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Archive for 2018

We wish you a happy new year!

December 31 2018, Anita Maier

Astroshop.eu wishes you all the best for the new year and scores of beautiful observations.

We look forward to meeting you again in 2019 with advice and deeds, as well as special offers.

Your Astroshop.eu team.

Is a Dobsonian telescope right for me? | with product recommendations

December 30 2018, Marcus Schenk

A simple Dobsonian or a GoTo telescope? – a question whose answer you first have to decide on. You should also choose your telescope based on what you would like to observe or experience in the night sky.

Did you know that there is also a system with something like ‘a bit of GoTo’?

But how do you find out if a Dobsonian telescope is right for you? In Part 1 of this post, we’ve put together a few questions to help you find your preferences.

Following on, in part 2, there are product recommendations for three different telescope series, with you can use to explore the night sky.

 

Part 1

Are you an observer for whom a Dobsonian telescope is suitable? Or do you need a telescope with an equatorial mount? Decide which using the following questions:

 

1. Do you only want to observe or also to take photos?

There are two types of observing: the visual and photographic. Which do you prefer? If you are a visual observer, then a Dobsonian would probably be the right choice.

1 Yes I want to observe visually.
2 I do not know yet, maybe both.
3 Taking photos is more important to me than observing visually.

 

2. What do you value more? – the optics or the mechanics and electronics?

Dobsonian telescopes consist of a wooden box with plain bearings, called a ‘Rockerbox’, and a Newtonian mirror OTA. A clear emphasis here is placed on a larger OTA diameter. The mechanics remain simple. The advantage – you get a large aperture telescope for relatively little outlay, with which you can observe a lot.

1 I put more emphasis on a great optics for a low price.
2 I cannot commit myself, maybe both.
3 I am a fan of complex mechanics that controls my telescope via slow motions and worm gears.

 

3. Quick assembly or precise alignment?

Dobsonian telescopes consist of only two parts. The advantage – just two parts can be quickly transported and reassembled at the observing site. They are often much quicker to put together than a telescope with a tripod, equatorial mount, several counterweights and the OTA itself. You do not have to align a Dobsonian telescope to the celestial north pole, you are tracking in both axes’ directions.

1 I want to set up my telescope quickly, I can’t be bothered with all the complexity of assembling and observing with an equatorial set up.
2 I would like to have GoTo, but only if the setup does not take too long.
3 I’d rather spend more time putting the system together and precisely aligning it.

 

4. Do you prefer observing the Moon and planets, or observing galaxies?

A medium to large Newtonian telescope is of course also suitable for planetary observing. But the strengths of a large mirror lie in its greater light-gathering power. This makes many Dobsonian telescopes suitable for observing nebulae and galaxies. Bu if you are more interested in the Moon and planets, then a refractor telescope would be the better choice.

1 I want to observe nebulae and galaxies.
2 I want to observe nebulae and galaxies, but how am I supposed to find them?
3 I am interested in the Moon and the planets, but there is so much light pollution where I live that I cannot observe galaxies very well. An automated telescope would have to find them.

 

5. Exploring the night sky with a star map or using a GoTo system?

Dobsonian telescopes are almost always manually controlled instruments. In other words, there is no GoTo system here that slews to objects at the push of a button. You have to guide the telescope purely manually to the object of your choice with the help of a star map and then track it manually. But what is the advantage of that? Quite simply – the night sky will eventually become your familiar hunting ground that you know like the back of your hand. You’ll become a real expert at finding deep sky objects. And you will develop a feeling for tracking objects. The other thing is that it’s a lot of fun, and every time you find an object there is that little thrill of achievement.

1 Of course, I want to find the objects myself using a Dobsonian telescope.
2 I’m afraid that I’m not so good at orienting myself.
3 I’m not really interested in star hopping – there are GoTo telescopes for finding astronomical objects.

 

6. Naturally experiencing the night sky using only a little technology?

Observers repeatedly report that they can enjoy a natural experience to the maximum with a Dobsonian telescope. There is no complicated technology here that needs to be made to work. No, naturally experiencing the night sky without any motor noise is the most important thing.

1 I want to visibly experience the night sky in a clear simple and natural way.
2 I would like to be able to to add a little technology if I want.
3 No, this manual control idea is not for me. State-of-the-art technology and GoTo systems would be my first choice.

 

Your answers

If you answered most questions with a 1, then you are definitely a ‘Dobsonau’. You should immediately buy a Dobsonian telescope – perhaps one of the three examples detailed below?

