The built-in SkyViewer star chart is intuitive to use and allows you to easily navigate through the night sky by clicking and zooming.
Advanced PointXP lets you create a highly accurate model of the night sky which uses more than 100 reference points to enable highly accurate positioning and tracking.
Ideal for observatories: You can carry out alignment directly from the PC, save the alignment model and simply upload it again the next night you observe. Alignment can also be done entirely automatically using the optional StarSense module.
Extensive internal database. Access to the SIMBAD professional astronomy database possible via the Internet.
Worm screw periodic error compensation: PEC can be done from the PC via CPWI.
System requirements: Windows 7, 8 or 10 operating system, with USB 2.0 or 3.0 connection, 15MB hard disk space and 64MB RAM. Screen resolution of 1024×768 or higher is recommended.
Diamonds really are astronomers’ best friends – at least since the BaaderDiamond Steeltrack focuser has been available. It uses real diamonds in its drive system!
In contrast to conventional Crayford or rack-and-pinion focusers, the Diamond Steeltrack’s micronized drive system guarantees entirely backlash-free operation, is completely non-slip and torsion-free – and has a vertical load capacity of 6 kilograms!
Diamond Steeltrack focuser on a Celestron EdgeHD telescope
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 CEM40is hence ideally suited for astrophotography with telescopes of up to 8 inches (200 millimetres) in aperture.
The CEM40 is the latest addition to iOptron’s CEM series
The abbreviation CEMstands 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 CEM40weighs 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 CEM40comes equipped with an electronic pole finder, known as ‘iPolar’. A laptop is required to operate this however, so the CEM40is 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!
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 IDASare 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
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.
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.
The motor fits all SC, EdgeHD and RASA optics, as well as the two new Maksutovs with CGEM-IIand 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 CGXand 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 brand ZWO is, especially thanks to its powerful and user-friendly CMOS astrocameras, a frequently heard name in amateur astronomy.
With the ASIAIR control unit, ZWO now promises to fundamentally change the astrophotography scene! It’s a compact computer (Raspberry Pi), that is secured to the telescope of the mount. The device can do everything you expect a computerised telescope system of the 21st century to do!
Mount, camera, filter wheel, and autoguider are connected with the ASIAIR. Via an app for Android or iOS, everything can be controlled centrally and wirelessly via WLAN from the smartphone or tablet. You’ll no longer need to take your laptop with you to autoguide and to use cooled astrocameras. There are also advanced functions such as plate solving at the press of a button.
Other manufacturers like PrimaLuceLab with the EAGLE 2 are following similar approaches to computerisation. This one may feature higher performance and a wider range of functions, but there’s also the user-friendly ASIAIR for just a fraction of the price.
Socket for vehicle power plug (cigarette lighter cable). This cable is included with most telescopic mounts as an accessory.
High shelf life – unlike other power tanks, this battery does not need to be used regularly in order to maintain its performance.
Long operating life – up to 2,000 charging cycles, which only take about 3 hours.
Like its little brother, the larger Powertank also employs Celestron’s well thought-out design – it can be attached to the tripod with the loop and Velcro fastener provided. The torch has a red light function and the lid with the connections can be closed to protect against dust and moisture.
Thanks to its cigarette lighter connection, the Lithium Pro Powertank can be used with almost any mount. A powerful portable power supply such as this is highly recommended for slightly larger mounts, such as the Celestron CGX or the Skywatcher EQ6-R.
The abbreviation LPI-G stands for Lunar and Planetary Imager & Guider. These cameras from Meade are ideal for astrophotography involving the Sun, Moon and planets. Even small telescopes can safely carry these lightweight cameras. They plug into the telescope like an eyepiece and are connected to the laptop via USB.
Delivery includes Meade SkyCapture software – this allows intuitive operation and use of other programs via the ASCOM interface. The ST-4 socket means the cameras can also be used perfectly well as auto-guiders – that is, for the tracking control of your mount.
The standard version of the LPI-G series has a 1.2 megapixel sensor. The LPI-G Advanced camera offers a wider dynamic range, a 6.3 MP sensor and a high 59 fps frame rate. It has a USB 3.0 port to allow it to handle this data stream,.
The reasonably priced standard version is eminently suitable for beginners who would like to first get some experience. The Advanced model goes way beyond this and allows an intensive experience with planetary astrophotography to develop over many years.
Both versions are available as black-and-white or colour cameras. The black-and-white cameras have the advantage of higher sensitivity and resolution. The cost of colour imaging is higher as you will also need the appropriate colour filters and a filter wheel.
The trend of using smartphone cameras for photography with optical instruments has remained steady. This is, of course, an obvious choice because everyone has this camera with them, ready to send pictures; and these cameras are always improving. The large range ofsmartphone mounts has been extended by Celestron, adding a very interesting model.
The Celestron NexYZ is not only particularly robust; it can be adjusted in all three axes using a rotary knob. This means you’ll be able to set the perfect distance between the eyepiece and the adapter. This feature, in combination with the ease, with which the smartphone can be changed, is interesting for public shots at observatories, because all visitors want to take their personal moon photo home with them.
The clamp of the NexYZ adapter is also wonderfully suited for use on spotting scopes.
Many amateur astronomers started their hobby with the EQ-3 by Skywatcher. There’s one reason: The mount is excellent value for money and easy to transport. It can be used as an equatorial mount with motorised tracking for astrophotography and offers the functionality of larger mounts with its SynScan control.
The special highlight of the EQM-35 Pro is the removal declination axis. This way you can use it as a photo mount , with a camera and lens taking the place of the telescope. The EQM-35 Pro then tracks the sky’s rotation, allowing long-exposure shots of larger constellations.
With the new EQM-35 Pro, you’ll be getting a versatile and very light mount on a sturdy steel tube tripod. A very good choice for taking up astronomy as a hobby without breaking the bank and a good travel mount for experienced astrophotographers.