Imaging the Skies Over Bavaria

Surfing through the AstroBin site’s collection of user generated astrophotos we were struck at this vivid example of M16 “The Eagle Nebula.” The image has a depth  and contrast we’ve never seen before. Created using “Hubble Pallet” filters, the rich blue (Oxygen III) surrounding the “Pillars of Creation” structure is highlighted by the ruddy bland of reds (Sulfur) and greens (Hydrogen-alpha and Nitrogen) in the “folds” of the surrounding dust clouds. The blackness of space at the edge of the dust and gas cloud is preserved against all the colors. 

M16 Eagle Nebula – Hubble Palette by AstroBin user Paul Schuberth. Copyright Paul Schuberth, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission. Teleskop Service TS Optics 10″ f/4.65 Newtonian-Astrograph using Tele Vue BIG Paracorr 3″ and Atik 383L+ mono camera carried on Sky-Watcher EQ8 mount. Taken in the “Hubble Palette” using Baader H-alpha 7nm (10×600″), OIII 8.5nm (10×600″), and SII 8nm (10×600″) filters with a total integration time of 5-hrs.

Continue reading “Imaging the Skies Over Bavaria”

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.

Continue reading “Uranus Opposition October 23rd”

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!”

From Tom’s Driveway: Tele Vue-NP127is & Tele Vue-85 Simultaneous Imaging!

Cygnus Wall LRGBSHO (crop of NGC 7000) by Astro Bin user Tom Peter. Copyright Tom Peter. Used by permission. NP127is and TV-85 combined exposures of 22.2-hours. Click for details.

We noticed some unique images on AstroBin.com employing our Tele Vue-NP127is and Tele Vue-85 scopes to simultaneously image the same target. The  images from the two scopes were combined to create the final image — with fantastic results! All the image locations are given as “Tom’s Driveway” in Terre Haute, IN.  Intrigued, we contacted the imager (“Astrovetteman”) to learn how he settled on this technique for many of his images.  So we turn over our blog this week to astrophotographer Tom Peter and his dual-scope driveway setup.

Continue reading “From Tom’s Driveway: Tele Vue-NP127is & Tele Vue-85 Simultaneous Imaging!”

Tele Vue TV-60: Surprisingly Versatile Mini APO Refractor

Tele Vue-60: Compact Travel Scope with Imaging Capability
This week we turn our attention to the capabilities of our smallest telescope: the Tele Vue-60. This 60-mm aperture, f/6, APO refractor offers users a maximum 4.3° visual field and a potential of reaching 150x —all this in a package just 10″ long and a svelte 3-lbs. Due to its diminutive size, it is easy to overlook this instrument when shopping for a quality APO travel-scope. But, many users have been pleasantly surprised at the capabilities of this small refractor. 
 
Left: Tele Vue-60 setup for observing (image copyright by Darrel Hess). Right: various deep-space Tele Vue-60 images (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 by Mark Kilner).  All images used with permission.

Continue reading “Tele Vue TV-60: Surprisingly Versatile Mini APO Refractor”

Report: Texas Star Party with Night Vision Monocular

We received a nice account from Fred Miller of Portland, TX, relating his experience at this year’s Texas Star Party with a Tactical Night Vision Company (TNVC) night-vision monocular outfitted with our astronomy adapters. We called him on the phone to discuss putting his report on our blog . He agreed and added that the feel of sweeping the sky with night-vision setup was that of the proverbial “kid in a candy store”.

Continue reading “Report: Texas Star Party with Night Vision Monocular”

Tele Vue-NP127fli Imaging the Skies Over Austria

We’ve been following the great work of astro-imager Patrick Winkler from Austria through his Instagram account @cel_objects.  Among the varied camera lenses and scopes used for these images was our own Tele Vue-NP127fli astrograph. The strength of this scope is wide-field imaging and his work in this area is exemplary. 
 
Double Cluster(NGC 869 & NGC 884) image is copyright by Patrick Winkler. Tele Vue-NP127fli astrograph equipped with FLI MicroLine ML 16200 monochrome camera, FLI CFW 2-7 filter wheel, and FLI Atlas focuser was mounted on an Astro Systeme Austria Direct Drive ASA DDM60 Pro mount. Exposure was as follows through RGB filters (minutes): 63 63 63.
For instance, with the NP127fli  he was able to perfectly frame and capture the spirit of the NGC 869 and NGC 884 in Perseus as twin clusters of sparkling blue-white diamonds, with a smattering of glowing red-rubies, punctuating the black velvet sky background. The Double Cluster never looked so good!

Continue reading “Tele Vue-NP127fli Imaging the Skies Over Austria”

The Art of Deepsky Sketching at the Eyepiece

At first-glance, our staff, mistook the image below to be a photograph of the Double Cluster. It turned out NOT to be a photograph, but the deft work of talented hands and a good eye at the eyepiece. 

Double Cluster (crop) by DeepskyLog user Tom Corstjens licensed by (CC BY-NC 4.0). Used by permission. Click image to see full-size uncropped image. “Beautifully varied, complex and colorful star cluster area in Perseus. In total more than 6 hours of observing time was spent on 3 nights to make the attached sketch.” Alkaid 16″ f/4.2 Dobsonian with Paracorr and 17.3mm Delos eyepiece.
Tom Corstjens, from Belgium, created this accurate, hand-drawn representation of the cluster. We’ve admired Tom’s sketches ever since, and started following his twitter feed to see his latest work. We’ve never been disappointed.
 

Continue reading “The Art of Deepsky Sketching at the Eyepiece”

Jupiter Opposition & Mercury Tangles with Uranus!

Jupiter with Ganymede just before opposition by flickr user Szabolcs Nagy. All rights reserved. Used by permission. “I’ve used 10 videos, stacked them and derotated them in WinJupos. About 15 mins worth of imaging squeezed into one photo. The GRS looks majestic as always :)”
Jupiter will rise at sunset on May 9th. At magnitude -2.5 it will be an unmistakable sight: the brightest celestial object on the eastern horizon. It will also be closest to the Earth for the year.
 
A few days later, Mercury and Uranus draw nearer before sunrise. Mercury will be brilliant on the horizon, but northern observers will be challenged in finding Uranus in the gathering twilight. 

Continue reading “Jupiter Opposition & Mercury Tangles with Uranus!”

Dr. Bruns at NEAF 2018

David Nagler, Dr. Bruns, the NP101is used for the experiment, and Al Nagler.

We were honored that Northeast Astronomy Forum (NEAF) speaker Dr. Donald Bruns was able to visit in our booth over the two days of NEAF 2018.

Saturday, April 21, at noon, Dr. Bruns stepped onto main stage at NEAF in front of a standing room only audience. His talk was titled: Einstein was Right! Completing the 1919 Relativity Experiment at the 2017 Solar Eclipse.  Over the better part of an hour he explained how Einstein’s General Theory  of relativity predicted the bending of light in gravitational fields and how astronomers have attempted to photograph stars near the eclipsed sun to verify the theory.

Continue reading “Dr. Bruns at NEAF 2018”