If you’ve answered most questions with a 2, then you’d like to observe with a Dobsonian, but GoTo systems also tempt you. The Onmegon Push+ Telescope with object navigator (see below) would be the way to go.

If you answered most questions with a 3, then you’d better use a GoTo system. Here, we have a large selection.

 

Part 2

We have three Dobsonian telescopes in our program: the Omegon Advanced X Dobsonian telescope for beginners, the Omegon ProDob for intermediates and experts and the Omegon Push+ with push-to-technology.

 

Omegon Advanced X Dobsonian telescope – for getting into deep sky observing

These telescopes are a great way to start visual deep sky observing. Explore star clusters, hydrogen nebulae, planetary nebulae, and even galaxies with their spiral arms. With a 200mm lens aperture, this telescope will show you hundreds of interesting objects. If you want even more light, you can also use the Omegon Advanced X N 254/1200 or a real ‘light cannon’, the Omegon Advanced X N 304/1500. Of course, ‘excursions’ to the Moon and the planets are also possible.

If you do not want to spend a lot of money, but are looking for a great value-for-money telescope, then an Omegon Advanced X is the instrument for you.

Omegon Advanced X 203/1200

The Omegon ProDob – deluxe Dobsonian with an excellent friction system

ProDob Dobson telescopes come with a particularly good 2″ Crayford focuser and a deluxe friction system. Once an object is centred in the eyepiece, tracking is even more accurate and precise – even at very high magnifications. There is no juddering or anything (as with instruments with Teflon bearings), as when slewing the telescope it almost floats to the next object. The reason for this is a ball-bearing system in the elevation axis and roller-bearings in azimuth. And also, the friction level can be set to your needs. High magnifications are also possible with a Dobsonian.

Omegon Dobson Teleskop ProDob N 203/1200

The ProDob from Omegon comes in a range of apertures:
– ProDob N203/1200 with 8“ diameter
– ProDob N254/1200 with 10“ diameter
– ProDob N304/1500 with 12“ diameter
– ProDob N406/1850 with 16“ diameter

 

Omgeon Push+ – control a Dobsonian telescope using your smartphone

With the Omegon Push+ Dobsonian, you can travel to the planets, nebulae and galaxies in the universe whenever you wish. You do not even need to be very knowledgeable about the night sky, because the telescope guides you using a push-to-system to any object you wish to observe. All you need is an Android smartphone and the SkySafari 4.0 app.

The Omegon Push+ and Push+ Mini telescopes bridge the gap between a purely manual Dobsonian and a GoTo telescope. So to speak: ‘A bit of Goto’, so to speak – as the Push+ can still be slewed manually, as is common with Dobsonian telescopes, but also using your smartphone and built-in fine-step encoder in the telescope,

The high-resolution encoders allow the system to take you to any astronomical object you desire. Your smartphone functions as a display screen and at the same time orients you in the night sky. A crosshair shows you the position of your telescope in real time. You can decide, at any time, whether you want to use the push-to-system or prefer to control the telescope completely manually – it’s nice to have the choice!

Omegon Dobson Teleskop Push+ mini N 150/750 Pro

The Omegon Push+ is available with a 200mm (8″) OTA or as a Push+ Mini with a 150mm (6″) OTA:

Omegon Push+ mini N 150/750 Pro Dobsonian telescope
Omegon Push+ mini N 150/750 Dobsonian telescope
Omegon Push+ mini N 150/750 Skywatcher Dobsonian telescope

Merry Christmas

December 24 2018, Anita Maier

Once again, we stand at the door of the holiday season.  The first cold days lay behind us and we all look forward to a nice cup of hot cocoa to warm our cold hands.  Oh… and clear-sky Winter nights!  In the past few years, Astroshop has shared several bits of exciting news with stargazers at the end of each year.  At the end you will find a great holiday tip from us.

Astroshop in Dutch

The Belgian Astronomy dealer Astromarket now belongs to the Astroshop family.  With a bigger and more diverse team, we can advise Dutch and Belgian customers in their own language.  Another positive side-effect: as a current customer, you can take advantage of a larger product range, as well as a new show-room in Hasselt, not far from the German border near Aachen.

Mead Telescopes with Service from Distributor

As of August 2018, Astroshop is an official distributor of the well-known telescope brand MEADE in 15 European countries.  Our experts possess extensive knowledge of the Meade product range, meaning you get competent advise and all-around technical service from Astroshop.

