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Archive for 2021

Helping children: Astroshop donates €10,000 to UNICEF

December 22 2021, Marcus Schenk

The smell of freshly baked biscuits hangs in the air, poinsettias glisten, and our thoughts turn to the gifts we might find under the Christmas tree. But it is also time to reflect and ask ourselves whether there are people in the world who are less fortunate than we are? Unfortunately, there are many. That is why Astroshop is donating €10,000 euros to the children’s charity UNICEF this year.

“When you wake up in the morning, remember what a gift it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy…”
Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor, 121-180

The background to our donation

Every year we put some thought to who we could help by making a donation. Last year we supported Doctors Without Borders, this year it’s UNICEF – the United Nations Children’s Fund.

Dominik Schwarz, CEO of Astroshop (Nimax) commented: “This year we want to help those who are especially suffering from the effects of the worldwide Corona pandemic; children.”

UNICEF was founded 75 years ago as a children’s charity and has done a great deal of good work since then. Active in 190 countries, it is committed to the well-being of children, to education, to helping with medical provisions, and to combating child poverty. UNICEF sees itself as the global children’s advocate.

The Corona pandemic is the worst crisis since in UNICEF’s history. Even before the pandemic, 1 billion children lived in poverty, without medical care, without education. According to a recent study, a further 100 million children have been added to this number in the last two years alone. The gap between rich and poor is widening and there is an imbalance in the way that rich and poor countries recover from the pandemic. Every person in the world should have the right to medicine, food, and education.

Merry Christmas from Astroshop from Landsberg am Lech

Dear customer, now is the time to relax and to recharge your batteries. We wish you and your family a happy Christmas and a few contemplative hours with freshly baked biscuits or the smell of freshly cut wood. Perhaps you will have the chance to enjoy the stars at New Moon at the turn of the year, and maybe even welcome some shooting stars (the Quadrantids).

Thank you for your trust in us, and we wish you a successful, happy New Year!

Your Astroshop team

Home planetaria: the gift of the night sky

December 20 2021, Marcus Schenk

It’s Christmas time. Besides tinsel angels, snowflakes and snowmen, ice crystals form on window panes – and on telescopes.
The temperature is often unpleasant for stargazers who would otherwise be spending many hours outdoors. No wonder that some people prefer to spend their time in front of a blazing fire or under a cosy blanket.

But you can still enjoy the night sky! Simply bring the cold of outer space into the warmth of your living room.

Projection by the Sega Flux home planetarium with 60,000 stars

This works really well with a small home planetarium. Just imagine being able to turn your living room or a child’s bedroom into a wonderful world of stars. It’s almost as though you could lift off and go on an amazing journey.

Which planetarium should you choose to simulate the night sky?
In our buying guide “6 home planetaria that will transform your home into a sea of stars“, you can find answers to your questions and our recommendations. What are the differences between the different models? Which planetarium offers a realistic night sky and which a more fanciful version? What about other important functions, such as shooting stars?

A light burns bright at Advent? With your own home planetarium, there will be hundreds and thousands. And children will learn a lot along the way too. How about giving someone a theatre of stars as a gift this year?

Then read our Buying guide to home planetaria – here you will find at-a-glance comparisons.
For young and old, and anyone who wants to marvel at the stars!

The right telescope for Christmas

December 16 2021, Marcus Schenk

Candlelight and the smells of freshly brewed coffee and just-baked biscuits: it could all be so tranquil.

Instead, for most of us, the weeks before Christmas are the most stressful of the year. The children are moody and you still haven’t bought the tree. Phew!

How can this be a good time to research buying your first telescope?

Luckily, you don’t have to.

In the guide Telescopes for beginners“, we show you how, in just a few minutes, you can find a telescope which will take you from your balcony directly into space. Together with suitable recommendations that will ensure that the parcel under the Christmas tree will bring you endless pleasure.

Read our buying guide: The best telescopes for beginners.

 

The new RedCat 71 from William Optics

December 15 2021, Jan Ströher

The time-proven and much loved RedCat 51 by William Optics has a new big brother – the RedCat 71. The same Petzval design with corresponding high-quality optics using FPL53 and FPL51 optics. With its 71mm aperture, the new “Cat” is a lot more powerful than the RedCat 51. The result is a pure-colour, corrected image field with a diameter of over 45 millimetres – ideal even for full-frame cameras! The fast f/4.9 aperture ratio facilitates short exposure times. At 3kg, the 335mm-long RedCat 71 weighs only slightly more than its smaller brother.

