2019’S tOp AStrON­OMy prOd­UCtS

All About Space - - Contents -

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.

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