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Takahashi Seisakuho, a Japanese telescope company, has been making telescopes since 1979. Their first telescope, a 90mm fluorite apochromatic refractor, became the first line of its kind produced for commercial use for amateur astronomers. A fluorite apochromatic lens is an excellent method of correcting the problem of false color in a telescope.
Takahashi has a new line of apochromatic refractor telescopes for 2006, the TSA series. The first and only model in the line yet is the TSA-102S, a 102mm compact instrument measuring only 23-inches long. This astrophotography compatible model is built for the jet-setter and designed for airplane travel.
For anyone interested in solar observation and Coronodo telescopes, a manufacturer of solar optical equipment, check out the 2006 HOTS event, to be located in Irvine California from October 6th through October 8th. This event will be the sixth to take place and will include topics on robotic tracking and mounts, technical information about Coronodo telescopes and filters, imaging and processing techniques, a star party, and many other educational activities and opportunities solar observation enthusiasts.
Sometimes size is important – smaller, that is. Tele Vue Optics has a 60mm apochromatic refractor, the TV 60is. This astrograph comes with a 2” focuser, 6:1 fine focus, and 6 point mounting system. The TV 60is astrograph works with CCD as well as SLR imaging systems. Tele Vue Optics has provided telescopes for 20 years and was started by NASA lunar landing simulator designer and amateur astronomer, Al Nagler. The compact sized TV 60is is new for 2006.
Located in Bandon, Oregon, Hardin Optical has been in business since 1976, manufacturing optical components and systems. Hardin Optical was the company responsible for a line of Deep Space Hunter Dobsonian telescopes. In 2005, Hardin Optical decided to discontinue their telescope line and now concentrates on industrial optics as well as their Mobile Sentry technology, an electronic and optical based motion sensing system detecting the speed and range of moving objects.
For a mere $3,000, you can get the latest solar telescope – the Coronado SolarMax telescope. Simple in design and easy to use, the Coronado SolarMax telescope has a narrowband filter allowing you to view active regions around sunspots known as plages. For the astrophotographer, you can get images of bright prominences, which are large features within the solar corona. This solar telescope is not just another hot product for astronomy consumers. Schools around the world from the middle school to the university level use the Coronado SolarMax telescope as a learning tool.
Looking for a fast exposure time? Try the Takahashi Hyperbolic Astrograph, a photographic telescope for the astrophotography enthusiast. This new 180mm aperture Takahashi Astrograph has a 500mm focal length and a focal ratio of f/2.8 - which translates into one speedy exposure time. The Takahashi Astrograph has a 44mm diameter, which makes it versatile enough to work with a full size 33mm CCD as well as a DSLR camera.
Astronomy Technologies began with a line of high-quality accessories for amateur astronomy enthusiasts and has just released a new line of small refractor telescopes, the Astro-Tech Telescopes, featured in the June 2006 issue of Sky & Telescope magazine. Astro-Tech Telescopes includes three refractor telescopes, two 80 mm versions, and one 66 mm telescope. All models come with a retractable dew shield, multi-coated optical system, and arrive in a number of color finishes to choose from. The telescopes are portable and all weigh between 4 to 7 lbs. They sell at a retail value of $330 to $580.
Coronado offers two more affordable models of telescopes for the entry-level astronomy enthusiast, interested in solar observation. The 40mm Coronado Personal Solar Telescope H-alpha is a winner of the Popular Science Best of What's New Award. Looking through the lens of this solar telescope, you can see solar flares erupting, sunspots which will occur and then rotate for days, and the details of the sun's surface like a tapestry of glowing threaded pieces, woven together. The 40mm Coronado Personal Solar Telescope Calcium K version isolates a layer of gas within the sun's chromosphere, giving you views of events taking place on the sun before you can see it in the H-alpha version.
The Hardin telescope is no longer available through many retail locations and for those who appreciated their affordable, straightforward design, it may be disappointing. However, one way to get a hold of an original Hardin telescope, new or previously owned, is to go through the classified ads catered to the amateur astronomer. You can find one such resource online through Astromart at www.astromart.com. Astromart is a place where you can find classified ads for the purchase of telescopes, binoculars, digital cameras, and other related equipment through online sources.
If you have recently searched for Hardin Optical telescopes on the market, you may be aware that they no longer offer them at many retail stores. There are a few online retailers on the market that still carry the telescope. For those of you who have an interest in the Deep Space Hunter models, there is an alternative to the original Hardin Optical telescopes. A new line of telescopes, called the X-Class, is a comparable replacement to the original Deep Space Hunter models in pricing, quality, and performance.
Are you looking for information on that elusive Hardin Optical Telescope? Sky & Telescope has a review of Hardin Optical's 10” Deep Space Hunter in their May 2004 issue. Sky & Telescope found the telescope to have quality optics, be easy to assemble, and offer affordability for the model performance and aperture size. On the downside, the azimuth motion was difficult to control. The Deep Space Hunter Hardin Optical telescope garnered a loyal following among some amateur astronomers. However, their telescopes have been discontinued.
Konus also sells spotting scopes as part of their product line. Spotting scopes are a type of refractor telescope in that it is built with an objective lens at one end of the tube and an eyepiece at the other end. You'll find the field of view on Konus scopes to be wider than that of their telescopes. You can use Konus scopes for a variety of applications, including bird watching, hiking, terrestrial viewing, and astrophotography. Konuspot is at the top of the line, with a 100 mm aperture and an anti-shock rubber body. Konus scopes also include a line for children to enjoy, the Konuscout.
Professionals around the world have used Coronodo for 40 years for their ultra-narrowband filters. More recently, Coronodo added the amateur market to its list of consumers. Throughout the 1990's, Coronodo began making optical equipment for both amateur and professional solar observers. The Coronodo telescope and Coronodo binocular you see on the market today are optical tools for observation of the sun. Manufactured to exceed the safety standards set by eye safety organizations, the correct use of a Coronodo telescope or Coronodo binocular keeps your eyes protected from any sunlight damage.
For the beginning astronomer interested in seeing some worthwhile views, consider getting a Konus telescope model which is either a reflecting telescope or a refracting telescope. Narrow down your choice to one powerful enough to give you a good range of views of celestial bodies, gives you growing room with your equipment, and value for your purchase. Check for stability in the mount. Less expensive models tend to have some give and vibration.
Konus Telescopes are part of Konus Optical & Sports Systems, a company founded in Italy that also manufactures binoculars, spotting scopes, watches, and other products. Konus telescopes includes five lines of stargazing equipment:
Motormax – This line of Maksutov-Cassegrain telescopes have motorized mounts and are ideal for astrophotographers and observing the planets.
Konusky-Motor – The Konusky-Motor line includes reflector telescopes and refractor telescopes and come with a motorized equatorial mount.
Konutstart – These refractor telescopes come available with or without a motorized equatorial mount.
Konus K-J – This line of refractor telescopes is for the beginner user.
Konus Junior – These refractor telescopes and spotting scopes are designed for the children's market.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|