We were struck by the neon-like colors produced by Murray Parkinson’s imaging through our Tele Vue-NP127is APO Refractor using different combinations of Hydrogen-alpha (Hα), doubly ionized oxygen (OIII), and ionized sulfur (SII) filters. His Porpoise Nebula image below looks like it is leaping out of the page! Others agree: he provided the cover and inside cover spread images for Nightfall October 2017 (a journal of astronomy in South Africa). He tells us “I love my two Tele Vue refractors. Only wish you made a 12-inch refractor … .” This week’s guest blog post is a gallery of his work from suburban Sydney, Australia.
“When I became interested in astrophotography, I quickly learned that the quality of the optics was crucial to achieving high-quality results. Only the very finest telescope designs can deliver round, pinpoint stars across the entire frame. I chose the Tele Vue-NP127is partly because of the reputation of Al Nagler and partly because of trust in products made in the USA. I also had a lot of trust in the salesperson who looked after me at BINTEL in Sydney. He always gave excellent advice on what to buy.
“Without a doubt, the versatility of the Tele Vue-NP127is stands out in my mind. The telescope delivers true astrograph performance when imaging at multiple focal lengths. It also delivers brilliant views when used visually and is light enough to transport to a dark sky location on a car camping trip. I still love visual observing and appreciate a telescope that can deliver on all accounts.
The Porpoise Nebula in Canis Major
“This faint Oxygen III nebula is catalogued as Sharpless 308 in the constellation of Canis Major and is commonly called the Gourd Nebula, but I am one of those people who see a Porpoise first, or I am fonder of porpoises than gourds anyway. The nebula is classified as a Wolf-Rayet bubble and originates from the star located close to the centre of the frame.
“When I was a young boy in the early 1970s, my stepfather took me to see a movie at a drive-in theater in the country. At the end of the movie, I stepped outside the car and looked up to behold the summer Milky Way overhead. This was the first time I had seen the Milky Way from a dark location and I was overwhelmed with awe. To this day, I still experience awe, swooning at the beauty of a starry night when I am lucky enough to camp somewhere truly dark.
The Great Nebula in Orion
“Some say this is the easiest nebula in the sky to photograph. I think it is a challenging nebula to photograph well because of the huge variation in brightness values, and the complex distribution of colour, especially if one attempts to blend the delicate light of Sulphur II atoms. The nebula is difficult to image where I live because our summers are very cloudy. I had planned to reimage the nebula using a new filter set this summer past, but bushfires persisted for 4 months; only the very brightest stars could be glimpsed through the perpetual haze, and most of us stayed indoors to avoid breathing the toxic air. This two-part mosaic is a remix of patchy data I recorded back in the summer of 2017, a much kinder summer down-under.
The Rosette Nebula in Monoceros
“This is a Hubble palette (taken through narrowband SII, Hα, and OIII filters) image of one of the most beautiful and photographed nebulas in the night sky. We’ve all seen a hundred or more versions of this image; however, it is still a pleasure imaging it for oneself. I am sorry if this image does not break new ground.
Comet C/2012 F6 Lemmon
“My backyard observatory is located in the southern suburbs of Sydney. Specially protected nature reserves extend for many kilometers south of where I live. Hence the darkest patch of sky is above the southern horizon. The comet peaked while in the southern hemisphere and by February 2013 was circumpolar in Octans. The southerly location made broadband RGB imaging a viable option.
N11 in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC)
“The N11 region of the LMC is one of the brightest areas of glowing ionized hydrogen in the Large Magellanic Cloud after the Tarantula Nebula. Many separately cataloged clusters and nebulae can be identified in this frame. One could spend a lifetime imaging the multitude of LMC clusters and nebulae, dozens of which can be seen easily with 10 x 40 mm binoculars.”
Meet the Tele Vue-NP127is APO Refractor.
The largest and fastest scope on offer by Tele Vue is the 5-inch, f/5.2, flat-field Tele Vue-NP127is. It is the ultimate incarnation of the Nagler-Petzval design (4-elements in 2-groups) which continues our 40-year heritage of making exemplary multi-purpose refractors. The “Imaging System” scopes come with additional features to make imaging easier and more flexible without any compromise to visual observing. Imaging System features include: large rear group elements to maximize illumination, a 2.4″ focuser to allow those additional light rays to illuminate across 52-mm diagonal chips, a lockable, tilting end-ring to square the camera to the image plane if necessary, and 10:1 FocusMate dual-speed focuser for fine-focus . The focuser accepts the optional motorized FDF-2004 Focusmate Driver for vibration-free, variable-speed, electronic motor control. For automated focusing, it is compatible with Starlight Instruments Focus Boss II system.
Sky & Telescope’s review of this versatile photo/visual scope raves that “if you expect better from a 5-inch, f/5 refractor, you probably haven’t been living on this planet.” They also reported, “no focus shift when switching between standard red, green, and blue filters used for conventional tricolor imaging — a tribute to the TV-NP127is’s superb color correction.”
The focuser is built to carry 12-lbs / 5.4-kg of payload, so it can handle most any filter-wheel / camera combinations or the heaviest Tele Vue eyepiece with ease. With a 4° maximum visual field of view, using our optional 55mm Plössl or 41mm Panoptic, this scope can act as its own finder. The OTA has a captive, sliding, metal dew shield, and screw-on metal lens cover. It comes in a custom-designed hard-shell carry case with room for all standard accessories.
“There’s no such thing as an all-purpose optical system for astrophotography, but if you’re looking for a 5-inch f/5.2 refractor that can cover today’s 37-mm-square CCDs, then you’ll be hard-pressed to do better than the TV-NP127is,” is how Sky & Telescope concluded their review.
The Back Garden Observatory
“The climate in Sydney is warm and humid. I often get heavy dew in my back garden. Hence the black piece of cardboard to help protect the exterior surface of the first objective lens. I also run dew heaters nearly every night.”
Did you observe, sketch, or image with Tele Vue gear? We’ll like your social media post on that if you tag it #televue and the gear used. Example:
#televue #np127is #ethos #jupiter
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