NP127is: Imaging the Skies Over Tampa, FL!

M13 Globular Cluster in Hercules (crop) by Instagram user Jun Luo (xchaos360). All rights reserved. Used by permission. (Click image for full-frame). Considered the finest globular cluster visible from the Northern Hemisphere, M13 contains 100s-of -thousands of stars in a compact “ball” only 145-light-years across. The age of the stars in the cluster date to the formation of the universe.
Imaged with a Tele Vue NP127is APO (Nagler-Petzval) refractor equipped with ZWO ASI2600MC (color, CMOS, APC-C format) camera on Paramount MyT mount from driveway. Exposure time was 48-min using 16×180 sec subframes. Diffraction spikes were added with StarSpikes Pro 4 software.

If you follow the Tele Vue re-post (#RPTVO) hashtag on Instagram you’ll find many stunning images made with Tele Vue gear.  That’s how we found Jun Luo (aka: xchaos360) and his Tele Vue-NP127is images. He’s relatively new to astrophotography and has produced some very nice images. We had a conversation with Jun about his use of Tele Vue gear for imaging and what follows is what he told us.

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Powermate Solar Imaging from Kent, UK!

Proms Mono by flickr user Paul Andrew. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Lunt LS152 Solar Telescope (obj: 152mm / fl: 900mm) with Tele Vue 2.5x Powermate and imaged with ZWO ASI290MM monochrome camera (1936px x 1096px, color added in post-processing). Taken 20th May 2020 from Kent, UK. Solar prominences dance along magnetic field lines on the limb of the active Sun while fibrils of super-heated plasma fill the foreground.
Paul Andrew has been an amateur astronomer since the age of 11. He is the founder and Honorable President of the South East Kent Astronomical Society in the UK. He’s had a number of his astrophotographs published  — in particular, his solar images  — in national newspapers and on websites as far afield as Russia. He’s been short-listed for the prestigious Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition four times now. We’ve noted his high-quality solar images and discovered that many were made with our Tele Vue 2.5x Powermate in the imaging train. So, we present a selection of his work in this week’s blog.
 

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New Product! 67mm Converter for 55mm Plössl Night Vision Enhancement

Until now we had recommended the Tele Vue 55mm Plössl for the largest field and brightest view when using the PVS-14 Night Vision monocular. The new field/brightness champ is STILL the 55mm Plössl but extended to a 67mm focal length using our Converter Lens (ECL-67.0).  The lens is sold separately for those already owning a Tele Vue 55mm Plössl.  For those who don’t yet own one, we’ve put together a package consisting of the eyepiece, the converter lens, and a 2” Extension Tube (ECP-5567 shown above).
This image of the North American and Pelican Nebulae approximates the naked-eye view seen through a PVS-14 night vision monocular when connected to a  Tele Vue-85 with Tele Vue 55mm Plössl. Taken through FoneMate smartphone adapter with Huawei P20 Pro phone. Exposure notes: 4mm lens at f/1.6, 30-sec exposure at ISO 125. North American and Pelican Nebulae by Gavin Orpin. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Night Vision astronomy continues to expand with more and more amateurs buying military-grade night vision gear. As Gavin Orpin told us in a guest blog post last year, night vision “has given me a completely new aspect of the hobby to explore.” He’s able to observe Deep Sky Objects through his portable Tele Vue-85 that would have been impossible to see otherwise from his home near central London.  

We’ve taken advantage of the full-field capability of our 55mm Plössl by introducing a night vision specific converter lens that extends its focal length to 67mm; thereby reducing the eyepiece’s apparent field of view from 50° to 40° to exactly match the field of view of the PVS-14 objective. That’s a 20% increase in true field-of-view seen with a simple screw-in accessory lens!

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New! Quick Release Tele Vue Starbeam!

SRT-2010 Starbeam, with a quick release base allowing easy removal from scope without the need to touch the Starbeam alignment.
Starbeam has long been the highest quality, unit-power finder companion for the amateur astronomer. Looking through its 40mm glass lens you see an unamplified, natural sky background with a 10 arc-minute (1/3 Moon diameter) collimated “red-star” superimposed over it. Alignment adjustment is built in to Starbeam so no tools are required to align it with your scope.  For high-angle targets, the unique flip mirror feature saves your knees and neck by letting you look down into the mirror to see the reflection of the sky.  This elegantly designed finder comes in three mounting versions for Tele Vue rings, Newtonian scopes, and Schmidt–Cassegrain scopes.
 

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Yes, We’re Open!

