Guiding and Dumbbells

by naiveastrophotography

It’s been about 6 weeks since the last post. Clouds have been prevalent most nights, and the brief moments of clarity are short lived. Nights are getting longer however, so on a  good night, I’m able to start earlier and get more image integration time.

The full moon really does has a negative effect on trying to capture fainter objects, as I learnt whilst trying to capture the Heart Nebula. I’m considering buying a multiband filter to block out unwanted light sources.

I’m now the owner of a Guide Cam!

Guide cam is the red component, screwed into the guide scope.

Guide cam is the red component, screwed into the guide scope.

I learnt how to use PHD2 software and was soon reaping the benefits of exposures longer than 60 seconds.
The guide cam screws into the guide scope, and monitors the positions of a star. If the star shifts position slightly, the software sends a signal to the mount to make an adjustment, allowing for theoretically unlimited single exposure time.

View through the guidescope, and tiny movement fluctuations in declination and right ascension are graphed in blue and red.

View through the guidescope, and tiny movement fluctuations in declination and right ascension are graphed in blue and red.

My first test with this new ungodly power was to point the telescope to the center of the constellation of Cygnus. The Star Sadr, and it’s surrounding nebulosity.

4th October – Gamma Cygni Nebula

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Just 4 stacked images. Each 600 seconds (10 minutes). (40 minutes total).
There was barely any moon out, so there was fantastic contrast in the image.
i learnt that a 600 second image will produce a flair around a very bright star like Sadr however, so may dial this back slightly in the future.

9th Oct – Triangulum Galaxy

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9 x 600″ + 195 x 60″ sub frames
This was shot during the working week. I decided to make use of my software to automate all the shots I would need. possibly around 40 600″ shots.
The galaxy was due to cross the meridian at around 2am, so I set my alarm to come down and flip the telescope. I found that the guide scope had fogged up, and tracking was all messed up, resulting in a few hours of wasted imaging time. For some reason i never thought about needing a dew heater for the guide scope, but have since rectified this oversight! With guiding out of action, I decided to set the images going again, but this time only at 60 seconds – the longest I can image without seeing star trails. I gathered a further 195 images at 60 seconds, and combined them with the 9 usable 600 seconds shots.
Very happy with this one, as It’s a fairly faint object, despite it’s large size.

11th Nov – M27. Dumbbell Nebula

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11 x 500 second images.

Making use of the longer nights, this one was taken from around 6 to 8pm before work the next day.
This is a planetary nebula.  – A bit of a misnomer, as it’s just a well defined nebula formed after a star dies. They are pretty short lived. This one is around 9,800 years old.

 

I’ve tried to shoot Pleiades (the seven sisters) a couple of times in the past few weeks, however, it only comes into view from around 11, and cloud has started to creep in every time. The sky changes throughout the year however, and Pleiades will soon be in view earlier in the evening.
Orion is then my next target, but I expect it to be January before I’m able to get a good shot. Unfortunately, it’s all in the direction of a street light that washes out the image somewhat. I’m hoping an Optolong L-pro 2″ filter will help! But that’s a purchase for future me. There’s always something new to buy in this hobby…

Farpoint 2 Inch Autocollimator

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Farpoint 2 Inch Autocollimator

$80.00

In Stock

Farpoint 2″Autocollimator is our newly redesigned model and absolutely the finest Autocollimator on the market!  Made from sturdy machined, anodized aluminum, creating the perfect tool for the final precision telescope alignment adjustment step.  Click here for the ultimate resource in collimation utilizing autocollimators on the Cloudy Nights Community thread.

Rainbow Astro RST-135 Weightless Mount

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You don’t need counterweights anymore.

You will take your dream shot anywhere if you have RST-135.