Once again, focusing is helical, adjusted by turning a ring on the lens tube.

The telescope comes with a protective carry case, as well as a Bahtinov mask specially designed for the RedCat. This mask aids focusing and is permanently and precisely fitted in the lens adapter.

The RedCat 71 is also perfect for deep sky astrophotography and offers not only impressive optical performance, but also William Optics’ attractive trademark design.

The new RedCat 71

 

To use the RedCat 71 for astrophotography you need a mount with a load capacity of at least 7kg due to its weight. The new iOptron mounts CEM26 or GEM28 are ideally suited for this.

Reckon you will soon be a “Cat” fan?

Discover the new RedCat 71 and William Optics’ ”Cat” series.

New: 80mm binocular spotting scope with ED optics from Omegon

December 14 2021, Marcus Schenk

Observe nature or the stars with both eyes. It’s plastic and fantastic! Soar over the Moon’s surface or marvel at animals at the forest’s edge. Observing is relaxed and natural with the new Omegon binocular spotting scope with ED optics.

Spektiv für beide Augen

Small and compact, and yet it gathers so much light that observing is clear and rich in contrast – even at dusk. This spotting scope combines two strong winners: multi-coated 80mm ED optics together with new binocular eyepieces with a beam splitter (dielectric) mirror. This gives you brighter and sharper images in daylight, at dusk or at night.

The highlights of this binocular spotting scope:

– Relaxed observing with both eyes
– Comfortable and practical, especially if you are not used to looking through an eyepiece or keeping one eye closed
– 80mm optics for bright images, even in poor light
– High-quality mirror binoculars with 99% reflection: images are bright, sharp and rich in contrast
– New sliding system: easy interpupillary distance adjustment from 58mm to 74mm, perfect for adults and children
– Supplied with 12.5mm LE eyepieces for 40-times magnification and comfortable viewing
– Eyepiece set can be extended at any time with additional 1.25-inch eyepieces
– Sturdy carrying case

Would you like to find out more? Then take a look at the new binocular spotting scope in our shop.

Stars, not smartphones – The ultimate telescope buying guide for children and young people

December 8 2021, Marcus Schenk

Wondering what else to get them for Christmas? Surprise your child with planets, moons and stars! The right telescope makes this possible. So our experts have compiled the best telescopes and binoculars for four age groups. You can now read what suits your child and what to look out for when buying in our Astroshop Magazine.

Astronomy is an adventure with no minimum age. By looking up at the sky, children and young people get to know our world and its natural phenomenons – starting with playfully discovering images of stars through to taking their first astrophotos. Even at the start, the right equipment plays an important role in this. It not only guarantees initial success, but fun as well.

You can use our telescope guide to find a reasonably priced high-quality telescope which will turn your child’s fascination with the night sky into an exciting new hobby.

Astronomy Highlights in Winter 2021/22

December 3 2021, Marcus Schenk

The highlights of the winter sky are the bright stars around the constellations Orion and Taurus. But the next three months also offer us more to discover: a bright evening star, meteor showers and a beautiful necklace made of planets.

In the “Astronomy Highlights in Winter 2021/22” infographic, you will find many important celestial events at a glance. Information and further explanations of the events can be found in the accompanying text.

We wish you lots of observing pleasure.

December:

4 December Bright Venus

Venus is at its brightest at the beginning of this month. At mag -4.8, it stands out in the evening sky now and is, after the Moon, the brightest object in the sky.

7 December The Moon near Venus

In the early evening sky, the waxing crescent Moon joins an attractive planetary parade. Venus, Jupiter and Saturn are visible, looking almost like a pearl necklace.

8 December The Moon near Saturn and Jupiter

Those who sighted the Moon yesterday will discover it higher and about 14 degrees distant today, between Saturn and Jupiter.

13 December Geminids

If the sky is clear in the evening, you should take a look towards the south. There you will find the Geminids meteor shower, appearing to emerge from the constellation Gemini. More precisely: from a point two degrees above the star Pollux. The best time for observing it is between 21:00 and 06:00. With 120 meteors per hour, the Geminids are among the most prolific meteor showers. This year we have to wait until the morning hours to observe undisturbed and with no Moon.

17 December The Moon occults Tau (τ) Tauri

Tau Tauri is a star in the constellation Taurus and, at magnitude 4.3, it is visible with the naked eye. Since the Moon’s orbit appears to run through Taurus, occultations often occur. This is the case today: at 22:30 Tau Tauri disappears behind the almost full Moon and appears around 80 minutes later on the other side.

