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).

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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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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.

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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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