNC components and stainless-steel screws. It is produced in small batches in Portugal and checked for quality.
The ideal addition to your MiniTrack: view the Omegon Deluxe equatorial wedge in the shop now.
August 26 2021, Stefan Taube
At some point it will be possible to have star parties again! Great news for those who have tents! But why not have a tent in which you can pitch your telescope?
Explore Scientific observatory tent
The new Explore Scientific observatory tent is not only designed for star parties, but also ideal for when you want to observe with protection from wind and scattered light. It’s even worth putting it up in your own garden if a period of good weather makes observation possible multiple nights in a row.
During the day, the weather-proof observatory tent protects your telescope from sunlight or sudden changes in the weather.
Weather protection prevents unpleasant surprises
The real star of the show is its sturdy pre–tensioning: Release the holding strap and the whole tent unfolds from its packaging with almost no assistance. To find out more, watch this video on the product page.
Lots of space for your equipment: The observatory tent takes up a surface area of over five square metres. It is divided into two sections. This means one section can be used for the telescope and the other for your equipment.
The observatory tent is also easy to transport. So, you can still have enough space in your car for other important things for the star party.
You can find further information about this innovative product here in our shop.
July 1 2021, Stefan Taube
The manufacturer Baader presents new filters for astrophotography in the spectral lines H-alpha, OIII and SII.
The half-width of the narrowband filters is 6.5 nanometres, and for the ultra-narrowband it is as little as 3.5 to 4 nanometres. The f/2 filters are optimised for very fast astrographs such as Celestron’s RASA optics.
All filters are available in standard sizes:
With a line filter, astrophotography of luminous nebulae is possible even under a light-polluted city sky! These filters only allow those wavelenghts of light in which the selected celestial object shines to fall on the camera sensor. All other wavelengths are blocked. This produces high-contrast images of planetary nebulae, supernovae remnants and star-forming regions.
Three types of line filters are used in astrophotography, each of which is transparent to the brightest spectral lines of oxygen, sulphur or hydrogen atoms. Depending on the astronomical object, a single filter may be enough for a spectacular image. Combining three shots, each taken through a line filter, creates an ideal result.
The new generation of Baader CMOS-optimised filters is characterised by, among other things:
- Reflex-Blocker™ coatings, for maximum insensitivity to retro-reflection from adjacent auxiliary optics, even under the most adverse conditions.
- FWHM on each filter category carefully designed to allow for 1:1:1 exposures, matched for typical CMOS quantum efficiency and S/N ratio.
- Blackened edges all around, with filter-lead-side-indicator in the form of a black frontside outer rim, to additionally eliminate any reflections due to light falling onto the edges of a filter.
- Each filter is coated individually, with sealed coating edges.
- Life-Coat™: Hard coatings to enable a non-aging coating for life – even in the most adverse environments.
You can find all the new filters here in the shop.
June 16 2021, Marcus Schenk
The Omegon Advanced 150/750 EQ-320 telescope is a popular instrument offering an introduction to the exciting hobby of astronomy. With a new, large focuser, you can now even use 2″ eyepieces. For stunning observing and almost limitless views of the cosmos.
Until now, observers using the Advanced 150/750 EQ-320 have only been able to use 1.25” eyepieces and accessories, but with the new 2″ Crayford focuser (patent pending), you will literally grow your horizons. This gives you the freedom to choose the eyepieces and accessories you want to use.
These are advantages the focuser offers:
With the 2″ eyepieces available in our shop, you can reach a larger area of the sky than is possible with 1.25″ eyepieces. For example, you can capture full-size large nebulae or enjoy seemingly never-ending vast fields full of stars. It also makes it easier for you to find objects. In short, a 2″ focuser is a blessing for deep-sky observers who want to experience the skies as if through a panorama window.
What if you complement the standard 1.25″ eyepiece, as supplied, with a 2″ eyepiece? The Omegon SWA 32mm 2″ eyepiece offers a fantastic image and a real wow-effect for deep sky observing.
Smooth mechanics for precise focusing
Such large focusers are quite unusual for a 150mm Newtonian telescope. However, our development department wanted to ensure that even owners of medium and compact telescopes could benefit from wide-angle eyepieces. In contrast to a normal geared focuser, the new 2″ Crayford focuser with ball bearings runs totally free of play. This allows you to focus your object smoothly and with high precision.
The advantages of the Advanced 150/750 EQ-320:
- Experience sharp and clear objects: with the parabolic primary mirror
- 2″ Crayford focuser (patent pending) for 1.25″ and 2″ eyepieces: you can connect additional accessories at any time – even from other manufacturers
- Equatorial mount: so that you can precisely track celestial objects
- Trouble-free start in the sky: complete telescope with two eyepieces
- Find objects easily and successfully with an illuminated LED finder
- Immediately recognise stars, planets and nebulae – even if you’re an absolute beginner
The Advanced 150/750 EQ-320 telescope is available with immediate effect with a 2″ focuser.