2020 June 1

TeleVue Optics, Inc.
32 Elkay Dr.
Chester, NY 10918

Dear Astronomy Friends,

On the first full day of spring, March 20, when Tele Vue’s COVID-19 pandemic closing notice was put on our blog, we wrote: “We are all living through a time of great uncertainty when we do not know exactly what will come in the weeks and months ahead.” It has been a long journey, and while this crisis is by no means over, today we are all healthy and ready to fully serve our customers!

Thanks to all who supported us over the past seventy-three days! We read your kind words on our Facebook page and even got letters through the mail! Our blog newsletter saw an increase in subscriptions and a multitude of amateurs continued to @televue on social media as they found more time for their favorite hobby and “sheltered in space.”

We’re starting the process of restocking the shelves at our dealers, answering your questions, building scopes, doing our famous eyepiece quality control checks, and becoming more active on social media. While the pandemic continues to curtail events and Tele Vue’s appearances, we’ll update our website Tour Schedule, social media, and announce on the blog when and where we’ll be showing products in person.

Please continue to Stay Safe and Clear Skies!

David Nagler

President, Tele Vue Optics, Inc.
 

 

 

Latest TVO News

50 Years Ago: How Simulators Saved Apollo 13

While Tele Vue Optics Inc. is CLOSED due to Covid-19 we’ll post items of interest to our readers on the blog from time-to-time.
 
A Note from Al Nagler
I’d like to thank Susan Sherwood, director of TechWorks! (www.ctandi.org) for celebrating the 50th anniversary of the safe return of the Apollo 13 crew.
I’m honored to be a part of the team she assembled to help restore the Lem simulator optics, which I designed at Farrand Optical Company, a sub-contractor to Grumman, working with GP-Link.
The simulators were used to train all the Apollo mission astronauts for moon landing — and played an important role in saving the Apollo 13 astronauts — as told in the following narratives.
 
Apollo simulators image courtesy of NASA.

The greatest untold story of the Apollo 13 mission is that of the spacecraft simulators.Gerald Griffin, Apollo Mission Control Flight Director

Apollo 13 was the third attempt to land astronauts on the Moon. The landing site chosen was north of Fra Mauro crater, on the opposite shore of Mare Cognitum from where Apollo 12 had landed five months earlier. It may be hard to believe now, but no major television network covered the launch of the 363 ft (110.6 m) tall Saturn V rocket as it slowly lifted off Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on April 11, 1970 at 2:13 p.m. EST. Trips to the Moon had quickly become blasé in the public imagination and only the Center staff, spectators, and people living on the Space Coast turned their heads to follow the crew as they began their journey into space on a tail of flame.

Apollo 13 mission patch image and description is courtesy of NASA. Apollo, the sun god of Greek mythology, was represented as the sun, with three horses driving his chariot across the surface of the Moon, symbolizing how the Apollo flights have extended the light of knowledge to all mankind. The Latin phrase “Ex Luna, Scientia” means “From the Moon, Knowledge.”

The initial part of the mission was indeed uneventful for Commander Jim Lovell, command module pilot Jack Swigert and lunar module pilot Fred Haise. But at about 55 hours, 55 minutes into the mission, Swigert calmly radioed flight control in Houston, Texas with the famous words: “Okay, Houston, we’ve had a problem here.” The crew had felt a loud bang and were losing electrical power. His understated tone didn’t trigger any urgency until Commander Lovell looked out the window and told Houston the ominous news. “It looks to me, looking out the hatch, that we are venting something.” He repeated this for emphasis, stumbling over his words: “We are venting something out into the —  into space.” It was late in the evening of April 13, 1970 when the blasé faded and the news networks began to pay attention to the drama 210,000 miles (330,000 km) from Earth.

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Tele Vue Optics is Closed Due to Covid-19 Until Further Notice

Dear Astronomy Friends,

We all find ourselves in an extraordinary circumstance, coming together to ensure the health and safety of our families, neighbors, and communities as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to escalate. This unprecedented situation has no manual or guidebook; we are all in it together, figuring it out and making decisions on a day-by-day or even hour-by-hour basis. The health and safety of our employees and customers are our top priorities.

To support efforts under way to slow the spread of the virus, and to comply with the current Executive Orders handed down by New York State, Tele Vue will be CLOSED until such orders are lifted. The closure may lead to temporary shortages of Tele Vue products at your dealer. When it is safe to resume work, we will restart deliveries of the products that bring the wonders of nature closer and sharper than you’ve ever imagined.

Until then, our hearts go out to everyone impacted by COVID-19, including those diagnosed by the virus, all of the caregivers at home and in healthcare, and those whose job or school has been affected. We are all living through a time of great uncertainty when we do not know exactly what will come in the weeks and months ahead. There is no doubt that we are in uncharted territory, but of this we are certain: we will get through this, stronger and more resilient than ever. We thank you for your support and hope you stay well, stay safe and take care of one another.

