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Archive for the 'New Products' category

NBX – the new dual nebula filter from IDAS

October 19 2020, Jan Ströher

A new, high quality dual band filter has appeared on the market, in the form of the NBX nebula filter from Japanese company, IDAS.  It is especially efficient for nebula photography using fast optics, like the Celestron RASA, for example. Like the existing IDAS (Astro Hutech) nebula filters, the new NBX is of impeccable quality and workmanship.

The IGAD (Ion-Gun Assist Deposition) coating technology which has been specially applied to astronomical filters by the Japanese manufacturer, Astro Hutech, was originally developed for optical communication, where long-term stability (> 25 years) is required in rough field conditions.

IDAS NBX 48mm nebula filter

This leads to filters with robust coatings and durable spectral stability – even at extreme temperatures and humidity levels. This stability is especially important for bandpass curves with steep sides, such as H-alpha, LPS filters and other narrow band filters. Filters with IGAD coatings almost completely eliminate bandpass shifts of +/- 3 or 4nm, which are typical with standard filters.

The NBX is a dual filter which specifically focuses on OIII and H-alpha lines. The NBX‘s transmission curves in the H-alpha and OIII ranges are very clearly illustrated in these two figures:

Transmission curves in H-alpha

 

Transmission curves in OIII

 

You can see that the IDAS NBX filter primarily realises its full potential when used with very fast optical systems and astrographs, such as a Celestron RASA, especially fast Newtonian reflectors with f-numbers between f/2 and f/4 and special devices, such as the Officina Stellare Veloce RH 200 Mark II-AT (Riccardi-Honders).

The NGC 281 “Pacman” Nebula in the constellation Cassiopeia

This dramatically increases the contrast within emission nebulae, which predominantly consist of oxygen (OIII) or hydrogen compounds (H-alpha). Additionally, longer exposure times are no longer required, predominantly due to the use of the above-mentioned, extremely fast optics, but also due to the NBX filter’s special contrast effects. The filter is ideal for use with ‘one shot’ colour cameras and monochromatic CMOS cameras. An IR blocking filter is then no longer required. Additionally, the NBX is parfocal with other IDAS LPS nebula filters.

New: Skywatcher Star Adventurer with Wi-Fi

October 16 2020, Stefan Taube

The manufacturer Skywatcher has now equipped its Star Adventurer with Wi-Fi. This means that the popular photographic mount can now be controlled conveniently and most importantly, remotely, using a free app.

The set also includes a polar wedge, a counterweight and an L-bracket.

What hasn’t changed is the proven concept: the Star Adventurer allows the tracking of the night sky with a camera. In this way, long-exposure images of the night sky can be taken without a telescope, simply through the camera lens. Such photographic mounts are enjoying ever-increasing popularity. The Star Adventurer is one of the larger models with a load capacity of five kilograms.

We offer the Star Adventurer as a photographic set with practical accessories, or in the standard configuration . All you need is a photographic tripod and of course a camera. However Skywatcher itself also offers a tripod for the Star Adventurer.

As far as the camera is concerned, we offer a wide range of DSLR cameras which are specially modified for astrophotography.

CEM70 with iGuider – the latest innovation from iOptron

September 23 2020, Jan Ströher

The American company iOptron, which has already built a good reputation for itself in recent years with innovative, efficient and quiet mounts, launched a worthy successor to the popular CEM60 in April this year: the CEM70.

The new CEM70 comes with the characteristic appearance of the proven CEM mounts. CEM stands for centre-balanced equatorial mount. This design allows a particularlyfavourable ratio of load capacity to actual mount weight. In the case of the CEM70, the ratio is 2.3. This means that the mount carries more than twice its own weight! So, the CEM70 is still suitable for mobile applications, but is also a very good mount for observatories.

The stepper motors and the toothed belt drive allow high pointing accuracy in GoTo operation, but most importantly, a very precise tracking accuracy with a periodic error of less than +/- 3.5 arc seconds. All this with the usual welcome quiet operation of all iOptron mounts.

Just like the CEM25P or the CEM60, the new model is perfectly suited for astrophotography. The highlight is a version which comes with iGuider, an integrated autoguider! In addition, both versions of the CEM70 have an ST4 interface, built-in GPS, a sturdy transport case, quiet stepper motors, the proven Go2Nova hand controller, as well as a dual mount saddle for Vixen and Losmandy dovetail plates.

With a maximum load capacity of 31kg, the CEM70 offers great flexibility for different telescopes and the appropriate photographic equipment. All in all, the new CEM70 is an even more portable mount with a wellthought-out design, useful functions and additional features, which also carries a higher instrument load even more safely, tracks quietly and precisely, and thus will never let you down during astrophotography! Both model versions can be found from us here at Astroshop.

Lithium LT – the new power tank from Celestron

August 10 2020, Stefan Taube

With the PowerTank Lithium LT, Celestron is introducing a particularly light battery, which is especially suitable for smaller telescopes.