June 11 2021, Stefan Taube
A photo mount allows you to track the rotation of the night sky on a camera equipped with a photo lens or a small telescope. This allows for long exposure shots of large areas of the night sky.
The manufacturer OpenAstroTech now offers a very functional, yet particularly inexpensive variant of a photo mount. The OpenAstroTracker is a mount you can build yourself!
The OpenAstroTracker with camera and optional autoguider
Building the mount yourself is not only fun and educational, you also get a powerful GoTo mount at an extremely low price thanks to the DIY approach!
Some of the features:
- GoTo: The mount comes with full, computer-control functionality. The electronics are compatible with commonly used astronomy software.
- Suitable for DSLR cameras with a maximum total length of 35cm (camera body with lens). The maximum recommended focal length without autoguider is 200mm.
- High-precision stepper motors: GoTo positioning accuracy of approx. 1 arcmin, tracking accuracy of 25 arcsec, guided accuracy of approx. 1 arcsec.
What you will need: A USB power bank able to deliver at least 5V 1A
The OpenAstroTracker is available in different latitude setting versions. We will supply you with a set that allows you to set up the mount for a latitude of either 35° to 45° or 45° to 55°.
The OpenAstroTracker kit
No need to worry: The electronic components are all designed for easy use. No soldering is necessary.
A matching DIY autoguider is also available as an option: OpenAstroGuider V2
April 15 2021, Stefan Taube
The Polish telescope manufacturer Taurus is offering digital setting circles (DSCs) for upgrading their Dobsonian telescopes. This accessory provides the telescope with constant information about the position of its axes. If you simply connect your smartphone to the telescope, in a planetarium app you can see which area of the sky your telescope is looking at.
Taurus Dobsonian with DSC system
Of course, its inverse application is more interesting: Find an interesting object in the planetarium app and let your smartphone show you how you should move the telescope in order to observe this object through the eyepiece. This approach is also known as PushTo. You can find all PushTo telescopes here in the shop.
The Bluetooth and WiFi DSC system in detail
Your Taurus telescope can be fitted with a DSC at any time. However, we also offer all models with pre-installed DSC here: Taurus Dobson telescopes with PushTo.
Alongside the DSC encoders, Taurus also offers two other upgrade options:
These accessories can also be delivered pre-installed so that you don’t have to get your hands dirty.
In order not to get lost in the extensive selection of Taurus Dobsonians, you can tell which accessories are pre-installed by the product name:
- Telescopes with the abbreviation SMH in their name are equipped with secondary mirror heating (SMH).
- Telescopes labelled DSC (short for digital setting circles) are compatible with PushTo.
- If the product name includes CF, the primary mirror is fitted with a cooling fan.
For example, the Taurus Dobsonian N 504/2150 T500 Professional SMH DSC CF features secondary mirror heating, digital setting circles and a primary mirror cooling fan.
We will gladly help you to select the right Taurus Dobsonian telescope for you. What you also need is a little patience as your Dobsonian is only manufactured when you place your order – they don’t stock mass-produced telescopes.
March 26 2021, Marcus Schenk
The new Astrographs from Omegon are special telescopes for full-frame cameras, and offer high light-gathering capabilities. With the dizzyingly fast aperture ratio from f/2.8 to f/3.2, you can take astronomy photos with extremely short exposure times.
Pole position on your mount
This telescope doesn’t need to warm up, it’s ready to go immediately for fast astrophotography. The 6-inch and 8-inch astrographs with f/2.8 and f/3.2 are about three times faster than a normal f/5 Newtonian telescope. This means you can take astronomical photos much quicker, and minimise tracking errors.
Short focal length, large field of view
Wide-field astrophotography is gaining ground and has a very large fan base thanks to mounts such as the MiniTrack. But with this telescope, you can go a step further into the detail and capture wide nebulae and create fantastic wide-field images.
Full speed for full-frame
With a 3-inch focuser, the built-in 3-inch corrector and a 90mm secondary mirror, the Omegon Astrograph illuminates a 44mm image circle, making it perfect for using with a full-frame, high-resolution camera. With a working distance of 55mm, you do not need any additional distance adapters for DSLR cameras. With the Omegon Telescope Pro Astrograph N200/640 OTA, you have a screen diagonal of about 3.8 degrees, with a standard full-frame sensor. This makes the California Nebula in Perseus, the Andromeda Galaxy or the area around the Veil Nebula amazing destinations.
Elegant carbon tube
The new astrograph not only looks elegant and high-quality, it actually is. The carbon tube offers you the additional advantage of stable focus, because the material is particularly thermally-stable.
The models are available in the following variants:
Omegon Telescope Pro Astrograph N150/420OTA
Omegon Telescope Pro Astrograph N 200/640 OTA
Do you want to explore new horizons in astrophotography? Then get to know the Omegon Astrograph.