Observing the starry sky through a telescope is an unmatchable experience. However, observing some targets can be an anti-climax or even a disappointment: faint nebulae and galaxies are often only visible as shadowy undefined spots of light.
Beautiful details and colours are usually only possible with the help of astrophotography, where the light captured by the telescope is collected and accumulated over long periods of time, creating stunning images of these faint deep sky objects.
Astrophotography however is a hobby with an extremely steep learning curve. For a beginner it can be many months before the first beautiful picture is produced. Even after mastering the first steps in astrophotography, it takes many hours of processing the images before the nebula or galaxy is revealed in all its beauty.
The fully automatic STELLINA smart telescope from the French start-up company Vaonis promises to combine the advantages of astrophotography with the direct experience of live observing. This is done in as user-friendly a way as possible since the telescope has no eyepiece, but instead has an integrated camera. This means that images are continually being collected and processed. Using a smartphone or tablet you can watch live as, over the course of a few minutes, more and more details of the target become visible.
The control and operation of the telescope is revolutionary and simple. At the push of a button, STELLINA orients itself completely independently using visible stars. The desired observing target is then selected using a smartphone or tablet. The telescope travels to the correct location in the sky – that’s it!
M83, the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy – with STELLINA, details and colours are clearly visible in the spiral arms.
Of course we at Astroshop were also curious whether STELLINA actually keeps its promises. Luckily, we have already been able to test it. As a matter of fact, we have never seen a GoTo telescope that can be controlled so intuitively and easily without prior experience. Even after a short time, the resulting pictures show an incredible amount of detail compared to what is expected from a conventional telescope. Although the quality of the images is not quite comparable to those from a professional astrophotographer, (here an automatic process can’t yet replace the expert), the images are almost immediately visible, not only after hours of processing. Therefore STELLINA is perfect for shared observing with friends and acquaintances.
Until now this telescope was only available by pre-order. From now on Vaonis STELLINA is in stock and directly available. The ideal high-end Christmas gift!
The abbreviation LPI-G stands for Lunar and Planetary Imager & Guider. These cameras from Meade are ideal for astrophotography involving the Sun, Moon and planets. Even small telescopes can safely carry these lightweight cameras. They plug into the telescope like an eyepiece and are connected to the laptop via USB.
Delivery includes Meade SkyCapture software – this allows intuitive operation and use of other programs via the ASCOM interface. The ST-4 socket means the cameras can also be used perfectly well as auto-guiders – that is, for the tracking control of your mount.
The standard version of the LPI-G series has a 1.2 megapixel sensor. The LPI-G Advanced camera offers a wider dynamic range, a 6.3 MP sensor and a high 59 fps frame rate. It has a USB 3.0 port to allow it to handle this data stream,.
The reasonably priced standard version is eminently suitable for beginners who would like to first get some experience. The Advanced model goes way beyond this and allows an intensive experience with planetary astrophotography to develop over many years.
Both versions are available as black-and-white or colour cameras. The black-and-white cameras have the advantage of higher sensitivity and resolution. The cost of colour imaging is higher as you will also need the appropriate colour filters and a filter wheel.
On the 27th of July, 2018, the time will finally be upon us: our neighbor, Mars, will stand in opposition to the Sun. Such an event happens every two years, but this time around is something much more special. The last time Mars was so close to Earth, during opposition, was back in 2003. This year, the red planet will come within 57 million kilometers, which is about the same distance as 15 years before. Mars will appear to be about half of the size of Jupiter, something only rarely observable, but with numerous details.
For more info about the Opposition, how to observe, which details to look for and which accessories improve your chances of a rewarding observation, read on below:
Mars: The facts about a fascinating planet
The Mars Opposition: What is it?
Why only every two years?
Why will Mars be so large this year
You can see this on Mars
Helpful accessories, to improve your observation
1. Mars: The facts about a fascinating planet
With a diameter of 6,000 km, 687 day orbit and a mountain at 27,000 meters – Mars is only half as large as the Earth, but resembles our home very much. Much like Earth, Mars is home to a rocky surface with mountains, plateaus and canyons. Valles Marineris is a massive 4,000 km long canyon, with a width of 700 km, and is considered the Grand Canyon of Mars. Comparatively, our Grand Canyon is relatively small at only 450 km in length and with a 30 km width.
