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Archive for 2016

Infographic: The Star of Bethlehem

December 22 2016, Marcus Schenk

The story of the three kings travelling to Bethlehem is known by much of the western world. However, a number of cosmic phenomena could provide explanation to how a star could have shone so brightly to lead the three kings to the fertile crescent two millennia ago.

For more info on how this particular event may have occurred, have a look at our info-graphic below. The embed code for the info-graphic is also available.

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Omegon V-Power: toughened focusers for better astro photos

November 28 2016, Marcus Schenk

Taking astro photos means facing many challenges. One of these are sharp astro photos. It is not easy to focus on weakly glowing stars and nebulae during the night. A perfectly tracked astro photo, but blurred? Inconceivable!

However, the perfect solution for this is now available: the new Omegon V-Power focusers. Making sure that your astro photo does not end up in drama, but as a story with a happy end.

Nur echt mit dem V: Der V-Power High-End-Okularauszug

What makes the V-Power focusers so distinct?

Important parts of the V-Power focuser are made of stainless steel instead of soft aluminium. Robust V2A ball bearings and stainless steel rings ensure high precision focusing. A dual speed 1:10 reduction provides the basis for a sensitively focusedastro photo, and the laser engraving allows you to return to previous settings very quickly. And if you have planned the future use of a motorized control, this is also possible.

With the V-Power finder base you can now also connect your finder scope. Simply attach the base to the focuser – and you are ready to go!

With these sets you can simply connect the focuser to your telescope

The V-Power series is available in different versions: for Newton and Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes. A plug & play solution is available in a set with matching adapters. Easy focusing in just a few steps.

You want to learn more? Follow this link to the focuser for better astro photos.

Skywatcher: A new addition to the Star Adventurer family

November 7 2016, Stefan Taube

The Star Adventurer from Skywatcher literally is a handy camera mount. For us, a camera mount is an astronomical mount that tracks the rotation of the sky with a photo camera, not with a telescope. This way you will successfully shoot impressive wide field images of the night sky: entire constellations, the belt of the milky way, or atmospheric constellations of the Moon and planets.

A new addition to the Star Adventurer family

The Mini Star Adventurer Wi-Fi from Skywatcheris now available:

mini-star-adventurer

Just like the classic Star Adventurer we also offer this model in two variations: The Photo-Set only consists of the photo mount without any further accessories. This variation is perfect for customers who already have accessories, or want to use the Star Adventurer for applications other than astro photography. The Astro-Set variation comes with everything you need to be able to use the Star Adventurer as an astronomical mount. You only need an additional camera tripod. An excellent solution is the very light Titania 600 from Omegon.

What has changed on the new Star Adventurer?

The Mini Star Adventurer Wi-Fi is no replacement for the classic model. As indicated by its name, the load capacity of the new version is lower. The classic Star Adventurer is able to carry approx. 5 kilogramme; for the Mini Star Adventurer the manufacturer recommends an additional load of maximum 3 kilogramme. This low load gives you the opportunity to operate the Mini Star Adventurer via an integrated powerpack, which is charged via Mini-USB. You no longer need any batteries.

Another major difference is the control via app: The Mini Star Adventurer Wi-Fi generates its own WIFI network. You can wirelessly connect your smartphone or tablet to the camera mount. For this purpose, Skywatcher provides an app for Android and iOS free of charge. The advantage of this app is the fact that no additional manual control is required because you already own a smartphone, including the convenience of the graphical user interface and touchscreen. You can actually use the app to control your camera via the Mini Star Adventurer Wi-Fi and to make a vast variety of settings. This all takes place without touching: no camera movement, no disturbance of the polar alignment.

By the way: With camera mounts like the models of the Star Adventurer series you will also be able to take panorama and time lapse images. Camera mounts are highly versatile tools for ambitious photographers.

Winter clothes: The nights are getting cold again!

October 24 2016, Stefan Taube

Fashionable clothing actually is not our core competence, but we know exactly how the temperatures can drop during these autumn nights! This is why our outdoor range offers a selection of cold protection clothing.

