Live on Wednesday : David Nagler on “Telescope Talk Hangout” Video stream

Join Tele Vue President David Nagler live on the Deep Astronomy channel’s “Telescope Talk Hangout” video stream with host Tony Darnell.

This hour-long show will stream live on YouTube.com on Wednesday,  December 5th at Noon Pacific Time.

URL for the show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3RBypMmHMQ

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2018 RCE Redux

Here’s a little photo blog from the “Rencontres du Ciel et de l’Espace” (RCE) show.  The show took place from November 1st through 3rd at the Museum of Science and Industry in Paris and featured 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!  I’m only sorry that these pictures don’t do the show justice. After all, I’m really there to speak with people, make recommendations, and demonstrate our equipment, not write a blog. 🙂
 
I arrived at my hotel quite exhausted at 7 am Parisian time. Thankfully my room was ready and I took a long nap while the Optique Unterlinden crew did the heavy lifting setting up most of the booth.  Show set up was 2-to-10 pm. I arrived at 5 to finish arranging the eyepiece display cabinet and set up our eyepiece/Tele Vue-85/Kermitis as well as Tele Vue-60/FoneMate demonstrations. Also, Alvaro of AstronSCIENTIFIC had photo and visual configurations of Rotarions set up on an NP101is and Tele Vue-85.

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!

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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Al’s Busy Fall Schedule!

Al Nagler with Robbie controlling the Tele Vue-NP101is scope in Central Park, NY.

Autumn Starfest Review
Last SaturNday, Al Nagler began his talk at the Amateur Astronomers Association (AAA) of New York’s Autumn Starfest in Central Park by reminding the audience he “grew up in this area” and saying it was “magical to be here.” Standing next to a 133” diagonal screen, he proceeded to explain how a city kid developed a love for astronomy that began at the old Hayden Planetarium – located just a 15-minute walk from where he was speaking.  That passion for astronomy led to a job creating optical systems for the Apollo’s lunar landing simulator, which ultimately served as the inspiration to develop optical products for amateur astronomers.

The horizon from the Sheep Meadow in Central Park was better than you’d expect.

Afterwards, Al had a Tele Vue-NP101is on a Gibraltar HD4 mount setup for people to view through using various Ethos, DeLite, and Nagler eyepieces. Due to the clouds, deep-space objects were hit and miss. When the clouds were dense enough to obscure the Moon and the bright planets, views of the surrounding buildings were shown instead. Said Al afterwards:

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Al Nagler to Speak in Central Park this Saturn-Day!

Tele Vue Founder and CEO Al Nagler will be the lead-off speaker, Saturday evening, at this year’s Autumn Starfest in Central Park, New York. This free, annual event, hosted by the Amateur Astronomers Association (AAA) of New York, will feature speakers (with a 133” diagonal screen for people in the field), telescope viewing courtesy of the AAA members, free raffles, and gift bags for the first 250 entrants. Views through the telescopes will include “Jupiter, dwarf planet Ceres, Saturn, asteroid Vesta, Mars, and nearly Full Moon. Beyond the solar system, bright globular clusters, open clusters, and multiple stars can be observed”.

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This Week: Neptune Opposition 2018 and Comet 21P!

Neptune image by Voyager 2 probe. NASA/JPL

With the moon a waning crescent, it is a good time to pick out some faint objects in the sky.

On Friday, September 7th, Neptune rises opposite the sun and is closest to earth. Being in the sky all-night, and at it’s brightest, presents a good opportunity to sight this rarely-seen telescopic planet. Unlike the naked eye planets, you’ll have to crank-up the power to make sure you’ve really found it. Even at 100x it just looks like a magnitude 7.8 star. So don’t expect to see a Voyager 2 quality image through your eyepiece.

Click on image to enlarge. Neptune (dots showing position from Sept. 5 to 12) is just south of a line between Phi- and Lambda-Aquarii. In early September it will be moving slowly toward the Lambda star. Using your finder, or a wide-field eyepiece, setup your field on the stars labeled by magnitude inside the 5° circle. Over the course of the week, Neptune will be approaching a line drawn between the mag. 7.5 and 7.4 stars shown. Neptune will be slightly dimmer than both at mag. 7.8.  83-Aquarii it is the brightest of the stars labeled by magnitude — shining at  mag. 5.5 — and will help you orient the chart.

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Flashback: Great American Eclipse Aug. 21, 2017

Has it really been a year already?  A year since people from all-over converged on a 70-mile-wide ribbon of land, that spanned the continental United States, coast-to-coast , to gaze in awe at the Great American Eclipse. This was the first total solar eclipse to land in the contiguous United States since 1979 and the first coast-to-coast one since 1918. So, for many people, this was their first.

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Return to Stellafane!

The pink Clubhouse on Breezy Hill at Stellafane.
This week I return to Breezy Hill in Springfield, Vermont, for the annual Stellafane Convention. Stellafane is my favorite place in the world. It’s where I won 3rd prize in 1958 for my high school project telescope and 1st prize in 1972 for my 12″ scope. The rich association of telescope making with Stellafane is why this place is considered the “birthplace of American Telescope Making”.
 
I hope you enjoy the following slide show from last year’s convention. It features many images from the Telescope Competition.
 
By the way, “Stellafane” comes from the Latin words “stellar” (star), and “fane” (shrine) so “Stellafane” is a “Shrine to the Stars”.  Never been there?  All amateur astronomers should make a “pilgrimage” to this “shrine” at least once!

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