Astro Sketching the Universe!

Sunspots Active Region 2403 by Instagram user Pekka Rautajoki. All rights reserved. Active Region 2403 from 2015 on August 23rd (13:00 UT), August 24th (12:15 UT), and August 28th (13:40 UT). Sketched through Tele Vue-85 refractor @85x; white light filter, no tracking. Pencils on white paper, East-West mirror images. “What a wonderfully complex sunspot group! “
We posted some Instagram sketches of the July 2019 Total Solar Eclipse from Chile last month made by Pekka Rautajoki — who traveled all the way from his native Finland to be there. We found a trove of blog-worthy images, he posted on Instagram, made with Tele Vue eyepieces and  Tele Vue-85 APO refractor. They encompass a broad range of objects from the northern and southern hemispheres. So, it was only inevitable that we invited him to write a guest blog post based on his exquisite work! 

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Tele Vue APO Design and Build “Secrets”

Over the years, we’ve seen conversational topics in online amateur circles that repeatedly crop up concerning the definition of apochromatic refractor, triplet vs. doublet design, and how glass designation might define performance.  We expect these questions to continue to appear as new amateurs discover the hobby. So bookmark this blog post because here you’ll find notes on Tele Vue’s philosophy and build practices concerning our telescope line of 100% APO refractors.

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Night Vision in the UK: Seize the Night!

This week’s guest blog post is written by Gavin Orpin. The blog came about as a result of a discussion between Gavin and Tele Vue President David Nagler at the recent AstroFest 2019 show held at the Kensington Conference and Events Centre in London.

The constellation Orion over the roof, image by Gavin Orpin. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Taken through a night vision monocular with a smartphone using the Tele Vue / TNVC FoneMate adapter. An astounding view of Barnard’s Loop (the 10-degree wide nebula arc from above the belt of Orion to the feet) — that normally requires long-exposure imaging to record. Gavin tells us that his images simulate the naked-eye view through the night vision monocular. Huawei P20 Pro phone took the image. Exposure notes: 4mm lens at f/1.6, 20-sec exposure at ISO 100.
March 1, 2019 Update: Filter Magic Coming Soon!

Coming from the U.K., using night vision for astronomy is very rare due to the cost and difficulty of getting the night vision equipment. I estimate there are only around 6 night vision astro users in the whole of the U.K..  However, I was fortunate in that one of my local astronomy club members is the leading U.K. proponent of night vision astronomy, so I was able to see first-hand this technology in action.

[Night Vision] has given me a completely new aspect of the hobby to explore.

Given the significant light pollution, living near central London does create some big issues for visual astronomy. However, night vision has given me the ability to observe DSOs (Deep Sky Objects) with my Tele Vue-85 APO telescope that I would have no chance with normal glass eyepieces. It has given me a completely new aspect of the hobby to explore — for that I am very grateful to my astro club friend and Tele Vue for making it possible for a U.K. based astronomer. In addition, when I do get the chance to visit a dark site, the night vision works even better and I can see things I never dreamed of when I began observing the stars.

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Chris Owen: Tele Vue-85 Narrowband Imager

Jellyfish Nebula, Narrowband by AstroBin user Chris Owen. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Tele Vue-85 APO refractor with TRF-2008 0.8x Reducer/Flattener (480mm f/5.6) with ZWO ASI1600MM Pro camera on iOptron iEQ30 Pro mount. Taken through Astrodon Hα, OIII, and SII filters for a total integration time of 16-hours. This is a striking narrowband filter image of the Jellyfish Nebula (IC 443) and IC 444 reflection nebula in the constellation Gemini. The Jellyfish (lower-right) seems to “pop out “of the screen, apparently “held back” by a tenuous connection to ICC 444 to the upper-left. The bright star Eta Geminorum (one of Gemini’s “toes”) is on the right and to the left is Mu Geminorum (one of Gemini’s “ankles”).

This guest blog post is by Tele Vue-85 owner Chris Owen. Chris is a physician in Orange County California, where he lives with his wife and 3-year old son. You can see more of his images on AstroBin.

