Tele Vue-76: Imaging the Skies over Washington!

Andrew Thomas has been posting beautiful wide-field sky images on his Flickr feed. He’s imaging with one of our smaller scopes, the highly portable and capable Tele Vue-76 APO refractor! Here’s an image made by Andrew with this scope during the Great American Eclipse in August 2017.

2017-08-21 Solar Eclipse HDR by flickr user Andrew Thomas. All rights reserved. Used by permission.  Andrew writes:
“In this photo, the detailed structure of the solar corona and reflected Earthshine illuminating the surface of the Moon is revealed in this HDR composite of images taken at different exposure lengths. Regulus, the brightest star in Leo, is visible to the far left …”.
Imaged with Tele Vue-76mm APO refractor with Nikon D7100 DSLR camera riding on an iOptron iEQ45 Pro mount. Capture software was Eclipse Orchestrator v3.7. 4 sets of exposures at 1/1600, 1/400, 1/100, 1/25, 1/6, 1/3, and 6/10 sec @ ISO 200, stacked to reduce noise and enhance detail. Location: Madras, Oregon.

Andrew gave us permission to re-post these photos on our blog.

I’m glad you enjoy the images I’ve been able to capture with the Tele Vue-76. It’s a wonderful scope for both visual use and imaging. I don’t think I’ll ever give it up

In this next image, hot massive blue stars, embedded in a “cloud” of dust and gas, put out copious amounts of ultraviolet light that energizes the atoms in the cloud and causes them to glow.
 
IC417 – Emission Nebula – HOS-RGB – 2019-10-27 by flickr user Andrew Thomas. All rights reserved. Used by permission. 
“IC417, sometimes called the Spider Nebula, lies in the constellation Auriga. This image was taken from Seattle over a couple of clear nights in late October 2019. Narrowband Ha, OIII and SII filters were used to capture the nebulosity, which was later combined with RGB data for the stars.”
Imaged with Tele Vue-76 APO refractor with Tele Vue TRF-2008 0.8x Reducer/Flattener (converts TV-76 to 380mm f/5.0 for flat field, fast photography) into QSI 683wsg (3326×2504 sensor) camera. Mount used was iOptron iEQ45 Pro. Exposure was Hydrogen-alpha: 19 x 900 sec (bin: 1×1), OIII 10 x 900 sec (bin: 2×2), SII: 8 x 900 sec (bin: 2×2), Red / Green / Blue: 5 x 120 sec (bin: 1×1) each. Software: PixInsight, StarNet++, and PaintShop Pro. “

I’ve been a huge fan of Tele Vue ever since buying my first “real” eyepiece, a 24mm Tele Vue Widefield, back in 1985. I purchased my Tele Vue-76 in 2015 at the Table Mountain Star Party from Sunriver Nature Center and Observatory to use as a high quality, portable visual scope and was immediately impressed by the wide-field and pinpoint sharp views. I’d recently gotten into astrophotography, so it wasn’t long before a camera found its way onto the back of the Tele Vue-76. The same qualities that make it a great visual scope translate over to imaging. After several years of use, I’m still wowed by what this little scope can deliver.

In this next example, brilliant stellar jewels light up colorful clouds and reveal dark clumps of dust in this image of the Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex — one of the closest stellar nurseries to Earth.

Rho Ophiuchi – LRGB – 2019-07-01 by flickr user Andrew Thomas. All rights reserved. Used by permission. 
“Rho Ophiuchi is a multiple star system embedded in a large, star-forming cloud complex of gas and dust in the constellation Ophiuchus. This image was captured under dark skies at the Golden State Star Party near Adin, CA.”
Imaged with Tele Vue-76 APO refractor with Tele Vue TRF-2008 0.8x Reducer/Flattener (converts TV-76 to 380mm f/5.0 for flat field, fast photography) into QSI 683wsg (3326×2504 sensor) camera. Mount used was iOptron iEQ45 Pro. Exposure was Luminance: 70 min (14 x 3 min) 1×1, Red / Green / Blue: 35 min (7 x 5 min) 2×2 each.”

For imaging, I eventually added a Feather Touch focus motor from Starlight Instruments, but the Tele Vue-76 is otherwise still in its stock configuration. The 2″ focuser has consistently proven more than capable of holding a cooled CCD camera and filter wheel. I highly recommend the Tele Vue-76 to anyone interested in astronomy or astrophotography.

This image of a “ghost” floating in the void was made by the glow of Hydrogen-alpha light. The “ghostly” gas is bombarded by ultraviolet light from the star above it. This energizes the hydrogen atoms in the cloud to glow. This image has to be viewed full-size to be appreciated (click image).