Mars features other similarities, with its polar ice caps and even seasons. Standing on Mars, you would also see sunrises and sunsets. You could even see Earth with a telescope. The planet even features a similar tilt in its orbital path and a day lasts 24 hours and 40 minutes.
What a nice twin, right? Many space pioneers think so. And to top it all off, recently NASA revealed clues that the planet was able to support life. There are, of course, a few disadvantages to lifing on Mars: the cold. A thick jacket won’t be enough, given that the temperatures drop to -85°C. Nevertheless, temperatures could reach about 20°C at the equator.
Even the oxygen levels and atmospheric pressure varies greatly: 95% carbon dioxide, 1.8% nitrogen und 0.1% oxygen. On Earth: 78% nitrogen and 20% oxygen. In other words, breathing on Mars would be suffocating. Take off your spacesuit and your blood would boil in short time, as if you were at 35 km in altitude above the Earth – 3 times higher than cruise altitude of a commercial jet.
2. The Mars Opposition: What is an opposition?
An opposition occurs, when Mars stands in a straight line with Earth and the Sun.
3. Why only every two years?
Mars orbits the Sun once every 687 days, so roughly 2 years. We on Earth travel a much higher speed and only require 365 days to orbit.
Imagine that both planets start at the same spot. The Earth would lap Mars at some point during its orbit. Given that Mars is also orbiting, one trip around the Sun would not suffice, however. Only after 780 days will the Earth and Mars be aligned once again. An opposition!
4. Why will Mars appear to be so large this year?
Mars is pretty conspicuous in the sky this year. The red planet rises as dusk falls, and will shine bright in the night sky until dawn. The disk will appear to be enormous! It will increase to up to 24 arc seconds. Through a telescope, Mars will appear especially large, meaning we will be able to identify many details on the surface. It is a unique chance for observers and astro-photographers. Mars only appeared slightly smaller during the Opposition of 2003.
Mars does not have a circular orbit, rather an off-center orbit around the Sun. That is why its distance to Earth can vary so greatly. Depending on the position, oppositions can vary between 101 m and 55 m km. This year: 57.7 m km. In 2020, 62.2 m km and two years later 82 m km. By year 2035, Mars will once again be about as close as this year.
For observers in the norther hemisphere, the close oppositions will take place below the celestial equator, since they occur in the Summer months. The planet will not be found high above the horizon, but rather just above it: this year, just 15°.
5. Which Telescope?
Mars is bright and an object, that you can see with the naked eye. It will rise late in the eveing in the south west, climbing ever higher and reaching its meridian on 27th of July, 2018. Shortly before sunrise, the red planet will once again disappear under the horizon. You cannot miss Mars, since it will be the only bright object with a very bright and red color.
During the opposition, Mars will be quite large. That is why you could use just about every telescope to have a look at the planet, even a telescope with a 70-80 mm aperture. A good beginner’s scope for planets would be the Omegon AC 90/1000 EQ-2. With an intermediate or large telescope from 150 – 200 mm, you will be able to enjoy a greater resolution, which is important if you want to be able to see the small details. Keep an eye out that the telescope is well calibrated and adjusted for the temperature outside – important factors for a good, contrast-rich image. Many observers cherish Dobson telescopes, since they are inexpensive, bright, and easy to work with.
To view Mars, use a magnification of at least 100. Reason is, the small the planet, the more difficult it will be to see detail. Shorter focal lengths additionally afford you the greatest magnification. Magnifications of 200 – 300x are sensible to use. Hint: high-quality Televue Eyepieces on Sale are available here.
6. What to See on Mars
If you have a telescope of 100x, mars will appears only as red ball. With patience, you should be able to identify the bright, white polar caps.
The most noticeable dark area on the red planet is the Syrte, which is a large, dust-free, and high plateau with a width of 1,300 km. The area lies close to the equator and should be noticeable with an intermediate telescope. The Hellas Basin is a large, bright region, found south of Syrte and often home to storms. Of course, we will only be able to see these two regions, if Mars happens to be sharing this side of itself. Additionally, white clouds of meteorological phenomena can be seen with larger telescopes and color filters.
A foldable “Mars Map” from Orion is helpful in preparing for observations and photography.
7. Helpful Accessories
The ADC Corrector: for more contrast on the horizon
If we observe an object just above the horizon, the object could already set. The light of the cosmos is often distorted, while passing through the atmostphere or bowed. We see the same effect, for example, in a glass of water or a straw. The water is an optically dense medium – just as a straw would in a different way. Our atmosphere does the same.
A Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope with ADC and a Toupek camera
Is that a problem? Indeed, when we talk about an astronomical object. Blue and red light is distorted in different ways. Objects then exhibit a colored edge and appear to be contrast-less. The images are just less sharp, than those higher in the sky.
The ADC from Omegon produces – if you will – a negative color defect, which works against the atmosphere. The planet Mars plays a role here. Mars appears, to float just a bit higher. When one of our colleagues tested the ADC the first time, he noted, “The effect was massive. It appeared as if the telescope was suddenly replaced with another.”
In the next few years, many of the planets will be found quite close to the horizon. But, the ADC is your best hope. You can use it for visual observations, as well as for photography. Putting it to use is also quite simple: just place it into the recess, where the eyepieces normally is attached.
The advantages of the ADC in a nutshell:
ADC corrects atmospheric dispersion
Color fringes are reduced or disappear
Sharpness and contrast increase, as if the planet were higher in the sky
Just put it in the eyepiece recess and adjust the prisms.
Color filters: to unlock Mars’ detailed surface
Color filters are very useful for planetary observations, since they increase contrasts and make many details visible, which you may not see otherwise. The only requirement is that you should have some experience in observing, because seeing in astronomy is learned.
Color filters are available in sizes 1.25″ or 2″ and are simply screwed into the threads of the eyepiece.
But which details can you see on Mars?
Color filters are screwed directlz into the thread of your eyepiece.
Green filter: with it, you can directly enhance the surface, clouds and freezing fog.
Blue filter: only used for freezing fog and clouds.
Yellow filter: Great for seeing the occasional several week-long dust storm on the surface, by brightening such areas.
Orange and Red filters: Orange filters enhance the bright/dark structures of the surface and are the standard filter for observing Mars. The red filter does the same, but only utilized in large telescopes.
Tip: There are also special Mars filters, which increases greatly the contrasts of the red planet.
Filter wheel: For the quick switch
When you want to use several different filters, we recommend the filter wheel, for a quick switch between filter types.
Camera: Capture Mars
Do you want to photograph Mars? Then get your hands on a Touptek Camera G3M178C, which offers a high sensitivity and a resolution of 6.4 megapixels. Plus, it is extremely fast. With 59 images per second, you can put the shortest moments to use, resulting in sharp images of the red planet.
A great aid for planetary photography, making centering the planet in the dark hours no contest. With a flip mirror, you can switch between an eyepiece and camera in mere seconds.
Get out and observe!
Don’t wait until the year 2035! This Summer is a great opportunity to marvel at Mars in all its glory. In contrast to the opposition in 2003, camera technology has come quite a long way. Instruments like the ADC additionally enable you to view objects on the horizon. Get your telescope read and have a look at our nearest neighbor this Summer!
Product tip: Want to show your enthusiasm? Then get your hands on the Mars T-shirt! The backside features all the info of the opposition: distance, size, and brightness. Order now!
Beautiful astro-photos taken by you. Would that not be wonderful? The modern Planet Cameras from ToupTek give you the best chance, to eternalize your passion for Astronomy in the form of a photo.
Huge Spring Sale: 10% discount now on all ToupTek Cameras. Only until the 30th of April.
Take advantage of this opportunity, because the fantastic Opposition of Mars is coming up!
ToupTek offers an all-in-one solution: Each camera comes with the applicable software, making capturing the planetary photos that you have always wanted child’s play – crisp and detailed! New developments in sensors and electrons make a significant difference!
Highly modern and extremely sensitive CMOS Sensors
Cameras for planets, guiding and Deep-Sky Objects
Choose between 2.1 and 6.5 megapixel resolution
Monochrome and color cameras available
Mars as capture by Bernd Gährken. Get ready for the Opposition of Mars 2018 now!
Get your hands now on a ToupTek Camera of your choice for a great price!
“Where there’s a lot of light, there’s a lot of shadow”.
These words come from no less than Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. When he wrote these lines, nobody had even conceived of digital cameras. And the famous poet expressed this in a totally different context.
And yet: This sentence is so well suited to astronomy camera sensors that we simply had to use it.
But how does it all fit together? And why does this quote no longer apply to cameras with new Exmor R sensors? We’ll come back to that.
100% more sensitive cameras by ToupTek
This is news that many friends of astronomy will be pleased with: The latest ToupTek cameras are up to 100% more sensitive (source: Sony) than older, conventional CMOS cameras. For recently, great things have been achieved in sensor technology. To put it briefly: Thanks to the new Exmor R sensor, it’s now possible to put even more object information on the chip with short exposure times.