SPECIFICATION

  • Mount TypeEquatorial / Alt-Az Dual Mount

  • Type of GearStrain Wave Gear

  • Payload13.5kg (30lbs) - No need counterweight

  • 18kg (40lbs) – Use counterweight

  • Slew Speed6º / Second

  • Latitude Range0º to 90º

  • Power Input12 to 16V DC

  • Power Consumption0.2A - Tracking, 16V

  • 3A - Slewing, 16V

  • Weight3.3kg (7.3lbs)

  • Size(mm)130 x 120 x 190

  • MaterialsAL 6061, Steel, Brass

  • ASCOMSupport ASCOM Driver

  • Hand ControllerIncluded

  • Additional FunctionBuilt-in WiFi

  • Built-in GPS Receiver

  • Built-in Home Sensor

OVERVIEW

The RST-135 uses a new type of gear, strain wave gear. Due to the strong force of the strain wave gear and the motor, counterweight is not needed. The mount weights only 3.3kg, but you can use a 13.5kg telescope. We call this breakthrough mount a Weightless Mount. The volume and weight of the mount is no longer a problem in a trip for astrophotography.

FEATURES

Compact and light   Mount weighs only 3.3kg. You do not need a separate bag for Mount. Just put it in your backpack.

Compact and light

Mount weighs only 3.3kg. You do not need a separate bag for Mount. Just put it in your backpack.

Equatorial / Alt-Az dual Mount   You can easily change to Equatorial mode and Alt-Azi mode. Show your family a star easily in Alt-Azi mode.

Equatorial / Alt-Az dual Mount

You can easily change to Equatorial mode and Alt-Azi mode. Show your family a star easily in Alt-Azi mode.

No need counterweight   You do not need a counterweight to use a 13.5kg telescope.

No need counterweight

You do not need a counterweight to use a 13.5kg telescope.

Beauty of machined product   Feel the beauty of machined product. All parts of RST-135 are made by machining solid block. The RST-135 is the perfect premium mount.

Beauty of machined product

Feel the beauty of machined product. All parts of RST-135 are made by machining solid block. The RST-135 is the perfect premium mount.

Strain wave gear   It is a new type of gear which is widely used in industrial robots. There is no backlash.

Strain wave gear

It is a new type of gear which is widely used in industrial robots. There is no backlash.

Built-in WiFi   This Mount has built-in WiFi. You can control and auto-guide the mount without cable.

Built-in WiFi

This Mount has built-in WiFi. You can control and auto-guide the mount without cable.

Built-in GPS receiver   Built-in GPS receiver eliminates the need to enter the location of the observer.

Built-in GPS receiver

Built-in GPS receiver eliminates the need to enter the location of the observer.

Built-in Home sensor   Home sensor finds the mechanical origin by itself. This is useful for remote observation.

Built-in Home sensor

Home sensor finds the mechanical origin by itself. This is useful for remote observation.

RSF motor focuser for RC RSF-8, RSF-10, RSF-12

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Power up your astronomy

Professional grade high performance mount with large worm wheels.

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OVERVIEW

Here is a secondary mirror moving motor focuser for RC telescopes.

But disappointed with Focuser!
This product is equipped with a crayford focuser, but many users are investing a lot of money to replace it with a more accurate focuser. 

It is already in use for large RC telescopes. 
All custom-made large RC telescopes use secondary mirror motor focusers.
" The RSF series is provided as a DIY kit and can be easily installed by anyone.“ 

Perfect compatible
The RSF Series can be easily and completely mounted without damaging your telescope. The location of the secondary mirror is the same as before. In addition, the optical axis can be readjusted easily after mounting the motor focuser. 

