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Posts Tagged 'telescope'

New: StarSense Explorer telescopes from Celeston

June 30 2020, Stefan Taube

The idea of controlling a telescope with a smartphone is nothing new. With the StarSense Explorer range, Celestron brings  another option into play, which may be particularly interesting for beginners.

A special feature of the StarSense Explorer telescopes is that a WLAN connection does not need to be established between the telescope and the smartphone. The free StarSense Explorer app orients itself directly to the night sky, via the smartphone camera and a sophisticated mirror system.

Celestron StarSense Explorer DX

Celeston StarSense Explorer DX


Here’s how it works: All you need to do is install the free StarSense Explorer app and insert your smartphone into the special cradle attached to the telescope. The app uses location data from your smartphone to determine the observing location and does not require you to separately enter the current date and time.

The StarSense Explorer app uses a special lost-in-space algorithm (LISA), which is also used for the orientation of satellites. Star patterns recorded by the smartphone camera are compared with the internal database. These calculations are combined with information from the smartphone’s gyroscope and accelerometer. All this leads to a very high degree of precision that no other planetarium app can achieve! So you can move confidently through the night, even with no prior knowledge!

In drei Schritten zum Erfolg

Insert your smartphone, launch the app and you’re ready to start observing.

The StarSense Explorer app will suggest rewarding objects to observe that night at your location. You can also use the planetarium view to pan to interesting objects and identify them.

StarSense Explorer telescopes are supplied with an altazimuth mount so you can move the telescope simply about the altitude and azimuth axes. Two shafts with large grips allow fine adjustment and tracking. The telescopes are not equipped with a motor, but belong to the class of PushTo telescopes.

By the way, of course you can also use your StarSense Explorer telescope without a smartphone, for example, for a quick view of the Moon, which you should be able to find without an electronic helper.

Gran Turismo GT 81: the high-end telescope from William Optics!

April 9 2020, Stefan Taube

The Gran Turismo 81 refractor is a triplet apochromat with a lens unit with FPL-53 glass from Ohara, Japan. This combination ensures maximum colour purity and high contrast! The GT81 is therefore a versatile refracting telescope which satisfies every requirement!

William Optics GT 81 Astroshop

Apochromat refractor AP 81/478 Gran Turismo GT 81 from William Optics.

Equipped with an optional diagonal mirror, with this apochromat you can observe the Moon and the planets in high contrast. This fast telescope also enables sustained observing of more difficult deep sky objects: star clusters, galaxies and nebulae. Thanks to needle-sharp star images, resolving and observing globular clusters becomes a particular pleasure.

For astrophotography, we recommend the field flattener and focal length reducer (flattener/reducer) Flat6AIII. With this, the telescope delivers a flat field with the same focal position, even for full-frame cameras. The Bahtinov mask integrated into the telescope body helps with precise focusing.

Using the dovetail plate integrated into the frame, you can equip your Gran Turismo with a finder scope or guiding scope.

The very robust and stable GT81-Apo is ideally suited for mobile astronomy and astro-photography. The tube weight of four kilograms is easily accommodated by medium-sized mounts. Take this apo with you to a dark sky and discover the best objects from the Messier and NGC catalogues. The GT81 from William Optics will be, after the Firstlight, your new favourite telescope!

Just in time for Christmas – gift sets for star gazers

December 4 2019, 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!

New Starfleet: The Omegon PRO Apochromats for Astrophotographers

November 19 2019, Marcus Schenk

These photos almost look like you were there. As if Captain Kirk was giving me a personal tour of the Pleiades on his command bridge screen on the Enterprise. However, what you see in the pictures below are images taken with the new Omegon PRO apochromats. And we swear, they were all taken from Earth 😉

So on to more beautiful photos.

Omegon’s new doublet, triplet and quadruplet refractors are a real compact Starfleet for astrophotographers who value brilliant and needle-sharp photos of the universe. The lens apertures range from 65mm to 107mm. There’s the right telescope for everybody.

Der Omegon Pro APO 60/330 OTA

The Omegon Pro APO 60/330 OTA.

Features include: Ohara FPL-53 glass for a true-colour image, CNC tube, hybrid rack and pinion focuser with, ball bearings and 360° rotation, tube clamps, dovetail bar, viewfinder shoe and Vixen-style dovetail bar.