29 December Mercury near Venus

Mercury begins to be visible in the evening and meets with neighbouring planet Venus at dusk. If you have a good view of the horizon, you will discover both planets from 17:00.

January:

3 January Quadrantids

The Quadrantids are a meteor shower originating from the constellation Boötes. The new year brings us up to 100 meteors per hour, but they are only moderately bright. The radiant, from where the shooting stars seem to originate, does not appear until after midnight. The new Moon was just yesterday, making astronomical observations particularly worthwhile right now.  Green light for all deep sky observers!

5 January The Moon nears Mercury, Saturn and Jupiter

Planet fans will be delighted: at dusk you can see a beautiful chain of planets consisting of Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury. The three-day-old crescent Moon accompanies the trio. A lovely way to welcome the new year.

6 January The Moon occults Tau (τ) Aquarii

It’s still twilight and we’re waiting for the night to come. But the first astronomical highlight is already taking place. At 17:00, the Moon occults the mag 4 bright star Tau Aquarii in the constellation Aquarius. In this occultation, the Moon approaches from its unlit side.

8 January Mercury in the evening sky

Over the last few days, Mercury has become increasingly visible in the evening sky. It’s not exactly bombastic, but for those who would like to see reclusive Mercury, now is a great opportunity. Today and for the next two days, the conditions are particularly good, because its brightness and altitude in the sky are aligned. Soon Mercury will sink back toward the horizon and disappear.

11 January The Moon near Uranus

The planet Uranus is a distant agent in the solar system. Today, it is just 2.5 degrees from the Moon. Try your luck with a pair of binoculars.

26 January The Moon occults Alpha (α) Librae

This is something for early risers only: an occultation by the Moon of a star in the constellation Libra. More specifically, the Moon occults the mag 2.7 bright double star Alpha Librae. It gets going at 6:40!

29 January The Moon near Mars

Those with a great craving for the planet Mars will be able to see it at dawn in the south-east on 29 January. On this day there is an attractive meet-up with the narrow crescent Moon. You won’t catch another glimpse of Mars in the night sky until the coming summer.

February:

3 February The Moon near Jupiter

Jupiter accompanied us last year and was visible every evening in the sky. But soon it will escape our gaze and disappear from the sky for a while. On 3 February, it reveals itself once more in the twilight in a duo together with the delicate crescent Moon.

7 February The Moon near Uranus

Tonight, the Moon passes the planet Uranus at a distance of just 1.5 degrees.

9 February The Moon passes the Golden Gate of the Ecliptic

The area between the Hyades and the Pleiades has a name: the Golden Gate of the Ecliptic. Today, the Moon is a nocturnal wayfarer between the two well-known star clusters.

9 February Bright Venus

Venus lives up to its title of the Morning Star. Because with almost mag -5, it is radiantly bright. This astronomical spotlight appears above the horizon at around 05:00. It shines so brightly that no one can miss it.

27 February The Moon near Mars and Venus

Bright Venus, red Mars and a slender crescent Moon, just before the new Moon. What a great motivation to take a very early morning look at the sky. A peaceful morning mood is guaranteed.

 

Just in time for Christmas – gift sets for star gazers

December 1 2021, Marcus Schenk

Rudolph the red-nosed ….  bah. Once again Christmas is nearly upon us. Are you still looking for a Christmas present? But haven’t got the patience of a saint to search through telescopes and accessories?

Most people have hardly any time for shopping in the so-called tranquil Advent time. Finding the perfect gift is a tough nut to crack, but to be certain you’re not grinding your teeth we have the perfect solution for you!

Our telescope gift sets are perfect for your loved ones. Eyepieces, filters and star maps are all here, and Rudolph and his friends will have them winging their way to you in no time. Take a look at our telescope sets!

Merry Christmas!

 

New additions to the MiniTrack family: the new LX Quattro NS

November 22 2021, Marcus Schenk

We’ve expanded our range and have welcomed a new member to the MiniTrack family: the MiniTrack LX Quattro NS. Unlike in most families, the new arrival is not the smallest member of the family, rather it is already fully grown. This means that our product developers were able to considerably improve the LX Quattro even more. But what exactly has changed?

MiniTrack, what is it?