The following items have been very well received:Planam

You can even get your hot tea from a Thermos flask from us! Just add the hot tea.

Celestron Inspire: New ideas for starter telescopes!

October 17 2016, Stefan Taube

My first telescope was a small, 60 millimetre refractor on a very wobbly azimuthal mount with a wooden tripod. Even though it was only a very simple piece of equipment, I had fun with it right from the beginning. I can still remember the fascination when looking at the Orion nebula for the first time. Even today I gladly use this simple achromatic telescope to watch sunspots – obviously through a solar filter!

However, such reasonable starter telescopes do not have to be wobbly! Telescope manufacturer Celestron shows that even budget-priced refractors on azimuthal mounts can feature exquisite product design. The new Inspire series features a few really innovative improvements.

Inspire

This starts with a solid steel tripod. The accessory plate, which also stabilizes the tripod, no longer needs to be unscrewed after a star gazing session (the screw required for this purpose will sooner or later be lost in the grass anyway). Just simply open the interlock instead and fold down the tripod including the accessory plate. It has never been more convenient to set up or disassemble a tripod!

Apart from this, the clamping screws for the extendable tripod legs point inwards to make sure that you will not accidentally get entangled with your trousers.

Stativ InspireFurther features of the Inspire series:

  • The newly developed red dot finder comes with target circles instead of an annoying centre mark.
  • The Amici prism ensures an upright image, so that daytime nature observations are also possible.
  • The focusing screws of the focuser are big and have a good grip to allow the use of gloves.
  • The dust protection lid for the eyepiece also serves as a smartphone adapter. All eyepieces included in the scope of delivery can be clamped into this lid, just like the smartphone. This allows you to use your smartphone to take magnified photos of the Moon and planets through the eyepieces.
  • The mount is equipped with an integrated red light lamp. The diffuse light of this lamp illuminates the accessories plate without dazzling the eyes. However, you can easily pull the lamp out of the mount to use it as a pocket torch.

Currently, Celestron offers three models of the Inspire series

Each of these three models is far better than my first telescope, but I still had a lot of fun with it!

 

Omegon apochromatic telescope 102 mm and 127 mm Triplet: The “People’s Apo” has been improved

October 10 2016, Marcus Schenk

Whoever looks through an apo for the first time is usually thrilled. Twin stars, star clusters or planets: for these objects, an apo – without any doubt – takes the pole position. The two best-sellers from Omegon are the 102 mm and the 127mm Triplet apos – part of our product range since 2010! Now they have been revised and considerably improved. And best of all: The price has not been changed.

Just learn what has been changed to make this equipment more impressive than ever for amateur astronomers:

1. Adjustable lens cell

In the past telescopes were obviously adjusted, but any re-adjustment was very difficult. At least, you really needed to know what you were doing. This has now changed! We have developed a completely new and temperature compensating lens cell, which makes adjusting as simple as riding a bike – okay, maybe almost as simple. Four adjustment and fixing screws help you to adjust the eyepiece. This is easily done with an open end spanner, using the North Star as a reference.

triplet-blog

2. Finder base

The finder base with double-T profile was swapped for a standard Vixen-style base. You can now mount almost any finderscope or LED finder. This gives you more freedom of choice, because in the past only a few models fitted correctly.

3. Suitable for binocular attachments

Not everybody uses them, even though they really elicit a WOW-effect during observation. Binoculars allow you to watch with two eyes and give you plastic impressions. They are particularly fantastic for watching the Moon and planets. For problem-free use of a binocular the tube has been slightly shortened to provide more focusing space for the connection. Now you can use a binocular with diagonal mirror.

4. Reinforced prism rail

During the constant assembly and disassembly of a telescope, the prism rail suffers a lot. The screws of the mount repeatedly dig into the soft aluminium and leave scratches and sometimes even deep notches. We have now reinforced the prism rail of your apo with a stainless steel plate, so that it can still be used for many years to come. Scratches and deep notches are a thing of the past.

5. Retractable dew-shield

The dew-shield is now extendable and retractable and no longer attached.