The Pleiades with reflection nebula, APO 71/450 Quadruplet, Canon 6Da, 32×180 seconds, Image: Philipp Keltenich

The Andromeda Galaxy, APO 71/450 Quadruplet, Canon 6Da, 25×240 seconds, Image: Philipp Keltenich

And here is the fleet of telescopes at a glance:

  1. Apo 60/330 Doublet OTA #60852
    A small doublet apochromat for travel and for striking panoramic pictures.
  2. Apo 71/450 Quadruplet OTA #60855
    For fantastically beautiful, true-colour and flat images right up to the edges of the field of view. Here you don’t have to worry about how to attach a field flattener to your camera, because it’s already built-in. A great flat field apochromat!
  3. Apo 72/400 Doublet OTA #60853
    If you like to travel and love shooting large-area objects, you will love this refractor. A clear picture and only 400mm focal length, it captures the Andromeda Galaxy and similar objects.
  4. Apo 80/500 Triplet OTA #60856
    An apochromat with a clear and true-colour image, even at very high magnifications. The expertly-crafted 2.5″ focuser is larger than that of most 80mm telescopes. The advantage: so much illumination that even your full-frame camera will have fun with it. By the way, we also stock the carbon version of these apochromats: chic, thermally-stable and even lighter.
  5. Apo 90/600 Triplet OTA #60858
    Weighing just 5 kilograms but with a 90mm aperture: this apo refractor is suitable for your mount at home or for travelling under a dark sky. The 2.5″ focuser holds your camera in a stable position all night long.
  6. Apo 107/700 Triplet OTA #60859
    Sophisticated three-lens design with Ohara glass for a clear and true-colour image. A 3″ focuser offers you a generously illuminated field of view and an enormous load-bearing capacity – a great advantage for heavy cameras.

Get to know the new Omegon apo fleet better, just click on the links and learn more on our product pages.

Now in stock: The Vaonis STELLINA smart telescope!

November 6 2019, Elias Erdnüß

Vaonis STELLINA: innovative control, top-quality design, high-tech

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!

Tip: A guide for photographers on how to get started with simple astrophotography. Read also the article „A Beginners Guide to Astrophotography“ on the pixpa blog.

New Starquest Telescope from Skywatcher

October 30 2019, Stefan Taube

Skywatcher’s new Starquest telescopes combine small optics with a lightweight equatorial mount in a new design. A lightweight aluminium tripod with a storage shelf is also included, the perfect telescope for easy transportation and a quick view of the sky.

Skywatcher Newton 130/650 Starquest EQ

Skywatcher Newton 130/650 Starquest EQ

The high-quality Starquest mount contains a worm gear with 122 teeth on each axis. This ensures high stability and sensitive manual tracking with the easy-to-use flexible shafts – even beginners can easily cope.

The correct telescope to choose from depends on your preferred application:

  • The refractor AC 102/500 shows large sections of the sky. Large objects such as nebulae, open star clusters or comets can be observed with it.
  • The Maksutov MC 102/1300 is particularly compact. Despite its small size, this telescope has a very long focal length. It allows high levels of magnification, and is a real specialist for the Moon and planets – but also planetary nebulae and double stars can easily be observed with the Maksutov. With this selection of potential objects and the rear-facing lens position, the Maksutov is ideal for the balcony observatory in light-polluted cities. Another advantage is the closed optical tube: the mirror cannot become contaminated.
  • The Newton 130/650 telescope is the best compromise. It has the widest aperture and therefore collects most light. Even faint nebulae can still be identified. The Newton telescope is also particularly inexpensive due to its design. However the relatively long tube has the greatest lever effect on the mount.

More information and all the models can be found here in Astroshop.

Celestron RASA Astrographs: Telescopes for Astrophotography

September 20 2019, Stefan Taube

The RASA range of telescopes were developed specifically and exclusively for astrophotography. They are very fast; with a focal length of f/2 they take pictures twenty times faster than a Schmidt-Cassegrain lens at f/10! Because of this a tracking control is not required, and generally fewer demands are placed on the mount!

The RASA 1100 model with a 279 millimetre aperture has already been on the market for some time, and Celestron is now also offering a smaller version, the RASA 800, with a 203 millimetre aperture.

Celestron Astrograph S 203/400 RASA 800

Celestron Astrograph S 203/400 RASA 800

This optical system is also within reach of smaller budgets with the RASA 800, particularly since it can be used with a smaller mount. The illustration above shows the RASA 800 with the AVX mount. This astrograph is optimised for astrophotography cameras with a 22 millimetre field diagonal. The larger RASA 1100 is the better choice for those who prefer to use a DLSR for their photography.

The abbreviation RASA stands for the developers’ names: Rowe-Ackermann-Schmidt-Astrograph. It is basically a normal, routinely-produced Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain instrument; that is with a spherical primary mirror in front of which is a corrector plate invented by Bernhard Schmidt. Instead of using a secondary mirror to direct the light path towards the Cassegrain focus at the end of the telescope, the camera sensor is incorporated in the prime focus. A corrector assembly comprising four lenses made of especially high-quality glass ensures optimal illumination.

Die RASA-Optik von Celestron

The RASA telescope from Celestron

As the term astrograph implies, RASA telescopes are designed exclusively for photography. There is no option to use an eyepiece. But if you are an amateur astronomer who specialises in astrophotography, you will not see this as a disadvantage, instead you will quickly learn to appreciate the advantages of the RASA telescopes.

