Tele Vue: We’ll Always Have Paris!

Here I am with Pierre-Jean who I first met in 2006.  In this photo from the 2016 RCE, Pierre-Jean had just purchased his 82nd and 83rd Tele Vue eyepieces, a pair of 15mm Plössls.

It’s almost time to board the plane for my biennial trip to the “Rencontres du Ciel et de l’Espace” (RCE).  The show takes place from November 1st through 3rd at the Museum of Science and Industry in Paris and features over 150 lectures (in French of course) over the three days with vendors spread over two floors.  Daily attendance is in the neighborhood of 2,500 people, so it’s a busy show!  Continue reading “Tele Vue: We’ll Always Have Paris!

Tele Vue-NP101is Imaging the Skies of Rhode Island!

We found unique takes on familiar deep-sky objects on David Augros’ AstroBin account. They were taken with our Tele Vue-NP101is refractor (photo/visual, 101mm, f/5.4 APO) using our Large Field Corrector (LCL-1069) and modified Canon EOS 6D DSLR.

Rho Ophiuchi & Friends by AstroBin user David Augros. Copyright David Augros. Used by permission. NP101is APO refractor plus Large Field Corrector (LCL-1069) with Lumicon Deep Sky 2″ filter into modified Canon EOS 6D DSLR.

The first impression is of a dark canvas, sprinkled with white pinpoints and bright cloud-like strokes of gold, red, and blue. Brilliant jewels were seated in the colorful clouds and several dense clusters of diamond dust were scattered on this celestial painting. Dark clouds emerge from the canvas and contrast themselves among the dots and colored hues.

We asked David how he got involved in astro-imaging and why he choose this scope. He told us in his own words.

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Uranus Opposition October 23rd

Uranus by Instagram user astrobobo. Copyright astrobobo. Used by permission. Imaged with Tele Vue 2.5x Powermate™ on Celestron EdgeHD 8″ SCT (effective focal length = 5080-mm) and ZWO ASI290MC camera.

On the 23rd, the “ice  giant” Uranus will be visible all night, as it rises when the sun sets (hence it is opposite the sun). It will also be at its largest for the year: a diminutive 3.73″ of arc. Due to its distance and close-to-circular orbit, Uranus doesn’t vary that much in brightness over time.  It will reach magnitude 5.7 from mid-October through early November before slightly fading to magnitude 5.9 in late March 2019. This makes it a naked-eye target in dark skies and easy to locate in a binocular or finderscope.

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Imaging in the Stratosphere with Tele Vue!

Air China A332 crossing the Moon (crop) by Instagram user Kacper Lechwar. Copright Kacper Lechwar. Used by permission. Air China Airbus A330-243 is captured poking its nose into the Sea of Serenity as it crosses the face of the Moon. Imaged using 254mm / 1200mm Dobsonian telescope with Tele Vue 2x Powermate™ and Canon 1200D / EOS Rebel T5 (18.1-megapixel) camera. Shot at cruising altitude (30,000+ feet). With this Powermate™ setup, Kacper takes a series of images in quick succession of each plane. He then reviews them on a computer before processing the best ones. Click to see full image.

We’ve noticed a proliferation of close-up plane images on Instagram made using Tele Vue Powermate™ image amplifiers. What is amazing about these images? They are taken from the ground with the plane at jet-aircraft cruising altitude. This is the imaging side of the hobby of “plane spotting.” It is sort of like bird watching — but the “bird” is much bigger and potentially much further away: in the stratosphere!

While imaging a bird can be serendipitous, the modern plane spotter has the advantage of free online flight-tracking software, such as FlightRadar 24 and FlightAware, to predict what aircraft are approaching their location. Aircraft identification, route, speed, altitude, and heading are just a click away. This software has also made its way to the ubiquitous smartphone. Thus, unlike birding, plane spotters can anticipate targets to observe in advance. This gives the spotter time to prepare for encounters with common and rare aircraft — like the Antonov An-225.

Antonov An-225 Mriya GML-LEJ by Instagram user Krzysztof Migo. Copyright Krzysztof Migo. Used by permission. Antonov An-225 Mriya caught flying from Kiev to Leipzig. Imaged using a Skywatcher 200/1000 (f/5) scope with Tele Vue 2x Powermate™ and Canon 700D / Rebel T5i camera (18.0 megapixel) DSLR camera. . Shot at cruising altitude (30,000+ feet).

Continue reading “Imaging in the Stratosphere with Tele Vue!”