 

Your Own Wide-field Photos with the MiniTrack LX2

The Omegon MiniTrack LX2 is a fully mechanical and extremely compact travel mount, with which you can capture wonderful photos of the night sky.  The magazine Sky & Telescope has awarded the MiniTrack the coveted “Hot Product 2019” award.

By the way

Many other product announcements, regular sales, and other news can be found on our blog on the Astroshop.eu website. Or just like and follow us on Facebook!

 

Tip: the Christmas Comet

Just in time for the holidays, an astronomical highlight awaits!  The Christmas Comet, as many have called it, 46P/Wirtanen will take the stage.  On the 16th of December, the comet will reach its closest distance to Earth, and for the following weeks should be visible to the naked eye and easily with a set of binoculars.  In the New Year, we have the pleasure of witnessing a Lunar Eclipse on the 21st of January.

 

We wish you all clear skies and a wonderful holiday season with family and friends.  We thank you for putting your trust in us and we look forward to being a part of a happy and astronomically successful 2019!

 

 

Broaden Your Horizons with Augmented Reality Globes

December 17 2018, Betty Lux

Columbus, one of the leading globe manufacturers, has a tradition-rich history to show for itself.  Since the 1950s, the Duo-Series has long been produced in southern Germany by hand. Yet, hand-made and tradition do not exclude innovative ideas.  Columbus remains true to that concept, even today: the new 4D Globe App for iPhone and iPad gives your Duo-Globe a completely new dimension!

As a result of technological advances, the app can display additional information on top of the globe, such as weather data or geographic details.  A completely new animation of the Earth’s inner makeup create an awe-inspiring experience.  All Duo-Globes, even older models, have the makings of augmented reality and only with a few taps of a smartphone.  Check out our selection of Duo-Globes here. . The app is free to download in the Apple Appstore.

Die Columbus 4D Globus App

Other globe-makers have also jumped on the Augmented Reality bandwagon. Oregon Scientific has a series of new (childrens’) globes on the market, which take young adventurers on at trip around the world!  Special 3D effects with animals dinosaurs and special landscapes creates an exciting tour of discovery at every turn and for the whole family. The addition of a massive amount of interesting facts about continents, countries and cultures make the globes an excellent educational tool!

Oregon Scientific Smart Globe Adventure mit Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality paired with precise 3D printing technology: the US-based company, AstroReality has combined the two, to create incredibly, detail-rich and unique relief globes.  The app allows you to explore the Martian surface, for example, with a plethora of details.  Check out for yourself what you can discover on Mars – no personal interplanetary spaceship necessary.

AstroReality Mars Classic

The many other planet models, as well as EARTH and Lunar Pro, are not just pleasing to the eye.  Every space enthusiast will not want to let go of any AstroReality globe!

ASIAIR – astrophotography has never been so easy!

December 17 2018, Elias Erdnüß

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.

 

 

ASIASI communicates with the telescope mounts via the instrument neutral distributed interface (INDI) and so is compatible with most available GoTo mounts. The only snag: The device only supports ZWO cameras, autoguiders and filter wheels.

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.

Sale: ZWO ASI cameras for a special price until the end of the year!

December 14 2018, Elias Erdnüß

For Christmas, there are lots of discounts on the extremely sought-after ZWO ASI cameras. The ideal present for demanding astrophotographers! Hunt around for your dream camera!

Especially interesting: The ASI 071 MC Pro! Save €291. With a large APS-C sensor, this camera is perfect if you want to switch from a DSLR camera without have to fiddle with smaller chips.

With the ASI 1600 MM Pro you can also save 10%. If you’re looking for a highly sensitive mono-camera that is perfectly suited to the combination with L-RGB or line filter sets, you’ve found your Christmas present!

ASI 290 Mini, the perfect autoguider, is also 15% cheaper! Strike now if you want longer flash times without guiding errors.

Of course, there are also many other models in the offer. The campaign ends on 31 December 2018, so don’t miss the opportunity. Merry Christmas from ZWO!

ZEISS Winter Weeks: €50 cash back when you buy a pair of Terra ED binoculars

December 13 2018, Betty Lux

Enjoy the beauty of a Winter’s day – with Terra ED binoculars by ZEISS, every walk in nature becomes an experience. Seize the opportunity now! Between 19th of November 2018 up to and including 6th of January 2019, after valid on-line registration and a purchase, you’ll receive €50 on your account!