ASCOM Driver
The RSF series supports ASCOM Driver, convenient and precise control is possible by connecting to PC via USB. You can also create an autofocusing environment through programming based on your abilities. (this is not supported by Rainbow)

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EAGLE3, control unit for telescopes and astrophotography

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Forget having to connect your telescope to a laptop or desktop computer with lengthy cables, and big batteries. With the EAGLE3 you will spend less time setting up your equipment and more time imaging! In a single control unit you have a powerful Windows 10 Enterprise computer (faster and more stable than standard computers), quick SSD storage, an 8 port USB hub (4 high speed USB 3.0 ports plus 4 USB 2.0 ports that can be remotely turned on/off), an advanced power distribution system for all of your imaging accessories with 7 power out ports (4 x 12V out plus 3x variable 0-12V ports for dew heaters control) and a special WiFi system to remotely control the telescope from any smartphone, tablet or external computer (including Mac). Everything is controlled via the included EAGLE Manager software and housed in a beautiful rigid aluminum case designed with our flexible PLUS mounting system, allowing you to perfectly connect the EAGLE to any telescope.

ESATTO 2" robotic microfocuser

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ESATTO is the new generation robotic focuser that you control by any Windows computer by connecting it to a USB port, or via WiFi by using ESATTO app on your smartphone or tablet with the Virtual HandPad! On the camera side, ESATTO has a M56x0,75 male thread to connect and manually rotate many cameras and accessories by adding the optional adapters with stop rings. The 2” version of the ESATTO 2" has a depth of 67mm, it has 15mm of focuser tube travel, a 5kg payload capacity and an incredible resolution of 0,04 micron per step (and this is why we call it ESATTO)! And you can also expand ESATTO features by adding the ARCO robotic camera rotator! First deliveries in July 2019, order today ESATTO 2" at € 595,00 instead of € 645,00!

Availability: Order

€645.00 €595.00

22% tax incl

if you pay by bank transfer €577.15

Wanting to change your stock focuser because it isn’t sturdy enough and lacks precision? Do you want to improve the internal focuser of your SCT telescope? ESATTO is the next generation robotic focuser for telescopes, specifically designed for astrophotography but, thanks to specific technologies developed by PrimaLuceLab, also works extremely well for visual use. Forget about external controllers and cumbersome hand pads - ESATTO is the ALL-IN-ONE focuser that has all the features you’ve dreamed of in a compact, sturdy focuser design.

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ESATTO 2” robotic microfocuser - main features:

- Crayford style focuser with 18 ball bearings, specially designed for very high load capacity (up to 5 kgs) with no flexure
- Low profile design with only 67mm thickness.
- 15mm focuser travel with an incredible resolution of 0.04 microns per step!
- Special adapters to easily connect to many different telescopes.
Remotely controlled from EAGLE or any Windows computer, with dedicated control software or ASCOM drivers.
USB-C connector offering greater reliability and can be connected to any USB type port thanks to the included cable.
- Remote control with WiFi from any smartphone, tablet or computer and ESATTO Virtual HandPad app also for visual use!
Many camera threaded adapters with stop ring on the camera side to rotate and keep the camera in the optical axis.
- ARCO port to easily connect the ARCO camera rotator to the ESATTO without the need for additional data or power cables.
- Weight: 835 gr.

The best focuser mechanics and electronics in a compact body

The new ESATTO robotic microfocuser was born from our extensive experience in astrophotography and engineered with the uncompromising quality of PrimaLuceLab. We wanted to create the best motorized focuser in the world, with all the latest technical features, resulting in a compact and beautiful design only 67mm of thick.

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Designed to give your telescopes the best performances for astrophotography

The special Crayford design with 18 ball bearings allows ESATTO 2” to have an impressive 5 kgs (11 lb) payload capacity with the focusing smoothness that is required by modern astrophotography techniques (eg. autofocusing with V-curve). ESATTO 2” has a draw tube with 51mm of free aperture, and 15mm of travel, offering to an incredible read resolution of 0.04 microns per step!

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Many adapters available to connect to many telescopes

You don’t need to worry on how to connect ESATTO to your telescope - You can choose among the many models and adapters available! You can easily connect ESATTO 2” to telescopes like Schmidt-Cassegrains, Aplanatic Schmidt-Cassegrains, refractors, Cassegrains, Newtonians, and more! ESATTO truly is the universal focuser and if you can’t find an adapter for your telescope, just contact us!