IC63 and IC59 – Ghost of Cassiopeia – Ha – 2019-10-31 by flickr user Andrew Thomas. All rights reserved. Used by permission. 
“IC63 (middle) and IC59 (upper-left) are emission nebulae adjacent to the bright star Gamma Cassiopeiae in the constellation Cassiopeia. IC63 is often called the Ghost of Cassiopeia, since, well, it kind of looks like a ghost. In an appropriate coincidence for the subject, this narrowband image was captured on Halloween night from Seattle, WA.”
Imaged with Tele Vue-76 APO refractor with Tele Vue TRF-2008 0.8x Reducer/Flattener (converts TV-76 to 380mm f/5.0 for flat field, fast photography) into QSI 683wsg (3326×2504 sensor) camera. Mount used was iOptron iEQ45 Pro. Exposure was through Astrodon Hydrogen-alpha, 5nm filter for 2.5 hours (10 x 900 sec).

Meet the Tele Vue-76!
Our very portable Tele Vue-76 APO refractor has been popular with eclipse-chasers as well as with users that cross over into spotting and birding. With the popularity of small and powerful dedicated imaging cameras, the performance of the Tele Vue-76 is getting noticed by deep-sky imagers on the go.

Tele Vue-76 is a 76-mm diameter objective, 480mm focal length, f/6.3, APO (Doublet) refractor that combines compact size with APO optical performance and 2″ eyepiece capability. The maximum field-of-view is an almost binocular-like 5.5° with our 41-mm Panoptic (11.7x) or 55mm Plössl (8.7x). The 5.0° field-of-view of the 31mm Nagler (15.5x) is another option for wide-field/self-finder use. The 2″, 10:1 dual speed, rack-and-pinion focuser features dual tension adjustment screws on the drawtube and dual lock screws on the end-ring. The OTA includes a sliding metal dew shield and screw-on metal lens cap. Available in tough, durable, powered-coated ivory or green tube colors. A custom-fitted padded case with room for accessories is included. The latitude of power and field afforded by this scope allows you to explore astronomical, spotting, and birding targets with the same scope. Available in ivory or green tube, all Tele Vue telescopes come with a 5-year Limited Warranty

Optional Tele Vue-76 Accessory Package (TVP-3066) adds 3” tube ring- with mounting threads, a telescope balance aid bar that allows for a greater range of shifting the OTA over the mount (great when trying to balance binocular viewers or heavy eyepieces and cameras), 2″, 90° Everbrite dielectric (99%, 1/10-wave) coated mirror diagonal with 1¼” eyepiece adapter and brass clamp rings, and 18.2-mm DeLite eyepiece with 20-mm eye-relief that yields 2.3° true field of view at 26x in the Tele Vue-76.

 
Did you observe, sketch, or image with Tele Vue gear? We’ll like your social media post on that if you tag it #televue and the gear used. Example:
#televue #tv85 #ethos #jupiter

 
Instagram users! Do you want your Tele Vue images re-posted on Tele Vue Optics’ Instagram account? Use this hashtag for consideration:
#RPTVO

 

Jupiter Opposition July 14th !
The largest major planet reaches opposition from Earth on the 14th of this month.  This means it will rise at sunset and be in the sky all night long. Jupiter will be easy to spot and point out to your friends at a brilliant -2.7 magnitude. It will also be large in the eyepiece at 47.6″. Jupiter will stay larger than 47″ and brighter than -2.7 magnitude until early August. For tips and resources on viewing and imaging this planet, see our blog post from last year’s opposition event.
 
Jupiter – 11 Jul 2018 21:41 through 28” Newtonian with 2.5x Powermate and ZWO ASI178MC camera. The effective focal length was 7800mm! This is a combo of 200 frames taken from the Gamsberg mountains in Namibia. Click the image for more information. Copyright by Junius and Mushardt. All Rights Reserved and used by permission.
Image acquisition by Martin Junius and Michael Mushardt. (Michael also owns the Powermate used for imaging). Image processing by Martin Junius.  The IAS Gamsberg observatory and the telescope used for imaging are owned by their association: Internationale Amateursternwarte e.V. (International Amateur Observatory).
 
Pluto Opposition July 15th !
The largest major planet and (perhaps) the largest of the dwarf planets reach opposition from Earth a day apart.  On July 16th, little Pluto will be exactly 17 magnitudes fainter than Jupiter at 14.3 magnitude and only 0.1″ in diameter. You’ll need to hunt around with a big scope to find it easily. Over the same time period discussed for Jupiter, Pluto will undetectably dim and not change size appreciably. While the Pluto opposition will not generate the same interest as the Jupiter opposition, perhaps the proximity of planets (less than 2º) will inspire some amateurs to “hop over” and view and image this distant world.
 

Click to enlarge this 5º field in Sagittarius showing Jupiter and Pluto at 0 UT from July 8 to July 16. Brilliant Jupiter will be your guide for finding this field. Then star-hop along a wavy line of mag.7 stars from the giant planet to the vicinity of dim Pluto. The mag. 7.5 and mag. 7.4 stars that Pluto is passing between are 1º 20′ apart. The dimmest stars shown are mag. 10. Imaging or sketching this area each night will show the planet’s motion. 

 
 
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