Until a few years ago, people still preferred CCD sensors. This was because they created less noise, were sensitive and you could recognise more details. But CMOS sensors have been improved. Fast data transport and super-fast digitalisation round out the achievements. Noise was markedly reduced, making this technology interesting for astronomy.
These CMOS sensors are also referred to as front-illuminated sensors. And this is where Goethe’s quote: “Where there’s a lot of light, there’s a lot of shadow” becomes interesting. Because it’s got something to do with the architecture or the construction of the chip.
“Classic” CMOS sensors
Front-illuminated sensors contais quite a few elements that the photons must go through before they reach their target land on the pixel.
First, there are the microlenses, then the colour filters and then finally the electronics. The latter were placed on the chip from above. This means: at this spot, there are aluminium strips, wires and transistors. The photons must go through them, too. After all that, the light finally reaches the long-awaited pixel.
The electronics, however, unfortunately, acts like a shadow-caster. It’s a little like what we experience with telescopes with large secondary mirrors: some of the light is absorbed and diverted.
Some photons simply don’t have a chance. They are not let through or they are simply reflected by the metal wire. This consequence is unavoidable: Less light reaches the sensor.
Sony, however, thought about how current chips could be made more sensitive. And something amazing occurred to them and which is now being used in astronomy cameras: “Back-illuminated” CMOS sensors.
The new “back-illuminated” sensors by Sony
Sony has taken sensors apart and put them back together quite differently. Now, the photons pass through the microlenses and then the colour filters. So far, so good. But after that, they go straight to the pixels.
The electronics, wires and transistors are located behind. The photons now reach the photo cells without being diverted. The silicon substrate is illuminated from behind instead of from the front. Another advantage is STARVIS technology, a sub-group of the Exmor R sensors that possess even higher sensitivity. This technology realises its greatest benefit precisely where there is little light.
Thanks to numerous improvements, the Exmor R sensors are extremely fast , produce even less noise, and are twice as sensitive (source: Sony) and even have higher transmission in the infra-red.
This technology has been used in research for a long time already. But until now, the price of such cameras was astronomically high. Thanks to the fall in price, amateurs can now enjoy the benefits of these CMOS sensors.
What does this mean for your astronomy shots?
More light in a shorter time
Shorter exposure times – and therefore fewer problems with tracking
Galaxies and nebulae can now be photographed without cooled cameras
Extremely high frame rates – resulting in even sharper planet shots
Higher sensitivity in the close infra-red range – for images of Mars and Venus
Brighter celestial objects often possible as live video
These new “back-illuminated” sensors by Sony offer new and exciting possibilities for astrophotographers. Thanks to the lower costs the prices are low. And the gain is beautiful astronomy photographs with little outlay. But the best of all is: The cameras by ToupTek are already fitted with this technology. Perhaps, we could now say: “Where there’s a lot of light, there remains a lot of light”. At least, as far as these new cameras are concerned.
If you want to use these cameras, too, then go here.
The new highly promising astronomy camera Horizon by Atik will be available very soon. This actively-cooled CMOS camera – available as a colour and mono version – comes with Infinity Live Stacking software, offering an easy introduction to astrophotography. At the same time, this high-performance camera has all the functions that experienced amateur astronomers could wish for. If you would like to take the bold step of taking up the fascinating hobby of astrophotography, with this camera, you have a product that will offer features that go way beyond beginner level.
The 16-megapixel CMOS MN34230 sensor by Panasonic is used. With an active chip diagonal of 22 mm, the sensor surface area is comparable with that of the popular APS-C format on SRL cameras. This large sensor, with a much high pixel density, is a great benefit compared with the well-loved Atik Infinitythat comes under the same price category. The extremely low noise level of modern CMOS chips in conjunction with active cooling make the Horizon ideal for deep-sky photography.
If you have already gained experience in astrophotography with an SRL camera , the Atik Horizon is perfect for the leap to a specialist camera. The active cooling reduces not only sensor noise dramatically, it means that a stable sensor temperature can be obtained. You no longer have to shorten the valuable observation time just to take a few dark frames for image calibration. Thanks to the cooling, you can maintain the same sensor temperature throughout the day, thus collecting valuable dark frames for hours on end.