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Designed for remote control via a USB-C port from the EAGLE or from any Windows computer with a standard USB port

ESATTO has been specifically designed for easy remote operation in order to let your telescope take advantage of all the latest technology in astrophotography. ESATTO comes with a sturdy USB-C port (which you can connect to any USB type port thanks to the cable included in the box) to connect to EAGLE or any Windows computer, and control it via the provided ESATTO software or ASCOM driver. When connected to one of the USB3.0 ports on the EAGLE (or USB 3.0 ports of Windows computers capable of at least 1A), the ESATTO can be powered and controlled via the one cable!

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Designed for remote control via WiFi, from any smartphone, tablet or computer via the ESATTO Virtual HandPad app

ESATTO has built-in WiFi remote control capability so you can control it from any smartphone, tablet or computer! Just connect your device to the WiFi network of ESATTO and start the app - You will be able to control the focuser by using the dedicated ESATTO Virtual HandPad app. Thanks to convenient preset settings, you can easily record and move the focuser to specific predetermined positions - Great for visual use!

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Focuser draw tube with M56x0.75 thread and stop ring for a perfect camera connection

We know that a perfect focuser is nothing without a solid connection to the camera. That's why, instead of using a normal 2" visual back, ESATTO 2" offers a M56x0.75 male thread (to let you attach SkyWatcher/Orion reducers for ED 80, 100 and 120 refractors) and, through a complete series of optional camera adapters with stop ring, it allows you to directly connect the most common DSLR, mirrorless and CCD or CMOS cooled cameras  directly at the focuser. The stop ring allows you to lock the camera at a precise angle to better frame the object to be photographed. The stop ring adapters are available in many different sizes: this way you can connect, with maximum rigidity and comfort, any camera or accessory. 

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Connect with a single cable to ARCO to remotely control also your robotic camera rotator

ESATTO includes a special port allowing ARCO, the robotic camera rotator, to be directly connected. With ARCO, you can remotely control the rotation angle of your camera in order to achieve perfect framing of the object you want to record. ESATTO and ARCO are designed to work together - You will need only one short interconnect between the two!

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Hubo-i ASCOM Driver V1.4.8

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- Explanation

  •   It is the integrated ASCOM driver of MorningCalm series and RST mount series mount.

  •   It operates with firmware version V190402 or later

 

- install

  •   You can download and run the attached file.

  •   If a previous version is installed, delete it first and install the new version. 

 

- delete

  •    You can delete the program from Control Panel - Add / Remove Programs. 

 

- Version Information

  •    V1.4.8

 

- Installable OS

  •    MS Windows series 

 

- Installable ASCOM platform

  •    6.4 or higher 

 


- Verified compatibility

  • MaximDL 5

  • TheSky 6

  • TheSky X

  • StarryNight 6

  • StellaNavigator10

  • PHD Guiding 2

  • FocusMax

  • CCDAutoPilot

  • Stellarium 

  • Cartes du Ciel

 

- Fixes

  • Added RST-135

  • Support Wifi connection

  • Improved compatibility

Download

IDAS Nebula Booster #2 and #3

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IDAS NB2 and ODW filters are expected to come in stock next week. (NB3 will be later) Each US price is as follows;

  • NB2-52 : $219.00

  • NB3-52 : $219.00

  • ODW-52 : $89.00

Each is only available at 52mm. No plan for other sizes as regular round-mounted.

This is IDAS’s new filtering “system” for one-shot color cameras to maximize the nebula emission’s S/N while capturing regular RGB broadband colors without re-focusing or taking apart the optical system during imaging session.

While NB1 performs alone, NB2 and 3 requires a base filter since they don’t block NIR themselves. But don’t be disappointed. I explain why…. Following is one example.


Base filter : NGS1 is the best match with NB2 and 3. But regular UV/IR blocking filter may be used too. IDAS LPS or NGS has still good advantage if the sky is light-polluted.

