We spotted some great Tele Vue-NP127is images on Instagram and AstroBin recently. They are the work of a collaboration between Niels Christensen and other amateurs from Denmark. We contacted Niels to learn more.
Niels tells us he began his astrophotography hobby in 2005 when he “dug a hole” in his garden and constructed a backyard observatory. For the first 5-years he was on a learning-curve, honing his skills. He’s now been doing serious astrophotography for the last 8-years — and it shows! From his light-polluted yard — located within 10-km of the city center of Copenhagen — he has achieved exquisite image quality.
Niels created an easily transportable setup so he could image from his backyard or visit dark-sky locations. It includes the Tele Vue-NP127is telescope (contributed by friend Morten la Cour) mounted on a TTS-160 Panther mount with the “Telescope rOTAtor” derotater, both contributed by Track The Stars owner Niels Haagh. The camera is a ZWO ASI1600MM. Christensen integrated the entire system together with his hardware and software. Using this setup, he’s done imaging runs from his yard, at a dark-site at Brorfelde Observatory (about 45-minutes to the west), and at the Avnø Nature Preserve (over an hour away to the south).
Niels Haagh has also taken the setup to Drøsselbjerg, 1.5 hours west of Copenhagen, for imaging runs.
We asked Niels Christensen what he liked best about the Tele Vue-NP127is and gave us a list:
It’s an APO (for superb color correction)
It’s a f/5.2 scope.
No need for collimation.
Can often get small FWHM’s (measure of a star’s size on image sensor) on stars.
Can keep focus (without the need for re-focus) during the imaging run — even with slightly changing temperatures.
Big field of view with minimal vignetting.
Niels Haagh also gave us his thoughts on the benefits of using his TTS-160 Panther mount with the NP127is:
The combination of the NP127is and the TTS-160 Panther mount makes a perfect transportable set-up. It is easy to bring to real dark locations and get the best deep exposures.
The pinpoint stars of the NP127is really comes to their own right when guided on the Panther mount with Telescope rOTAtor option.
The NP127is is mechanically very stable. When guided with a piggybacked guide telescope every single sub-exposue shows perfect circular pinpoint stars. No kind of flex is visible.
The mount and telescope has been transported many times to dark sky sites. Every time the combo works perfectly with no tweaking needed.
Niels Christensen is a retired telecommunications engineer in Denmark with an electrical engineering degree from the Engineering College of Aarhus. He was a Beta tester on the Atik Horizon CMOS mono camera.