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”.

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July 27th: MARS Opposition and Lunar Eclipse

Mars at 7820mm (2018Jun04) on fuzzy.photos, ©Frederick Steiling.  Tele Vue 2x Powermate™ on C14 with ZWO ASI174MM camera using IRRGB filters. Image from June 4, 2018 before dust storm overtook the whole planet.

Mars will exceed 24-arc-sec in diameter between July 23rd and August 9th, 2018. This is 97 percent of the maximum of 25.13-arc-sec diameter attained during the last of the ‘favorable’ apparitions, which occurred in 2003.Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers

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Jeff Bennett’s Tele Vue-NP127is Images

The Rosette Nebula by AstroBin user Jeff Bennett. Copyright by Jeff Bennett. Tele Vue TV-NP127is with QSI 683 wsg-8 camera using Astronomik Ha 6nm and RGB filters for 25×300″ (2.1-hrs) total on November 27, 2017.

This year we received a phone call from Jeff Bennett with some questions about his new TV-NP127is scope. He’d only been using it since the fall of 2017 but was very enthusiastic and told us he’d tried other scopes, but the NP127is was the best he’d ever used.  We viewed his astrobin.com page and we were impressed with his initial results.  So, we asked him to tell us why he chose the NP127is for astro imaging and he told us in his own words.

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Bandmate Type 2 Nebustar Filter First-Light Report

New for 2018: Bandmate Type-2 Filters

Tele Vue President David Nagler recently received a “first-light” report from the very-first Tele Vue Bandmate Type 2 Nebustar filter owner. He purchased the filter at the Northeast Astronomy Forum (NEAF) this year where the filters were introduced. It turns out the gentleman has  a long history with Tele Vue products, is a yearly attendee (like Tele Vue founder Al Nagler) at the Stellafane amateur telescope makers convention — and he even coined the moniker “Uncle Al” while at Stellafane.  Read on!

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BIG Mars Opposition this Month!

Earth and Mars orbit diagram representing how the opposition distance (blue lines) between the planets (Earth = green and Mars = red) can vary depending on where in their orbits the opposition takes place.

At the end of this month, on July 27th, Mars will be in opposition and reach its greatest angular diameter — 24.3-arc-seconds — for the year. This is the best opposition since 2003. It’ll be greater than 21-arc-seconds tonight and well worth observing. For an explanation as to why some oppositions are better, what to expect from this year’s event, and accessories to better view and image Mars, see our blog post: Mars Opposition 2018 Preview.
 

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Saturn at Opposition: June 27th

Saturn with 2.5x Powermate™™
Moons Enceladus & Tethys visible on original.
©Ed Grafton

Saturn is in opposition tonight: it  glides above the horizon around sunset and will be over 18-arc-seconds in diameter for a few weeks. At about magnitude 0.0, it will pair well with the full moon that accompanies it across the sky this evening. 

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Cherry Springs Star Party Recap!

Cherry Springs Star Party sponsored by the Astronomical Society of Harrisburg, PA., scope domes, and entrance. Blue International Dark Sky Association (IDA) sign at entrance designates this as an International Dark Sky Park.  (A. Martinez)
Tele Vue’s crew at the Cherry Springs Star Party (CSSP) event included Al Nagler, Jon Betancourt, and Paul Dellechiaie along with Alvaro Martinez from AstronSCIENTIFIC.
 

The Passing of Alan Bean, 4th Man to Walk on the Moon

At Stellafane 2009 Alan Bean (left) shakes hand with Al Nagler (right).

From New York Times OBITUARIES

Alan Bean, who became the fourth man to walk on the moon and turned to painting years later to tell the story of NASA’s Apollo missions as they began receding into history, died on Saturday at Houston Methodist Hospital. He was 86.

His death was announced by his family in a statement released by NASA.

Mr. Bean stepped onto the lunar surface preceded by Pete Conrad, the mission commander of their Apollo 12 flight, in November 1969, four months after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first lunar explorers.

— Goldstein, R. (2018, May 26) Alan Bean, 4th Person to Walk on the Moon, Dies at 86. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/26/obituaries/alan-bean-astronaut-dies.html

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Mars Madness 2018 Eyepiece Rebate for U.S. Customers!

Official Rebate Form

Mars will be growing rapidly in apparent diameter in the weeks up to the big Mars Opposition on July 27, 2018. With Mars peaking this summer, Tele Vue Optics is making it easier to take a peek with rebates on 13mm and shorter focal length eyepieces for customers in the USA, US Territories, and those with APO/FPO Addresses.

It’s important to understand that Mars Opposition is not a one-day event. From June 18th to September 15th – basically the whole summer – the angular diameter of the planet will match or exceed the 18.38-arc-sec diameter  it achieved at the 2016 Opposition.

Furthermore, the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers notes that “Mars will exceed 24-arc-sec in diameter between July 23rd and August 9th, 2018. This is 97 percent of the maximum of 25.13-arc-sec diameter attained during the last of the ‘favorable’ apparitions, which occurred in 2003.” In fact, due to orbital eccentricity, Mars and Earth continue to draw ever-closer after this opposition, with the distance shrinking by another 111,000-miles / 179,000-km when they are nearest on July 31, 2018!

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