  1. For regular RGB color : ODW (as FMC full spectrum filter)

  2. For narrow-band nabula : NB2 or NB3

And blending in post processing.

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Conventional 48mm UV/IR blocking filters can be set with 52-48 stepping ring as a base filter. But be sure Hutech adapters (for M42 for APS-C or smaller and M54 for full frame cameras) are optimized for IDAS filter thickness. You need to adjust the mechanical distance when non-IDAS filters are in place.

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NB2 for OIII, Ha and NII

NB3 for OIII and SII

Again, as always, each emission line is intentionally set at shorter wavelength side and the transmission peak is the flat-top shape to minimizing signal loss after the spectrum shift. Very well designed as usual.

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The Lyrid Meteor Shower

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The annual Lyrid meteor shower, derived from particles dropped by comet C/1861 G1 (Thatcher), runs from April 16 to 25 every year. This shower can produce up to 18 meteors per hour, with occasional fireballs. Lyrids is one of the oldest known meteor showers, which could be seen without any special equipment. But if you want to catch them these days, you really need to find an area with clear skies far from the city lights.

This year, its peak is expected to be from Monday, April 22 until dawn April 23, worldwide. You can start watching as soon as it's dark. True Lyrids will appear to be travelling away from a point in space (the shower’s radiant) near the bright star Vega, which will be high in the eastern sky before dawn. Unfortunately, a bright, gibbous moon will wash out all but the brightest meteors this year.

Even when the peak number occurs before dawn, meteors will still be visible before midnight, too. Don't worry about looking directly at the radiant. Bring a blanket and a chaise to avoid neck strain. And remember that binoculars and telescopes will not help: their field of view is too narrow to see the long meteor trails. If you have friends or family along, don’t look at each other while chatting. Keep your eyes to the skies!

Text Credit:Chris Vaughan

Image Credit:Vito Technology

STRANGE LIGHTS OVER NORWAY AND SWEDEN

Photo credit: Kim Hartviksen of Aurora Addicts

Photo credit: Kim Hartviksen of Aurora Addicts

Last night (April 5th) in Norway, researchers at the Andøya Space Center launched two sounding rockets into a minor geomagnetic storm. The results were out of this world. Aurora tour guide Kim Hartviksen photographed the display.

"Residents for hundreds of miles were taken by surprise by these strange lights, which prompted a lot of calls to the police and 'The aliens are coming!' hysteria!" says Chris Nation who runs the Aurora Addicts guiding service.

When the night began, Nation, Hartviksen, and their clients were treated to a fine outburst of auroras, ignited by a stream of solar wind buffeting Earth's magnetic field. "As the auroras started to ebb away, our friends at Andøya launched their rockets into the fading lights," says Nation. "The show began anew as the rockets released their payload of fine powders into upper atmosphere."

An automated webcam operated by Chad Blakely of Lights over Lapland in Abisko, Sweden, caught the first puffs of powder emerging from the rockets. "It looked like an invasion of UFOs," says Blakley.

"Our webcam has been taking a picture every five minutes for nearly 10 years," says Blakley. "These images are by far the most exciting I've ever seen it record."

The name of the sounding rocket mission is AZURE--short for Auroral Zone Upwelling Rocket Experiment. Its goal is to measure winds and currents in the ionosphere, a electrically-charged layer of the Earth's atmosphere where auroras appear. 

The twin rockets deployed two chemical tracers: trimethyl aluminum (TMA) and a barium/strontium mixture. These mixtures create colorful clouds that allow researchers to track the flow of neutral and charged particles, respectively. According to NASA, which funded the mission, the chemicals pose no hazard to residents in the region.

https://lightsoverlapland.com/

Farpoint Imaging Newtonian Telescope, 203mm, f/6

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$3,424.00

Available on backorder

Farpoint Imaging Newtonian Reflecting Telescope, 203mm (8 inch) f/6 (also available in f/4)

First 10 early adopters will get a $1,000 discount
Production time 90 days, 1st delivery June 21, 2019, customers will be notified with updated delivery date and product details.