By the way: Each apo now comes with a measurement protocol as a standard. Furthermore, we check the adjustment of each telescope and include a test image of the adjustment. But did you know, that, on request, we will also check your telescope on our optical bench? From the star test in autocollimation up to the interferometric test.

 

New: SkyTracker Pro from iOptron

September 26 2016, Stefan Taube

You do not need very much to be able to take long exposure photos of the night sky. Even with a system camera or a DSLR with interchangeable lenses you can take photos of large regions of the sky, such as constellations, special constellations of the Moon and planets or even the belt of the milky way.

All you need besides the camera is just a little piece of accessory to be mounted between tripod and camera. This accessory, referred to as camera mount, makes your camera rotate with the starry sky. This makes sure that stars will not appear as dashed lines after a longer exposure time. The SkyTracker from iOptron is the mount that has set standards. This narrow and light piece of accessory fits into any photo bag – ideal also for travelling!

With the Sky Tracker Pro, iOptron now launches a new version of this popular camera mount:SkyTracker

  • You no longer need any batteries! The integrated powerpack can be simply charged via your computer or via a mobile power supply, sufficient for approx. 24 hours of operation. You can obviously also use a Powertank to supply the Sky Tracker Pro continuously with electric current via USB.
  • The polar finder for aligning the equatorial wedge (Alt-Az base) with the North Star is illuminated with eight selectable brightness stages. A rough alignment is made through a peephole and a height scale on the wedge.
  • The equatorial wedge is mechanically considerably more stable than the classic SkyTracker. It has a large height adjustment wheel with a non-slip clamping lever and adjustment screws. The wedge can be separated from the tracking unit. This way it may stay on the tripod and the SkyTracker Pro can be simply plugged on.
  • You can choose from four speeds: stellar, solar, lunar and 0.5-times. Half the stellar speed is quite useful if you want to photograph landscape details in the foreground together with the stars.
    Due to the reduced tracking speed, these elements remain sharp. By the way: You can also reverse the sense of rotation of the motor, so that the SkyTracker Pro also works in the Southern hemisphere.
  • With a weight of slightly more than one kilogram and dimensions of 12 cm x 12 cm x 10 cm, the SkyTracker Pro is quite compact, despite its high quality mechanics, and will surely fit into your travel luggage.

Besides the tripod, you also need a ball head in order to use the SkyTracker Pro in the most effective way. Since many photographers already have a ball head in their possession, it is not included in the scope of delivery of the SkyTracker Pro. Under the “Recommended Accessories” tab on the SkyTracker Pro product page you will find a highly suitable example.

By the way: At Astroshop.eu we also offer astro modified system cameras. These cameras are highly sensitive in the red range of the spectrum and enhance the image quality of cosmic nebulae.

 

EAGLE: The computer for astrophotography

September 12 2016, Stefan Taube

Why EAGLE?

Hardly any other sector of our hobby, astronomy, has experienced such a dynamic development over the last few years than astro photography. But this all comes at a price! If in the past one had to set up a Dobsonian telescope, search the eyepiece bag for the correct focal length and probably also a colour filter, the mobile astronomer of today travels with an “observatory to go”: Equatorial mount with heavy counterweights, optics, camera, guiding telescope, guiding camera, laptop and large powerpack. Is there no easier way? The EAGLE control unit makes this possible. It is a computer that is tightly connected to the tube, and it controls mount, camera and guiding camera, centrally supplies electric current, and saves images. You can operate EAGLE wirelessly via WIFI with an input unit of your choice.

EAGLE

No messy or torn cables

All power and data lines to the mount and peripheral equipment run centrally from EAGLE. This allows the use of short cables and to leave these cables partially connected for a quicker setup. Since the EAGLE computer performs the same tracking movements as the mount, no cables can be wound up or torn off by the mount. You can quite confidently allow your astro photographical equipment to run for hours without supervision. The only cable you need to keep an eye on is the electric power supply cable for the EAGLE. Talking of power supply: Due to the power management of the EAGLE, you only need a smaller Powertank, or you can take photos over an even longer period of time.

