October 28 2021, Stefan Taube
A few years ago, the Japanese manufacturer Vixen launched the Polarie, the first tracking unit for cameras that can fit in every photographer’s bag. The tracking device, also called a star tracker, compensates for the celestial rotation. With it, a camera remains aligned with a section of the night sky for many minutes, and can gather light from faint stars, the Milky Way and cosmic nebulae.
Vixen now offers a new version of its successful star tracker mount, the Polarie U Star Tracker.
Polarie U star tracker mount with camera and optional ball head
Compared to the classic Polarie, the new Polarie U is significantly lighter whilst at the same time having a higher load-bearing capacity. The distance between the two bearings supporting the rotating shaft is approximately four times that of its predecessor. This has led to a higher load-bearing capacity despite a 20% weight reduction. It can carry 2.5kg for wide-field astrophotography using lenses with a short focal length. The optional mounting accessories comprising a prism rail and counterweight can be used to increase the load capacity to 6.5kg, so that the star tracker mount can also carry cameras with large lenses.
In addition, the Polarie U creates its own WLAN. You can connect your smartphone to the mount and control it using a free app. With a suitable cable release from the Polarie U accessory selection, you can also control the camera itself via the app, for example to set a series of exposures. This is not only convenient, but also very useful thanks to the hands-free operation.
The Polarie U can of course also be converted for use in the southern hemisphere. The lightweight mount is therefore ideal for your next expedition south of the equator.
October 12 2021, Jan Ströher
Just as a car needs regular maintenance to work perfectly, a Newtonian telescope must be precisely adjusted from time to time in order to achieve the best possible optical performance and image quality. This is done by adjusting the mirrors so that the incident light, reflected by the primary and secondary mirrors, converges at a central point from which it is then directed into the focuser. In astronomy, the process of exact adjustment is called collimation. For correct collimation, the secondary mirror must be aligned with the focuser – lengthwise and centred. In addition, the secondary mirror must be aligned precisely with the centre of the primary mirror. Finally, the primary mirror should then be perfectly aligned with the axis now created by the focuser and secondary mirror.
To facilitate this process, there are various tools available to ensure the telescope’s collimation is as accurate as possible. Laser collimators in particular are very popular, as the laser beam can be used to precisely simulate the incident light in the telescope tube and align the two mirrors so that the laser beam is centred and directed into the focuser. Due to the red colour of the laser beam, the whole exercise becomes visually easy and ensures that even beginners can manage a fast, simple and effective collimation.
Collimation set from Farpoint
There are of course high-end devices among the range of collimator lasers, such as those from the American manufacturer Farpoint. This company produces and sells several collimator sets with 1.25″ and 2″ collimator lasers, with either 635nm or 650nm wavelength, as well as a robust padded case, in which the collimator can be stored and transported nicely protected from dust, moisture and other influences.
In our shop you will find the various high-tech lasers from Farpoint to suit your individual needs. Just take a look and perfect the performance of your Newtonian telescope!
October 7 2021, Stefan Taube
The Baader SunDancer II sun filter transforms smaller refractors quickly and simply into telescopes for solar observation using H-alpha spectral lines. In this wavelength, you can see the Sun’s chromosphere with dark filaments, bright radiation bursts and spectacular solar prominences!
Baader SunDancer II H-alpha 2″/1.25″ solar filter
Simply position the SunDancer II between the diagonal mirror and the eyepiece and connect it to a power source. The filter is then automatically brought to the optimal operating temperature so that no adjustments are required during longer observations.
The SunDancer II can be safely used on refracting telescopes with apertures up to 80 millimetres. An additional energy rejection filter is only required in front of the telescope for objective apertures upwards of 80 millimetres; alternatively, the telescope can be dimmed using an optional 80mm screen in front of the lens.
Telescopes with secondary mirrors, such as Newtonian, Maksutov or SCTs, always require an additional energy rejection filter, regardless of their size.
The complete solar disc can be seen in telescopes with apertures of up to 600mm.
The T2 thread beneath the eyepiece clamp facilitates easy adaptation for larger cameras:
SunDancer II with DSLR camera
A power supply unit is included. For mobile observation, a powerbank can also be used.
You can find further information on this particularly high-quality H-alpha filter for the eyepiece side here in our shop.