This camera is, however, not suitable for planet shots – for example, with a lucky imaging process – because you can only take around one image per second. If you are looking for a high-quality planet camera with which you can take lots of images per second, you need look no further than the models by ToupTekor The Imaging Source.
The company, Atik Cameras Limited, has made a name for itself in recent years with its high-quality CCD astronomy cameras. With this first step to rapidly improving CMOS sensor technology, a camera is being offered that should be considered by both beginners and professionals.
We are now introducing the new Signature Series by the camera manufacturer, The Imaging Source. For over 20 years, this company has been making professional cameras, mainly for industrial applications. The company’s products are, however, readily used in medical and scientific fields. The cameras meet above-average quality standards.
In 2007, The Imaging Source designed a series of cameras specifically for astronomy applications for the first time. The manufacturer quickly became well-known and popular among amateur astronomers and astro-photographers because the cameras it produced were of excellent quality while being affordable.
In recent years, the brand became quiet in the field of astronomy. Other manufacturers came to the fore and every year new products, due to the rapid and continuous improvement in the digital camera technologies, put older models in the shade. The Imaging Source continued to diligently make astro cameras: The well-known NexImage and Skyris models of the Celestron brand are being made by way of a collaboration between these two companies.
Now, The Imaging Source is, however, finally presenting its own series of astro cameras once more! The Signature Series features outstanding robustness, which is not surprising from a manufacturer that regularly has to meet the high standards of industrial customers. The series is also equipped with state-of-the-art CMOS sensor technology. The old wisdom that you can only use CCD sensors for astronomy has not held for a long time: CMOS sensors now feature low noise and very high sensitivity, so that leading manufacturers are no longer producing CCD chips any more. In the Signature Series, the latest Pregius and STARVIS CMOS chips by Sony have been incorporated.
The cameras are wonderfully suited to planet shots. They deliver high-resolution, uncompressed, low-noise images at high frame rates. This is ideal for lucky imaging techniques to show every planet detail that is caught by your telescope. These cameras are not, however, primarily designed for taking photographs of very faint galaxies and nebulae: Depending on the model, maximum exposure times of only a few seconds are possible.
The range of models in the Signature Series is very extensive, with almost 60 models. This means you buy exactly the camera that is suited to your own needs. It is, however, challenging to keep an overview.
You should know the following:
Each camera is available in three versions: DMK, DBK and DFK. DMK models are monochromatic cameras. Since they do not need Bayer filters (to capture colour information), they are most sensitive to light. The DBK and DFK models are colour cameras. They do, however, have the same structure, including an infra-red filter in DFK cameras. The built-in CMOS sensors are also sensitive to invisible infra-red radiation, but this can be filtered out if necessary. Many amateur astronomers want an infra-red-sensitive camera, however. If this is what you want, too, DBK cameras are right for you.
Furthermore, there are different connections on each model for data transfer: The 33U cameras can be connected to your computer via a USB 3.0 and the 38U cameras can be connected via USB 3.1. For all USB cameras, a USB cable can be used for the power supply. The 33G cameras have a Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) interface. This is particularly widespread in professional image processing applications. For GiGE cameras, you also need an additional power supply, and the power pack required for this is included.
The built-in CMOS chip can be seen on the model description. This determines, for example, the resolution and frame rate of the camera.
The following table can help you to find the right camera:
If you are interested in a recently developed and high-quality planet camera, the Signature Series should be on your shortlist.
Imagine the following situation: You’re looking for the right camera.
The amateur astronomer stares desperately at the hundreds of cameras on the screen. The technical data gives him a headache. Gradually he loses sight of the big picture. Which camera should he buy then? He does not want to search for ever; he just wants to take beautiful photos.
In this post, you will find two aids that will make it easier for you to quickly find the right ToupTek camera for your needs.
1. A graphic that will give you an overview
The range of cameras is constantly increasing. How can you keep track of them?
Sensor size, pixel size and resolution are just a few of the key features. And you have to compare all the cameras with each other.
But the question is: Are they suitable for planets, deep sky or only for guidance?
Isn’t there an easier way to find out? Yes, we have wondered that, too; and have found the solution for ToupTek cameras. Here is the result: A graphic for a quick overview that also offers additional information. This saves you from having to constantly click all over the place. What can you see in this graphic?
Sensor size: At a glance, you can see the sensor size of ten different cameras. The frame sizes are matched accordingly.