Improved Version of the Dobson LightBridge by Meade

February 7 2019, Stefan Taube

No other telescope produces the natural experience of the night sky as directly as a Dobson. Completely without a camera or any other electronic deflection – armed only with an infra-red lamp and star chart – discover nebulae, star clusters and galaxies.

Apart from good weather, two things are necessary to enjoy observation: As large a telescope as possible and a dark night sky. A Dobson is a reflector telescope with a relatively simple base. So, for your money, you’ll get a telescope that is bigger than others. The problem with the dark sky is, however, more difficult to solve. The Dobson telescope should fit in a car so you can drive to a good location for observing.

A large telescope that fits in a car is a contradiction in itself. This is resolved by the Dobson wire-mesh tube:


This Dobson in the LightBridge series can be taken apart without tools.

As the figure shows, the telescope can be taken apart into relatively small parts. From left to right, you can see the rocker box, the mirror case, the tube rods and the carrier ring with the secondary mirror. On location, the truss tube Dobson can be built in a few minutes without any tools.

The manufacturer, Meade, was one of the first, with the Dobson telescopes in the LightBridge series to use this form of construction and at a price that is affordable for amateur astronomers. We can now offer the improved version, the LightBridge Plus.

Meade Dobson Teleskop N 254/1270 LightBridge Plus

Meade Dobson Telescope N 254/1270 LightBridge Plus

The new LightBridge Plus has an improved rocker box. It is somewhat lighter, has notched carry handles, a pre-installed eyepiece tray and a friction brake for the height axis. The box can be taken apart without tools so it can be easily transported. Meade now fits these telescopes with an improved eyepiece holder that has a fine-adjustment knob for precision focusing and comes with a high-quality 2-inch eyepiece with a 26-mm focal length.

As with the previous version, the LightBridge Plus has a main mirror fan for faster alignment of the mirror with the ambient temperature. As expected, the optics are fully adjustable. Thanks to the fast aperture ratio, the tube is relatively short and the viewing height at the zenith is not too high.

If you’ve always wanted a telescope with a large aperture, but just didn’t know how you’d carry it around, a LightBridge Plus is a very good choice at a fair price!


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

Now Available: New Meade Telescopes of the Series LX65 and LX85

December 6 2018, Stefan Taube

The almighty has crossed the pond: the brand-new Meade telescopes of the Series LX65 and LX85.

Meade LX65 Maksutov

Meade LX65 Maksutov

The Meade Maksutov Telescope MC 127/1900 UHTC LX65 GoTo is immediately available and thanks to its high focal length is excellent for lunar and planetary observations.  The optics capture enough light, that even far-off objects show details, such as star clusters.

As with every LX65, this telescope features an azimuthal single-arm mount, which is light, easy to disassemble and even has an integrated battery compartment.  The AudioStar Handheld Controller makes it a breeze for beginners to find their way around the sky, while the database features more than 30,000 objects.  Conclusion: An excellent telescope for beginners or planet specialists, who are looking for a transportable telescope.

The LX85 Series has just arrived with several models.  These telescopes are delivered with the new LX85 mount.  As compared to the LX65, the LX85 series features a parallactic mount.  This sort of build features an axel which is parallel to the Earth’s axis, a trick which prevents the celestial objects from drifting in the telescope.  Such a feature is extremely important for longer exposures in Astrophotography.  The LX85 is an inexpensive mid-sized mount, which also has an AudioStar controller.


Meade LX85 Newton

The Meade Teleskop N 150/750 LX85 GoTo is available now.  Equipped with a Newton-style telescope with a 150 mm diameter, it features a parabolic mirror with 750 mm focal length.  The combination of 150/750 is very popular and can be found in nearly every telescope brand.  The mirror is big enough to be able to observe faint galaxies under a dark sky.  The quick focal ratio of f/5 makes it great for photography.

The LX85 is also available as a Newton Telescope with 200mm Mirror. For purely visual observations, it is a great choice, while a 150 mm Newton telescope would be less ideal for astrophotography, since stability is so important in taking photos.

For friends of lens-based telescopes, we offer Achromats, namely the Meade Telescope AC 120/700 LX85 GoTo and the Astrograph AP 70/350 Series 6000 LX85 GoTo. Last but not least, we also offer something special for astrophotography, which is also available without a mount: Meade AP 70/350 Series 6000 Astrograph OTA.


The New Astrograph from Meade

This very interesting set-up for astrophotographers even received the Hot Product 2018 Award from Sky & Telescope!

Since we are on the subject of photography, we would like to share two camera tips from Meade: Have a look at version 4 of the legendary Deep Sky Imager.  The cooled cameras can be used universally.  The price-worthy LPI-G Cameras meanwhile are real planetary specials and perfect for beginners.



LPI-G Camera on a Meade Apo

The LPI-G-Kameras can also arrive just in time for the holidays!

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