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Posts Tagged 'astro-photography'

Now available: the new MGEN autoguider from Lacerta!

March 19 2020, Stefan Taube

An autoguider is a very important accessory when taking astronomy photos involving long exposure times. The autoguider is a tracking control device that ensures that the mount always keeps the telescope pointing as precisely as possible at the astronomical object desired. The autoguider images a bright star on a separate camera in order to achieve this. The autoguider then uses the apparent movement of this star to calculate the appropriate control movements for the mount.

Lacerta Stand Alone Autoguider MGEN Version 3

Lacerta MGEN Version 3 stand-alone autoguider

It is possible to use a simple planetary camera, a laptop and free software from the Internet for this type of tracking control. The MGEN autoguider from Lacerta has also proven itself to be excellent. But the great advantage of using the MGEN autoguider is that you don’t even need a laptop or PC; hence the term ‘stand-alone’ autoguider. In particular, this type of stand-alone solution makes astrophotography with SLR cameras much easier, as you do not need a laptop when using this type of camera.

The MGEN autoguider also comes supplied with a matching camera and already has all the necessary software – simpler autoguiding is just not possible! Another great advantage is that the MGEN autoguider does not just use a single star for the tracking control, but several. This has the effect of increasing accuracy considerably! The following graphic comes from a test by the manufacturer and illustrates the higher precision you achieve with multi-star guiding:

Durch das Multistar Guiding ist die Nachführkontrolle unabhängig vom Seeing.

Multi-star guiding also means that tracking control is less dependent on the seeing.

The new version MGEN-3 autoguider offers many other improvements:

  • improved hardware allows the new, self-learning, AI multi-star guiding.
  • the large colour display makes operation easier.
  • the new quick-start function allows guiding to commence at the push of a button!
  • polar alignment using the digital Scheiner method.
  • power supply via USB (5V), only 1.2 watts.

This is, however, just a small selection. You can find the entire list of advantages on the Lacerta MGEN Version 3 stand-alone autoguider webpage.

Photos taken of the sun in H-Alpha light with the filter QUARK and the new ToupTek camera.

October 13 2017, Stefan Taube

Our Spanish Colleague Carlos Malagon has a clear view of our day star almost every day. He sent us this image of the sun he had taken with the new camera EP3CMOS02300KMC from ToupTek:


The image shows the chromosphere of the sun: This is a part of the sun’s atmosphere above the photosphere, appearing in light with a wavelength of 656 nanometres. This wavelength is also referred to as H-Alpha. It represents a certain excitement condition of the hydrogen atoms in the sun’s atmosphere. At the edge of the sun you see a very nice protuberance.

Besides the camera from ToupTek Carlos Malagon used the H-Alpha filter QUARK from DayStar and the Omegon Pro Apo 80/500 on the mount SkyWatcher Star Adventurer.

This small mount is ideal for travelling. It carries a camera with small optics and tracks it parallel to the rotation of the sky. The Star Adventurer can be screwed on any photo tripod. For this purpose, Carlos Malagon used the Omegon aluminium tripod Titania 500. The photo below shows the complete equipment.


By the way: Since the sun filter QUARK can simply be inserted into the eyepiece holder between camera and telescope, it can also be quickly removed. The easy to handle equipment can then be simply used to take photos of the night sky.

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