2019’S tOp AStrONOMy prOdUCtS
All About Space’s round-up of the telescopes, books and accessories that’ll
enhance your views of the night sky
Hubble Optics UL24 dobsonian Cost: ~£10,600 ($11,995) From: astroshop.eu
1 This fast Newtonian reflector is built for travel, featuring a lightweight ‘sandwich’ mirror that drastically reduces its weight. The UL24 weighs only 70 kilograms (154 pounds) when assembled, and breaks down into its constituent parts to fit into most vehicles. The scope’s primary and secondary mirrors feature 96 per cent enhanced-reflectivity coatings, and its eyepiece stands just 77 inches from the ground when pointed at the zenith. The telescope uses eight precision-machined trusses and an optimised primary flotation system supporting the primary mirror. The telescope includes a dual-speed, 2-inch Crayford-style focuser with linear bearings engineered to support the heaviest eyepieces.
Celestron NexYZ smartphone adapter Cost: ~£47 ($59.95) From: celestron.com
2 This unit allows you to use almost any smartphone camera to capture the brighter Solar System objects and even some deep-sky targets. Its spring-loaded clamp and innovative three-axis adjustments permit you to place your device’s camera perfectly against virtually any eyepiece on a telescope, binocular or microscope quickly and precisely. Simply place your phone on the platform, centring it over the eyepiece with the X and Y knobs, and then move up or down with the Z knob over the eyepiece until you have the entire field of view in your shot. The NexYZ attaches securely to any eyepiece from 35 to 60mm in diameter with a padded clamp and adjustable safety lock. Two additional adapter rings are included for connecting the device to smaller microscope eyepieces.
Stellarvue’s Wide-Field eyepieces Cost: ~£270 ($349) From: stellarvue.com
3 Stellarvue announces an expansion of its Optimus line of 100-degree eyepieces. The new 13.5mm Optimus 1.25-inch eyepiece fills the void between 9 and 20mm offerings, adding additional versatility to the series. The ocular is sealed to prevent moisture between glass elements, and it features broadband multi-coatings on all surfaces to virtually eliminate internal reflections. The 13.5mm Optimus includes extra-durable rubber eye guards and a precision-machined 1.5-to-2-inch focuser adapter.
Celestron 36cm Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Astrograph Cost: ~£10,910 ($13,999) From: celestron.com
4 Celestron announces its flagship astrograph, the 36cm Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Astrograph.
This 14-inch, f/2.2 optical system is designed to record pinpoint stars across a 60mm image circle.
The telescope incorporates a new moving mirror focuser design that minimises focus shift and includes ventilation fans to allow the scope to rapidly reach ambient temperature. Its 42.25-inch-long, 16-inch-diameter optical tube assembly includes two Losmandy-style mounting bars and weighs 75 pounds. Additional accessories include a 48mm camera adapter and a battery pack for the cooling fans.
SkySafari 6 Cost: ~£2.29 ($2.99) From: simulationcurriculum.com
5 One of the most popular planetarium apps for Apple devices gets a big update. SkySafari 6 once again expands the usefulness of this popular app. Among its many new functions are a ‘Say It’ feature that incorporates basic voice control to find and centre objects, and ‘Tilt It’, which uses your device’s accelerometers to slew your Go To telescope. SkySafari 6 includes 29 million stars down to 15th magnitude and the PGC catalogue including 784,000 galaxies to 18th magnitude. Each of the stellar and deep-sky object catalogues is expandable with in-app purchases. Available in Basic, Plus and Pro versions, each requires iOS 8 or later. An Android version is also available.
Tele Vue Optics bandmate filters Cost: ~£80 ($100) From: televue.com
6 Tele Vue Optics teams up with filter manufacturer Astronomik to revamp its series of nebula filters for deep-sky observing, offered in three select passbands: H-beta, OIII and the Nebustar, a unique ultra-high contrast (UHC) filter that peaks at both H-beta and
OIII wavelengths. Unlike other UHC filter designs the Nebustar passband blocks redder wavelengths, producing sharper, more natural-looking stars while enhancing sought-after nebulosity. All three models are offered in 1.25-inch and 2-inch format. Each filter is manufactured in Germany by Astronomik and optically tested by Tele Vue, and includes a ten-year warranty.
Helios Stellar-II series 100mm binoculars Cost: £419 (~$537) From: opticalvision.co.uk
7 High-quality filled observation binoculars with individual eyepiece (IF) focusing, designed for medium- to long-range terrestrial and astronomical observations. They are waterproof and nitrogen filled for fog-free operation. They incorporate a robust but lightweight magnesium-alloy body construction, covered in stylish protective black rubber armouring. Features BAK-4 prisms and a fully broadband multicoated optical system. The optical system features high-transmission lens and prism coatings allowing 85 per cent light transmission. Eyepiece design features oversized elements, generous eye relief and fold-down rubber eyecups for spectacle wearers. Features integral tripod mounting column and central stabilising bar. Supplied in hard storage/carrying case with padded neck strap, eyepiece rainguard and objective lens caps.
Oceanside Photo and Telescope narrowband luminance filter
Cost: ~£293 ($375) From: optcorp.com
8 OPT announces a new filter for astrophotographers. The OPT Triad Tri-band narrowband filter is designed to pass wavelengths centred at 493 and
656.3 nanometers, where emission nebulae produce light, while blocking other wavelengths in the visible spectrum. This permits users to record full-colour images from light-polluted skies using DSLR and astronomical CCD or CMOS cameras. The filter is available in 1.25-inch and 2-inch formatted cells.