Description

Farpoint Imaging Newtonian Reflecting Telescope, 203mm, f/6

  • Highly Robust Design
    Rigid and Lightweight

  • Carbon Fiber Truss

  • Ultra-Low Thermal Expansion

  • CNC Machined & Laser-Cut Fabrication

  • Easy to Collimate

    • Complete Collimaton Lockdown

    • ZERO Collimation Shift

  • Integral Accessory Dovetail Mounts on Secondary Cage

  • Crayford Focuser

  • ASCOM Compliant Computer Controlled Focusing Option

    CLICK HERE TO VIEW

New: NB1 nebula filter from IDAS

Luminescent emission nebulae, supernova remnants and planetary nebulae are all particularly beautiful objects pertaining to the night sky. This applies both to the simple process of visual observation, as well as to astrophotography. Nature illuminates such nebulae in specific spectral colours: the red light of hydrogen, the blue-green light of oxygen ions and also in the colours of sulphur and nitrogen ions.  Nebula filters enable these colours to pass through whilst blocking the diffused light of the natural luminance of the sky and of light pollution. The result is a marked increase in contrast.

With the Nebula Booster NB1the filter specialists IDAS are introducing a new, very high-performing filter of this type onto the market, and one that is not overly expensive! As the transmission curve shows, the filter has high transmission and is permeable for all relevant spectral lines, with a surprisingly narrow passband: A real nebula intensifier!

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The filter is ideal for photographing large nebula regions since it enables the typical colours of these objects to pass and blocks the disruptive skyglow. The filter quickly and completely cuts off near infrared up to 1100 nanometres. This is important since cameras are sensitive to this range, but telescopic lenses are optimised for the visible spectral range and are faulty in the infrared range.

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The Nebula Booster NB1 is available with two versions which cover both of the common filter thread sizes and can be screw-fitted to the housings of eyepieces or cameras.

Max Capacity Scopes for the Sky Adventurer

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It seems the the Sky Watcher Star Adventurer is one of the most popular tracking mounts on the market at the moment, with its affordable price, small compact size and ease of use, new and more advanced astrophotographers seem to be purchasing this mount. I can say from experience, this is one of the best affordable mounts Sky Watcher have to offer.

The maximum weight capacity of this little mount being 5kg and the weight of the Canon EOS 5D MkII being just 30 oz ( and some ccd and cmos being even lighter), there is quite a range of scopes to attach to this mount for astrophotography.

Here is a list of a few scopes from astrosphop.eu that can accompany the Sky Watcher Star Adventurer.

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Omegon Apochromatic refractor Pro APO AP 85/560 ED Triplet OTA

CLICK HERE TO VIEW

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Vixen Cassegrain telescope MC 110/1035 VMC110L OTA

CLICK HERE TO VIEW

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Omegon Telescope AC 80/400 OTA

CLICK HERE TO VIEW

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Omegon Apochromatic refractor Pro APO AP Photography Scope 72/432 ED OTA

CLICK HERE TO VIEW

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Omegon Maksutov telescope MC 90/1250 OTA

CLICK HERE TO VIEW

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Skywatcher Maksutov telescope MC 102/1300 SkyMax-102T OTA

CLICK HERE TO VIEW

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Omegon Apochromatic refractor Pro APO AP 110/660 ED Carbon OTA

CLICK HERE TO VIEW

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Vixen Apochromatic refractor AP 80/600 ED80Sf OTA

CLICK HERE TO VIEW

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Bresser Telescope AC 70/350 AZ Classic

CLICK HERE TO VIEW

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Skywatcher Apochromatic refractor AP 80/500 Equinox ED OTA

CLICK HERE TO VIEW

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Bresser Maksutov telescope MC 100/1400 EQ-3