Celestron_Powertank_LT

The power tank can be attached to a tripod leg using the velcro straps included.

Modern telescope electronics react very sensitively to an incorrect voltage. Operating a telescope at too low a voltage can cause the motors to suffer at higher loads and even cause the electronics to fail. The PowerTank Lithium LT uses a built-in voltage regulator to ensure that it continually delivers at least 11.8 volts, until the battery is almost empty and shuts itself down.

Compared to a classic lead-acid battery, the PowerTank Lithium LT is smaller, lighter, more efficient and better for the environment. It offers better performance, a longer life and safer operation than other, cheaper lithium-ion batteries. It also offers automatic shutdown, reverse polarity protection and charge/discharge protection, as well as protection against overvoltage and short circuits.

Celestron_Powertank_LT_1

A smartphone can be charged using the USB output.

We recommend the PowerTank Lithium LT  for telescopes from the following series:

By the way: the battery also meets the current FAA regulations for hand luggage – ideal for travelling!

New: fabric masks with attractive astronomy themes

July 13 2020, Marcus Schenk

Whether you are going to the supermarket, the book shop or the public observatory; in all these locations you need to wear a mask. So why not wear one that you really like? Luckily, there are now new astronomy-themed masks. Beautiful images with the Pleiades and the solar corona during an eclipse. As a hobby astronomer and fan of outer space, make a statement with one of these masks.

A great addition to the Masketo fabric mask range, which were previously only available in black or white, in different sizes – including for children – or with the Corona Borealis design.

The solar corona: the Sun is one of the reasons why there is life on Earth. It is only a medium-sized star on the edge of the galaxy, but it is for us – along with our Earth – vitally important. This mask shows a total eclipse of the Sun, which occurs when the Moon moves in between the Earth and the Sun. By an absurd coincidence, the Moon and the Sun appear to be the same size in the sky, which allows us to marvel at the solar corona depicted on the mask during a total eclipse.

Maske mit Sonnencorona

Solar corona

The Pleiades: the Pleiades were recognised in the sky even in the very early days, as found in a 17,000-year-old rock-drawing in a cave, or in an image on the ancient Nebra sky disk. Some people mistake it for the Little Dipper, but it is the best-known open star cluster in the starry sky. Just 400 light years away, large blue stars and only 100 million years old.

Plejaden auf der Maske

Pleiades

Summer theme: If you simply want to share a little summer with your mask, this one is ideal, with palm trees and fresh turquoise colour accents.

Maske mit Sommermotiv

Summer theme

All Masketo masks are non-medical masks that can help reduce the spread of airborne droplets in the Corona crisis.

The benefits:

  • Themed mask
  • With elastic loops
  • 2-ply with wire for nose clip
  • Inner surface 100% cotton + outer surface 100% polyester
  • Washable at up to 60°C
  • Made in Europe

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 not personal protective equipment (PPE).

Totally stylish, whether in the observatory or at the astronomy club: be sure to secure your fabric star mask today.

New: StarSense Explorer telescopes from Celeston

June 30 2020, Stefan Taube

The idea of controlling a telescope with a smartphone is nothing new. With the StarSense Explorer range, Celestron brings  another option into play, which may be particularly interesting for beginners.

A special feature of the StarSense Explorer telescopes is that a WLAN connection does not need to be established between the telescope and the smartphone. The free StarSense Explorer app orients itself directly to the night sky, via the smartphone camera and a sophisticated mirror system.

Celestron StarSense Explorer DX

Celeston StarSense Explorer DX

 

Here’s how it works: All you need to do is install the free StarSense Explorer app and insert your smartphone into the special cradle attached to the telescope. The app uses location data from your smartphone to determine the observing location and does not require you to separately enter the current date and time.

The StarSense Explorer app uses a special lost-in-space algorithm (LISA), which is also used for the orientation of satellites. Star patterns recorded by the smartphone camera are compared with the internal database. These calculations are combined with information from the smartphone’s gyroscope and accelerometer. All this leads to a very high degree of precision that no other planetarium app can achieve! So you can move confidently through the night, even with no prior knowledge!

In drei Schritten zum Erfolg

Insert your smartphone, launch the app and you’re ready to start observing.

The StarSense Explorer app will suggest rewarding objects to observe that night at your location. You can also use the planetarium view to pan to interesting objects and identify them.

StarSense Explorer telescopes are supplied with an altazimuth mount so you can move the telescope simply about the altitude and azimuth axes. Two shafts with large grips allow fine adjustment and tracking. The telescopes are not equipped with a motor, but belong to the class of PushTo telescopes.

By the way, of course you can also use your StarSense Explorer telescope without a smartphone, for example, for a quick view of the Moon, which you should be able to find without an electronic helper.

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!

29.10.2020
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