EAGLE generates its own WIFI

With the associated app you can use all the programs you need, wirelessly and conveniently from your garden chair. Popular software like PHD2 Guiding are pre-installed. Since the EAGLE runs under Win 10 Enterprise, you can also install other programs. The advantage of EAGLE is the fact that you can control your system with any WIFI-compatible computer and any operating system: no matter whether you use a laptop, tablet or smartphone, and no matter whether you use Windows, Android or Apple. In the field, the WIFI range is approximately 25 metres.

EAGLE-Tablet

EAGLE saves your photos

You can have the camera images directly transferred to your tablet, laptop or smartphone via WIFI. Since you obviously take a lot of photos which need to be saved without losses, the EAGLE is equipped with an SSD memory card. Saving to a USB stick is also possible. However, there is no possibility to edit any of the photos in EAGLE. The computing power has been designed for low current consumption, which is why EAGLE also works without ventilation.

EAGLE is a fixed part of the system

The EAGLE computer is no additional accessory that you have to carry around. The small, but very stable box can stay mounted to your tube. The best way of installation probably is the installation between the tube and the guide scope rings. However, you can also mount the EAGLE box on the same prism rail that you use to fasten the telescope on the mount. This is recommended if you do not use a guiding tube. On our EAGLE product page you can see examples for this.

There is nothing you can’t do without the EAGLE control unit. However, anyone who is actively involved in astro photography on a regular basis and now and again likes to travel to good star gazing locations or telescope meetings, will quickly appreciate the EAGLE: no cable problems, no computer crash, a stable power supply, a compact system.

There is also a more powerful version available, which has been designed for large mounts and observatories: EAGLE Observatory.

 

 

Push+ object finder: With telescope and smartphone to the stars

September 5 2016, Anita Maier

You surely know this from your own observations: You are looking for a galaxy in a starless region, you look critically at your red illuminated star chart. And think about the best way to approach the object.

Finding objects sometimes is a major challenge. Why not make life easier! With the new Push+ system from Omegon. But where does the smartphone come into play?

PushPlus

The name stands for a brand new object finder system from Omegon – in form of a Dobsonian Telescope. Equipped with digital encoders and Bluetooth, it provides a wireless connection between your smartphone + App (or even your PC) and the telescope. A Push+ telescope gives you the quickest way to find objects. For a successful stargazing evening!

Omegon Push+ products are currently available as an 8-inch Dobsonian telescope or separately as a Dobson mount (rockerbox) with GP receptacle for your own tube.

Have become curious? Then go directly to the product pages for telescopes and mounts for more information.

NexDome: Observatories for unbeatable prices!

August 29 2016, Stefan Taube

The Hit Product of the Year 2016:

The Canadian manufacturer NexDome has launched a revolutionary design of observatory domes. The highlight is the modular design with two essential benefits: Low transport costs and easy installation in just a few hours. Never before has a top-class observatory been so affordable!

NexDome_1

Astroshop.eu is the distributor for NexDome in Europe. From our warehouse, we deliver inside Germany for only 60 Euro and within Europe for just 150 Euro. You can, obviously, also benefit from our consultancy and service of NexDome Observatories.

The advantages at a glance:

Space for a C14 with unrestricted view to the zenith.

Space for a C14 with unrestricted view to the zenith.

 

  • The internal diameter of 2.2 meters provides sufficient space for a 14-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain or a refractor with a focal length of 1400 millimetres.
  • The shutter can be opened far beyond the zenith.
  • Due to its light weight, being made of ABS-plastic parts, the cupola can be turned by hand, but can also be motorized for a reasonable price. Matching motors and controls are available from us.
  • You can freely choose the number of nooks for accessories. Up to six of such compartments are possible and provide a lot of storage space!
  • Should a part of the observatory become damaged, it can be individually replaced at a reasonable price, thanks to the modular design.
  • The Solarkote® coating protects against UV-radiation and ensures excellent weather resistance of all parts.

All ABS-parts are covered by a 5 year warranty! You can find further information about NexDome observatories here at Astroshop.eu.

13.11.2019
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