It’s so simple! This is all you have to do:

  • Look now for your ZEISS Terra ED binoculars  – note: only while supplies last.
  • Register your binoculars online within 15 days after your purchase at zeiss-cashback with an image of your invoice and the label (please note conditions for participation)
  • Get €50 cash back within a few weeks!

ZEISS Terra ED binoculars will uniquely enhance the beauty of your Winter moment. Modern design as well as brilliant, sharp images makes these binoculars your perfect companion, when you’re on the road. Whether for yourself or as a special present to place under the Christmas tree – make giving double the fun!

The full participation conditions for the ZEISS Winter Weeks can be found at zeiss.com/photo/winterweeks. We wish you an enchanting Winter season!

SALE: The Hyperion Universal Mark IV zoom eyepiece at a special price!

December 12 2018, Stefan Taube

A zoom eyepiece is really practical: It combines several focal lengths that can be adjusted simply by rotating the body. So, you don’t need a whole eyepiece set, and don’t have to switch them out if you want to increase magnification. Unfortunately, zoom eyepieces do not attain the edge sharpness and field of vision of a fixed focal length lens.

With the  Hyperion Universal Mark IV zoom eyepiece by Baader Planetarium it’s a different matter! This tried and tested zoom eyepiece has been improved even further, and offers, for magnification factors with 24 to 8 mm focal lengths, a very good image and at the greatest magnification factor, a field of view of 68°. Unlike other zoom eyepieces, the field of view is not narrowed at greater magnification!

You can now purchase the Hyperion Universal Mark IV for just 220 euros. You save € 25 on the recommended retail price!

Hyperion Mark IV Zoomokular

In the set with the 2.25x Barlow lens you can now even save 27 euros!

The word universal in the name of the Hyperion Universal Mark IV aims to offer almost unlimited uses: Use the zoom eyepiece visually with a long focal length Dobson telescope to view the planets and planetary nebulae, or with a Bino viewer or with a spotting scope for bird and nature watching.

This zoom eyepiece is also very good for a-focal photography:

Hyperion Mark IV Zoomokular Anwendungsbeispiel

Many adapters are available for the wide range of uses of the Hyperion Universal Mark IV.

By the way: Until the end of January 2019, you can purchase Hyperion series eyepieces at a special price!

Omegon MiniTrack LX2 Receives „Hot Product 2019“ Award

December 10 2018, Marcus Schenk

The Omegon MiniTrack LX2 is the world’s first fully-mechanical photo mount for wide-field astrophotography.  With just a simple twist, you can capture amazing photos of the Milky Way.  This year the LX2 has received the much coveted astronomy award “Hot Product 2019” that the magazine Sky & Telescope awards annually to especially innovative products.

The Omegon Mini Track LX2 (or the set with the photography ball-head) makes a great gift for beginners and nature photographers, who would like to capture the night sky along with an amazing landscape.  If you have already tried with traditional means, but have not been satisfied with the results, the Mini Track LX2 is much simpler.  The proof is easy to see, if you look at the many amazing photos take with the LX2 and posted on social media.

More info about the Mini Track LX2 mount is available here. Gift-giving during this holiday season will be a piece of cake with the Mini Track LX2.

 

Below, you can read up on other, special products in our assortment, which have also received the “Hot Product” seal of approval:

The Mead Deep Sky Imager IV

The new and improved Planetary and Deep Sky Camera from Meade has convinced reviewers.  With a 16 megapixel Panasonic CMOS-Sensor, thermoelectric cooling, USB 3.0 and 3.8 µm pixels, the camera is a strong multi-use device for astrophotographers, who want to limits in their photography.  The new Deep-Sky-Imager IV is available in color or monochrome.  The software SkyCapture makes other programs superfluous and you can use if for all your photographic purposes.  The software runs on Windows and MacOS, as well as Linux.

Meade Deep-Sky-Imager DSI IV

Meade Deep-Sky-Imager DSI IV

 

Hubble Optics N 607/2012 UL24 f/3.3 Premium Ultra-Light DOB

“BIG DOB TO GO” is the moniker Sky & Telescope gave to the huge 24” Truss Dobson from Hubble Optics.  And for good reason.  The telescope can be broken down into individual pieces and transported in even the most compact vehicles.  Just imagine taking a telescope, as big as in many observatories, to the mountains or to a nice dark pasture.  You are sure to have quite the stargazing experience!