CLICK HERE TO VIEW

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William Optics Apochromatic refractor AP 61/360 ZenithStar 61 Blue OTA

CLICK HERE TO VIEW

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TS Optics Apochromatic refractor AP 60/360 PhotoLine FPL53 OTA

CLICK HERE TO VIEW

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William Optics Apochromatic refractor AP 71/350 WO-Star 71 Blue OTA

CLICK HERE TO VIEW

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Skywatcher Apochromatic refractor AP 80/400 ESPRIT-80ED Professional OTA

CLICK HERE TO VIEW

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Bresser Maksutov telescope MC 100/1400 Messier OTA

CLICK HERE TO VIEW

BORG with Eagle 3

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I just setup PLL’s Eagle 3 with BORG 90FL F3.9ED and 50Ach guide scope. Fortunately I could figure out matching Eagle 3’s hole patterns with BORG 3200 plate.

ll look nice and great color matching, and everything is solid.

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Again, Eagle 3 is not just a compact Windows PC. I think the power distribution capability including dew-heater power controls should be more valuable and convenient. I have to ship them out to NEAF today. So I will write up more after coming back.

CLICK HERE

 

ARTEC 200 astrograph Artesky

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ARTEC 200 Artesky - A new astrograph design which allows a strong mechanical system and fast focal ratios - Aperture 200mm

ARTEC 200 - A revolutionary astrograph

The ARTEC astrograph series represents a new kind of instruments due to a strong and precise mechanical system with the use of high-end optics.

The ARTEC project was born in 2011 form the intuition of Mr. Seveso and then it was developed more and more with the help of our engineer Mr. Simeone.

Our astrograph use the classic Newton native F/4.0 optical system consisting of a parabolic primary mirror in Pyrex aluminised and treated with a reflection of over 93%, secondary mirrors has the same type of processing and treatment.

The carbon tubes are made with 3K twill with a thickness of 2.5mm, painted externally with a semi-matt and dust proof finish.

The tube has an anti-dusted varnish coating inside it, this work is done to eliminate any kind of internal reflection and allows to have an evenly roughened surface.

All the mechanics are made of Aluminium 6061 with CNC machines and some details are made through laser cutting.

For the focuser we choose to use one of the most well know instruments on the market: the Feather Touch FTF3015B-A.

This incredible and high-precision focuser features a rack and pinion system able to manage high loads capacity without any slippage.

The focuser is equipped with the standard 10:1 micrometric reduction and it can be equipped with any standard Feather Touch motor kit.

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Mechanics

Thanks to the most advanced optical and mechanical design software used during the development, the ARTEC series offers a computer-optimized OTA to achieve uncompromising rigidity; all metal parts are CNC machined to guarantee optimal accuracy, ease of use and stability of the collimation.

The ARTEC astrographs deliver stable focus over a wide range of temperatures thus limiting to the minimum the need for iterated refocusing operations - an important condition when using instruments with fast focal ratios during long imaging sessions.

All components are produced using only the finest materials available, such as special lightweight aluminium, stainless steel and bronze.

The sturdy spider of the secondary mirror support is made of laser-cut stainless steel.

The high resistance anodization is chosen for unbeatable resistance to all enviromental conditions.

Finally, the generous extraction of the focal plane allows the use of the most challenging imaging trains, whether they are CCD, CMOS or the more popular digital cameras.

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Optics

The ARTEC series features optics that match the superb realization of the OTA, with tyoical figures of reflectivity > 93%, correction equal to or better than λ/8 and Strehl > or = 0.95

We reccomend the coma correctors which we have tested and proved suitable to fit the optical design of our astrographs.

Some coma correctors can also reduce the focal lenght, so the system can reach the impressive focal ratio of F/2.8: as every experienced observer can testify, an outstanding mechanical construction is vital for proper collimation and reliable usage of such ultra-fast systems, an area where the ARTEC series sets the standars.