Article numbers: Above every sensor, there is an article number in addition to the camera name. If you are interested in a camera, you can enter the number directly into the search function in the shop.
Coloured squares: Within the frame, you can see three small coloured boxes and/or a black and white box. It is actually self-explanatory: The boxes indicate whether the camera is available in a colour and/or in a monochrome version.
Number under the sensor: the sensor name is indicated, as IMX178 or AR0130, for example.
Pixel size (micron) and frames per second (fps): The cameras have been plotted on an X/Y graph. You will be able to see immediately whether a camera has small or large pixels, and whether the number of images recorded per second is very low or very high. Sensor size, pixel size and fps: These are all important pieces of information to help you decide which camera is right for your needs.
Planetary, focal length, guiding: Three coloured bars on the edge indicate for which purpose or telescope the camera is best suited. The more colourful the bar, the better suited for the respective area. These bars will tell you immediately which cameras are suitable for you.
Example: A high frame rate is suitable for planetary images, while a very large chip is not particularly well suited for just guiding. Chip size and pixel size will give you a clue about the appropriate focal length of the telescope.
2. How do I distinguish between different sensor sizes?
The sensor sizes of Touptek cameras range from 4.8 mm x 3.6 mm up to the large 20 MP sensor which measure 13 mm x 8.7 mm.
For planet images and guiding, smaller sensors are sufficient; for large moon shots or extended deep sky hosts, there should be more field.
A presentation of the various sizes is difficult, but it is important before making a purchase. That is why we have also created a graphic for you here and projected it on an image of the Galaxy NGC247.
With these two graphics, you’ll be on the safe side before you make your purchase and without many hours of searching. The best thing to do is take a look at the product pages of modern ToupTek cameras.
Telescopes by Taurus have recently been added to our shop. The Dobson T300 with a 12-inch aperture is the first model that we would like to present to you. Other models will follow in coming days. The Dobson T300 telescope has a wire-mesh tube, which means it’s easy to transport and can be set up without tools in just a few minutes. The entire system weighs just 15.9 kg, and the heaviest part weighs only 9.6 kg.
Unlike what you can see in the picture, the telescope does not come with a finder or an eyepiece. It does, however, come with a scattered light protector. It also comes with a high-quality 2” Crayford eyepiece holder with support.
The Dobson telescopes by Taurus are developed and made in Poland. We are pleased to be able to offer these telescopes to you now!
For those who prefer to take photographs, instead of exploring the night sky with their eyes alone, should make use of an apochromatic lens. The Japanese manufacture, Vixen, is offering three new models that have different lens diameters: SD81S, SD103S and SD115S.
The recently designed lens element with FPL-53 glass reduces chromatic aberrations to such an extent that they are barely detectable, ensuring an extremely clear and sharp picture! These three APOs are ideal for photography with DSLR cameras with full-format sensors.
When you buy this telescope, you are getting a finely tuned system that comprises optics, etalon filter and helical focusing with which you can enjoy observing and photographing the sun in H-Alpha light without risk!
Thanks to the light carbon tube, you can place SolarScout telescopes on a small mount. The integrated solar finder will help you to effortlessly and safely align the optics with the sun.
This is the first camera by Atik with a CMOS sensor – the future of sensor technology. In this case, it is a 16-megapixel Panasonic MN34230. The small pixel size of 3.8 µm means high resolution and makes the camera interesting for short focal length apochromatic lenses and photo lenses. The integrated cooling system brings the camera down to 40° C below the ambient temperature. With the quiet electronics and the USB 3.0 port, the Atik Horizon is ideal for shots of weak nebulae with long exposure times.
Like the Atik Infinity, the Atik Horizon is also ideal for live stacking. This significant trend ensures more fun doing astrophotography and publicity work at observatories.
You will, of course, receive both an Atik Horizon and a colour camera. This colour variant saves you from having to use colour filters.
We have had good experience with the mounts by iOptron in recent years. They are long-established in the USA, and are now becoming more popular across the pond. iOptron is now putting a mount on the market that features a load capacity of over 50 kg for observatories: The CEM120 GoTo mount.
The design is reminiscent of the tried and tested CEM60 GoTo that has a load-bearing capacity of half that. The polar wedge of both mounts is supported in the centre of gravity, thereby achieving a high level of stability with low weight.
For those who are planning a garden observatory or a new acquisition for a club observatory, the CEM120 GoTo should be seriously considered. Speak to us, and we’ll be happy to advise you!
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.
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.