 

Hubble Optics Dobson Teleskop N 607/2012 UL24 f/3.3 Premium Ultra Light DOB

The Hubble Optics Ultra Light Dob with 607mm Aperture

 

Celestron Telescope Astrograph S 203/400 RASA 800 OTA

A digital Schmidt Camera for wide-angle photos!  The Celestron Astrograph RASA takes photos 20 times faster, than a Schmidt-Cassergrain Telescope.  The results are awe-inspiring photos of large-scale celestial objects. In 30 seconds, you can capture, what would require 10 minutes with a f/10 telescope.

 

RASA 8

The Astrograph 203/400mm RASA

 

iOptron Mount CEM120 GoTo

The heaviest mount from iOptron can handle instruments up to 52 kg and is fully LAN and Wifi remote capable.  In spite of its size, the mount moves smoothly like a hot knife through butter.

CEM 120 Montierung

The heavy-duty CEM 120 Mount

 

Daystar SS60-DS Solar Telescope

A compact solar telescope with 60mm aperture for safe solar viewing in H-alpha.  Daystar integrated a double stack Etalon Filter from the QUARK series into this refractor, which meanwhile has written a little success story of its own in solar observing.  Here, you get everything in one package, with which you can see solar protuberances, filaments and flares – everything that raises the pulse of a solar observer.  Attaching a camera to the helical focuser and you can capture your observations for good.

Daystar Sonnenteleskop SS60-DS

DayStar-Solar Telescope ST 60/930mm SolarScout SS60-DS H-Alpha

 

Celestron Smartphone Adapter

The easy way to connect your smartphone to your telescope with the Celestron Smartphone Adapter, which can be adjusted with precision on three axes.  Now you can easily position your smartphone’s camera over the eyepiece.

Celetron Smartphone Halterung

Celetron Smartphone Adapter NexYZ

 

 

Lunatico Pocket CloudWatcher

The Pocket CloudWatcher keeps an eye on the clouds on your behalf.  This weather and cloud detection device, which alerts you, when something changes in the sky.  The mobile CloudWatcher measures temperatures, brightness, relative humidity, dewpoint and alerts you immediately on your smartphone, when clouds move in.  The perfect gift for astrophotographers.

Cloud Watcher

Lunatico Pocket CloudWatcher

 

A few years ago, but still a great device:

Hot Product 2017: Universe2go

This AR Planetarium, which shows you and simultaneously explains the night sky.  There is no need to spend your time with star charts and books.  Universe2go is like a visit to the planetarium, but all in a handheld viewer that augments your reality.  Just download the free app, put your smartphone into the viewer and look up into the night sky.  The magazine Sky & Telescope was so enthusiastic about Universe2go that it received the Hot Product 2017 Award.

 

Omegon Handheld Planetarium Universe2go

The advantages?

  • Your impression of the real starry night sky gets an overhaul with a superimposed digital picture.
  • Learn about all 88 constellations and numerous celestial objects
  • Where are the planets? With Universe2go, you can find them all!
  • Over 3 hours of audio explanations, which will make you an expert of the night sky.
  • Many more features!

In the current issue, Sky & Telescope introduced many more products in the Hot Product category.

 

Reaching for the Stars: Sega Toys Planetarium Flux

December 7 2018, Betty Lux

Over 60,000 twinkling stars without leaving your home!  Sound familiar?  True, you already know about the popular Sega Toys Home Planetarium Homestar Pro Original.  However, its successor is now available and is the best performing and most progressive home planetarium on the market: Sega Toys Homestar Flux.

Sega Toys Homestar Flux

From an optical point of view, Sega Toys has given the Flux a new paint job, being now available in matte black.  A highlight is its high quality and secure packaging.  Flux delivers awe-inspiring images to real science fiction fans, by reminding us of many classic space movies.

Enjoy the Stars from Your Couch!

The design is not the only change.  The technology has upped its game with a light intensity of 5 watt, illuminating your ceiling with not only brighter stars, but also great contrast!  The focus has been improved, to make it easier to adjust the crispness of the stars. Rotating the projecting lens has also been improved, which means more relaxing stargazing for you and your family.

For the new Flux, Sega Toys has also created a variety of new slides, complementing the two already included in the box.  Experience the northern lights with the “Aurora Borealis” slide.  While the solar system slide gives you the feeling of really being in space, allowing our neighboring planets to grace your ceiling.  The new slides are additionally backwards compatible with the Flux’s predecessor Homestar Pro Original.

Astrial Slide Aurora Borealis Scenic

The Homestar Flux is in stock and a fantastic gift for the holiday season!  Don’t wait to get your hands on one and order your Flux today!

 

15.11.2019
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