The MiniTrack is a minute and fully mechanical travel mount (also known as an astrotracker) for astrophotography. You can use it to effortlessly produce images of the night sky. Cameras that are mounted on it follow the movement of the stars over a prolonged period. These photos often include the landscape of the night. This results in fascinatingly beautiful shots. It is also the perfect way to get into astrophotography.

 

 

The MiniTrack LX Quattro NS

LX Quattro stands for precision, increased power and a four-kilogram load capacity. The new MiniTrack combines all of this in one. Compared to the LX3, the load capacity is even higher. This means that you no longer need to avoid using your favourite lens, which was previously too heavy. Even with longer lenses, the MiniTrack takes things easily in its stride.

Tracking with the Quattro is extremely precise as a newly constructed needle bearing provides greatly improves this. This step was necessary to guarantee smooth tracking with heavy weights.

A brand new spring bar design provides better draft to move the load even more precisely. There is no longer any unilateral strain within the mechanical system. Yep, the Quattro simply has more oomph. An attractive side effect is that the MiniTrack is significantly more elegant and more user-friendly.

The MiniTrack LX Quattro is also a tracker for capturing the night sky using wide-angle and normal lenses. Anyone who has already gained a little experience can also treat themselves to a lightweight telephoto lens.

Overview of features:

  • 4kg load capacity for larger cameras or larger lenses
  • New and stronger spring system
  • Needle bearing for softer, precise movement
  • New, more stable CNC body – the Quattro should survive every night of observation with no scratches
  • Integrated Gp-style mounting as well as ¼“ und 3/8“ threads
  • Holiday anywhere now: usable beneath the northern and southern night skies.

You can find further information on the MiniTrack LX Quattro NS and its benefits on our product page. Furthermore,  this MiniTrack can be bought in a set with a ball head or with a ball head and polar wedge.

 

The other members of the MiniTrack family

What do you need to take beautiful photos? A MiniTrack alone is not quite enough. So we would like to introduce the other family members to you:

 

Omegon 32mm carbon tripod Thanks to the 32mm tripod legs, this tripod provides a sturdy foundation. Weighing only 2kg and with a length of 59cm, is it ideal for travel.

Stativ für die MiniTrack

Deluxe polar wedge: You can simply secure your Astrotracker to the tripod head. However, this is easier and more precise using a polar wedge. This enables you to precisely align the north celestial pole. The provides the benefit of providing a stable north orientation.

Polhöhenwiege Deluxe

Pole finder light: Being able to see the pole finder’s images in the night sky is a priceless advantage. At night you tend to have your hands full. It is good when you don’t need to use a lamp to complicatedly light up the polarscope. The pole finder light is convenient and evenly illuminates the images using a red LED.

Polsucherbeleuchtung MiniTrack

OM10 ball head Still don’t have a ball head? You need one to align your camera with areas of the night sky. The Omegon OM10 fits perfectly on the MiniTrack.

Kugelkopf für MiniTrack

MiniTrack LX3: The white version holds cameras up to 3kg in weight and contains an optical polarscope. To mount the LX3 on a polar wedge, you require the 55mm MiniPrismRails.

MiniTrack LX3

MiniTrack Essentials: Exceptionally good value and sufficient for getting started with wide-angle lenses. The MiniTrack Essentials contains a small polarscope that can be used to align the tracker with the Pole Star. This basic model can be upgraded at a later date.

MiniTrack Basis Version

Interested in taking your first images with the MiniTrack? You can find out how to do this in our step-by-step video “Astrophotos with the MiniTrack – a how-to guide”. Have fun observing and photographing.

Video: astrophotography with the Omegon MiniTrack

November 3 2021, Marcus Schenk

In this video, you will get to know the Omegon MiniTrack astrotracker. What equipment do you need for good landscape astrophotography? And what do you need to watch out for, adjust or activate once you’re outdoors?
We’ll take a step-by-step look at everything from set-up to capturing an image.
After the video, you’ll be ready to create your own beautiful pictures with the MiniTrack.

Hot off the press: we are also introducing the new MiniTrack LX Quattro!

Products used in the video:

Omegon MiniTrack LX3 mount set Product no.: 62037

Omegon MiniTrack LX Quattro NS mount Product no.: 69307

Omegon Deluxe polar wedge Product no.: 69370

Omegon Pro 32mm carbon tripod incl. ball head Product no.: 60251

Omegon polar finder light for MiniTrack LX 2 + 3 and EQ mounts with light unit Product no.: 69568

Omegon 55mm prism rail with screw Product no.: 64965

16.05.2022
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