Please watch this website or our social media feeds for updates on the situation.

Please Stay Safe and Clear Skies!

David Nagler

President, Tele Vue Optics, Inc.
 

 

 

Latest TVO News

Shelter in Space

Christmas Tree Nebula at Amboy Crater by flickr user William Allen. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Astronomy in the time of Covid-19: Getting out in the desert for astrophotography is definitely sheltering in space. Taken at Amboy Crater on March 16, 2020.

Imaging details: Tele Vue-85 APO refractor with Tele Vue TRF-2008 0.8x Reducer/Flattener (converts TV-85 to 480mm f/5.6) imaging into ZWO ASI071 MC Pro Camera. Accessories: Tele Vue Starbeam Finder with Apertura illuminator, ZWO 30F4 Guides Scope with Starlight XPress Lodestar X2 Guide Camera. Mount: Celestron CGX EQ. Software: Celestron PWI, PHD2 Guiding, Astro Photography Tool 3.82.

Getting out in the desert for astrophotography is definitely sheltering in space.
We encountered the above phrase, this week, in the caption of an image of the Christmas Tree Nebula, made with our Tele Vue-85 APO refractor. We felt it apropos for our hobby as it succinctly conjures the connection between amateur astronomy and our current moment in world history. 
 
The image was posted to Flickr by Los Angeles based amateur Bill Allen. So we decided to ask Bill about his journey into astronomy and astrophotography and showcase some of his images in this week’s blog.  

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2020 Messier Marathon!

Lovely Messier objects clockwise from top left:
•M45 (Pleiades Star Cluster) with TeleVue-NP127fli + FLI ProLine 16803 CCD camera © Gordon Haynes. • M31 (Andromeda galaxy) & M32 (dwarf galaxy is left of center) with Tele Vue TV-NP127is + Apogee U9000 camera © Adam Block and Tim Puckett (more). • M42 (Orion Nebula) & M43 (De Mairan’s Nebula) with Tele Vue-85 + Tele Vue 0.8x Reducer/ Flattener + Canon T3 camera © Mike Broussard (more). • M13 (Hercules Globular) with Tele Vue-NP127fli + FLI MicroLine 694 camera © Wolfgang Promper (more).
The Messier Marathon is a northern latitude event that takes place on a night in March or early-April. This is a time when all 110 Messier objects are visible from the northern hemisphere. (See our 2018 blog post on how this list came about). Singularly and in groups, amateur astronomers stay up all night in a “marathon” session to try to view them all! To be a successful “marathoner,” you need to pick the right evening, have clear weather, good site selection, and a manually driven observing setup capable of wide fields of view. 

Looking Back & Ahead with Tele Vue

Tele Vue Optics, Inc. at 20:20 hours.

This week we look back at the most popular blog posts of 2019 and give you a peek at one of the new products we’ll debut in 2020. 

2019: Blog in Review
Our blog keeps rolling along! Published continuously since January 2017, our subscribed audience continues to grow, and increased by 50% last year. Thanks, everyone! The following are highlights from some of the 49 blog posts that we published last year. All these were in the top-10 by pageviews.

Tele Vue President David Nagler grinning over the Apollo 11 eyepiece.

By far our most popular posting was “Tele Vue’s Secret Launch: Apollo 11mm Eyepiece!” that chronicled the behind-the-scenes development of the Apollo 11mm eyepiece and its last-minute introduction at the Northeast Astronomy Forum (NEAF) 2019. We explain what makes this eyepiece special to us, the “magic moment” reveal, and the reaction at NEAF.  There are still a few of these limited edition eyepieces available for collecting, gifting, or just viewing through. Contact your dealer if interested.

The constellation Orion over the roof by Gavin Orpin. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Taken through a night vision moncular with a smart phone using the Tele Vue / TNVC FoneMate adapter. An astounding view of Barnard’s Loop (the 10-degree wide nebula arc from above the belt of orion to the feet) — that normally requires long-exposure imaging to view. Huawei P20 Pro phone took the image. Exposure notes: 4mm lens at f/1.6, 20-sec exposure at ISO 100.

A must-read article for anyone considering night vision astronomy, “Night Vision in the UK: Seize the Night!“, by guest blogger Gavin Orpin, was high on the top-10 list. Gavin says that night vision “has given me a completely new aspect of the hobby to explore.” He explains his use of night vision gear for hand-held and telescopic observing. This includes the use of 6nm Hα (for nebulae) and 685nm infrared (for galaxies and cluster) filters and adapters for simple imaging through the night vision monocular on and off the scope. We also delve into how the PVS-14 night vision monocular got its name. The blog came about as a result of a discussion between Gavin and Tele Vue President David Nagler at the AstroFest 2019 show in London.

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