The correctors that we recommend  provide a corrected field even at these very fast focal ratios; we suggest to use the ARTEC 200 up to F/3.7

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Specifications

Optical set:Newtonian AstrographDiameter:200mmPirmary mirror diameter:206mmSecondary mirror diameter:88mmFocal lenght:800mmFocal ratio:F/4.0Mirror material:Pyrex (Astrositall on request)Linear obstruction:40mmIlluminated field:40mm with recommended coma corrector Dimensions:720 L x 252 W x 262 H mmWeight:11.4 kgTube material:High End Carbon fiber Mechanical material:Aluminium 6061

Our mission

We designed the ARTEC astrographs series to serve a market of discerning astrophotographers who are especially concerned with ease and stability of collimation, optical quality and repeat ability of results.

To achieve all these goals, we soon realized tha we couldn't look anymore at the telescope as at a standalone entity, but we had to consider it for what it is: a part of an acquisition system which includes everything from the tube of the CCD.

For example, in the design stage we paid special attention that no tilts are introduced by the draw tube of the focuser, we observed that several well-known focusers are simply unable to deliver according to their specs and to their price and that the carbon tube shows no flexures under the cantilever load of heavier cameras.

Also, when delivering complete instruments with correctors, we make sure that the mechanical adapter between the focuser and the corrector is custom machined on the outside diameter of each individual corrector, to prevent misalignments in the optical train.

In our view, the main technical advantage of the carbon fiber, versus the thin metal used in some Far-East constructions, is more related to its thermal stability and overall rigidity than to just lighter weight.

This having said, there is clearly a technical cost to pay for all this extra rigidity and stability, and the weight of the ARTEC 200 is in turn somewhat higher than of other telescopes with the same aperture and optical design; it is still however fully manageable in the field, and well within the practical working range of very common and affordable mounts.

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A breathtaking eclipse

Picture credit: © S. Habbal, M. Druckmueller, J. Judson, A. Ding and the solar Sherpas

Picture credit: © S. Habbal, M. Druckmueller, J. Judson, A. Ding and the solar Sherpas

e were blown away by this stunning image, beautifully illuminating solar activity behind the moon. It was kindly supplied to us by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Adalbert Ding of the Institut für Technische Physik (ITP), and the Institut für Optik und Atomare Physik, Berlin.
Here’s what Adi said about this capture:-

The image is composed of 3 separate pictures:-
• The electron density (blueish, so called white light picture)
• The emission of Fe XIV (530.3nm: Fe 13+; green areas), depicting areas with temperatures around 1.8 MK
• The – NIR – emission of FeXI (789.2 nm: Fe 10+; red areas approx. 1 MK)

The reddish parts top and bottom of the moon are the magnetic north and south pole of the Sun, the field lines moving nearly linearly away from the Sun in these regions while the magnetic field lines connected to the Fe XIV seem to be mostly closed loops. The start of the solar wind can be easily seen moving away in different directions.

The image of Fe XIV had been taken with the ATIK 314, the image of  Fe XI with ATIK 414, both in connection with narrow band filters, the white light pictures with a CANON Mark III full frame.

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Current BORG Availability & 72FL

I summarize current BORG availability for new orders as follows. (This is not for the ones already ordered)

(Objective lenses)

  • 107FL : May

  • 90FL : June

  • 89ED : June

  • 55FL : June or later? (I need more carefully check)

  • And 72FL : Prototype stage

(Rear lenses)

  • 7108/7215/7214/7872 : in stock

  • 7880 : May

  • 7770(=ED reducer for 107FL)/7771(=ED reducer for 90FL) in stock

Sorry for the inconvenience to you. Still way behind the schedule, especially 55FL. But getting slightly better. Thanks for your continuous patience.

I was told 72FL was refined for best matching with 0.72x super reducer. I will try to take some shots before NEAF if allowed or after. This is 72mm fluorite at F4 with total 6 elements configuration.

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I will try to figure out best possible configuration as the double-duty scope for imaging as well as guiding.

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