I got started in astronomy in the 1990s while I was still in High School. I spent cold clear winter nights in Northern New York learning the basics together with my father on an 8″ Schmidt Cassegrain. I remember trying to manually guide my first prime focus images of M42 with the 2,000mm focal length SCT, shooting 35mm film in 10°F temperatures. The results were predictably flawed and after I went off to college the scope and gear were put away. I went west after finishing school and my astronomy interest faded away under the light polluted sky of Southern California.

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Happy Holidays from Comet 46P/Wirtanen

At only 30-lunar distances from Earth, Comet 46P/Wirtanen brightened to magnitude 3.6 as it brushed by our planet on December 16th — just 4-days after perihelion (closest to sun). The anticipation of this close pass-by engaged the attention of many amateurs that observed and imaged this “dirty-snowball” in the weeks leading up to the fly-by.  But the most iconic image of this comet’s apparition was made two-weeks before its closest approach to Earth.

46P/Wirtanen, Moon Size Comparison by flickr user Mike Broussard. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Imaged with Tele Vue-85 APO and Tele Vue TRF-2008 0.8x Reducer/Flattener for f/5.6. Camera used was Canon T3 with IDAS-LPS (Light Pollution) filter. Exposure at ISO 3200 for 40×120 sec. Image taken Dec 2, 2018 at 03:05 UT.

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Tele Vue-85: Portable, Powerful, Photo-Visual APO

Imaging a rare celestial event requires advanced planning, the right equipment, and often a lot of post-processing.  Tony Cook traveled from the UK to Paphos on the southwest of  coast of Cyprus (we suppose for the over 300 sunny days a year) to image the 2004 Transit of Venus with his Tele Vue-85, Coronado SM60 hydrogen alpha filter, Canon 10D camera, and Losmandy GM-8 mount.  The 85’s optical capabilities and airline portability often makes it a favorite for amateur astronomers chasing down rare events like this.
 
Transit of Venus – 8th June 2004 by AstroBin user Tony Cook. License: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons. Used by permission. Tele Vue-85 APO refractor with Coronado SM60 hydrogen alpha filter and Canon 10D camera. This is actually a synthetic color image created from the luminosity of the green channel of the photos.  Click image link to read how post-processing was carried out to create this detailed composite image.

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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.

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Tele Vue NEW for 2018: TV-60, TV-76, TV-85 OTAs & Accessory Packages

All Tele Vue telescopes now come standard as optical tube assemblies (OTA) that can be turned into “complete” units with optional, customized accessory packages.  The package costs can be substantially less  than pricing each component individually. This blog takes you through the changes for the Tele Vue-60, Tele Vue-76, and Tele Vue-85 models. Accessory packages for the larger scopes will be covered in a future blog.

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#televue40: Our Scopes

At the beginning of 2017, in honor of Tele Vue’s 40th year, we asked you to tag your social media images taken with or taken of Tele Vue equipment with the hashtag #televue40. You did so and there are too many images to highlight them all, but we’ll bring you a few at a time though these blog posts.

People are rightfully proud of the heirloom quality build and performance of our scopes. This post looks at the various images of Tele Vue scopes posted on social media feeds this year.


A recent favorite of ours was this painting of a Tele Vue TV-85 by Instagram user @h.chiharandy.

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Totality in Tellico Plains, TN with Tele Vue TV-85

Tele Vue TV-85 image from Tellico Plains, TN 21 Aug 2017. Yellow Sun emerges after 3rd contact. Red prominences dance along the solar limb — something you’d normally need a hydrogen-alpha filter to view. Image by Peter Carboni.

Tele Vue telescopes spread out along the center-line of the Monday, August 21, 2017 North American Eclipse. Our employees and friends report on their eclipse experiences. Our first report is from Peter Carboni, our webmaster and social media blogger. He followed the weather trend before selecting his center-line observing location just 4-days before the event!

After driving 14-hrs Sunday, from the Hudson Valley of NY to a hotel outside of Knoxville, I awoke at 3 a.m. Monday morning for the final 90-min journey to my observing site. At 6 a.m. I arrived in Tellico Plains, Tennessee — population 941 — a farming community in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains that abutted the Cherokee National Forest. It was also near the center-line of the eclipse and promised about 2’ 37” of totality.

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