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OK, This has got my Attention - an Electronic Telescope

11/12/2017 5:51 PM

Here is a kickstarter that I ran across the other day. If it does what they say, it is really impressive.

The primary mirror focuses on a sensor and averaging (stacking) of images and other image processing are done in real time. It determines the direction it's pointing with orientation sensors and stored star maps and tracks automatically. It allows seeing deep sky objects in real time and is compact enough to put in the car and drive into the countryside to escape the city sky light. And it interfaces to your cell phone.

http://mentalfloss.com/article/515120/super-powered-telescope-will-let-you-stargaze-never

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/unistellar/evscope-100-times-more-powerful-than-a-classical-t

So, does this look legit or too good to be true?

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#1

Re: OK, this has got my attention - an Electronic Telescope

11/12/2017 6:05 PM

Neat, but a little too expensive for my amateur astronomical tastes.

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#2

Re: OK, this has got my attention - an Electronic Telescope

11/12/2017 6:32 PM

They might be defining "power" unconventionally. That makes me wonder about the "100x" language, but I think their concept is sound. Longer exposure time translates to more light-gathering time, which could substitute for large lens size. Sounds pretty clever to me, and of course it would be interesting to see a unit in action.

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#8
In reply to #2

Re: OK, this has got my attention - an Electronic Telescope

11/13/2017 6:07 PM

My guess is that maybe it stacks up to 100 exposures, if the 100x means anything specific at all.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Astrophotography-Star-Photo-Stacking/

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#3

Re: OK, this has got my attention - an Electronic Telescope

11/12/2017 6:37 PM

This looks like a much better setup...for about the same money

This would have been great back before the internet and Hubble space telescope, but these images are all available online now...now if it was VR and you could fly through space and explore planets,,,,well then it might be worth it....

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: OK, this has got my attention - an Electronic Telescope

11/12/2017 7:53 PM

Your link is broken. There, I fixed it.

I am of two minds about this. You can get fantastic pictures online, or even buying a book with pictures at the bookstore. But it's not the same as seeing it for yourself in real time.

Still, I'm not likely to plunk my bucks down until some early adopters have gone there and reported back.

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#5
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Re: OK, this has got my attention - an Electronic Telescope

11/12/2017 8:30 PM

Hubble space pictures....

The only advantage I can see is light weight, so probably a niche market...for the wimpy and old....haha

Then again you can watch this on your phone, and it comes with a soundtrack....so

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#6

Re: OK, this has got my attention - an Electronic Telescope

11/12/2017 8:48 PM

I think your second video makes a very good explanation why this expensive telescope is a one trick pony that may not even do that trick very well. For under $2000 one can purchase a computer controlled 5.9" Maksutov-Cassegrain that will gather far more light. I expect the motion control on platform will correct for Earth rotation. If you wish for real deeper space images then one can add a CCD system. A true deep space long time recorded image may require a better mount but this approach allows for incremental upgrades.

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#7

Re: OK, This has got my Attention - an Electronic Telescope

11/13/2017 6:02 PM

I've done quite a bit of astrophotography over the years, and I see a few concerns right away.

1. With an aperture of only 114 mm, it's not going to be able to capture enough light to produce decent images of deep sky objects (nebulae, galaxies, etc) nor produce images with sufficient resolution to show much detail in the final image.

2. There does not appear to be any secondary optics to minimize coma. Coma is the primary optical abberation for parabolic mirrors commonly found in Newtonian style telescopes. Coma is pretty bad for a fast f/4 mirror, so only a small 'sweet spot' will have nice round stars and sharp resolution. Most astrophotographers who use Newtonians add a coma corrector in front of the camera.

3. There is no provision for adding optical filters to reduce light pollution or to bring out detail in the objects being studied. Most astrophotographers use some kind of filtering, if not for sky glow then to reveal the Hydrogen Alpha emissions or OIII emissions in nebulae.

4. What good is the OLED display? If you can use your phone to view the image, why use an OLED display that will likely not be as good as your phone screen?

5. The price is not outrageous, except - as the guy in the 2nd video points out - it's a uni-tasker. That's a lot for a one off device.

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#9
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Re: OK, This has got my Attention - an Electronic Telescope

11/13/2017 9:07 PM

You have some good points.

1. The resolution limit for a 4.5" telescope is about 2 arcseconds from the graph below. The magnification of this scope is effectively 50x, 100x, or 150x. At 150x, the resolution through the eyepiece would be about 300 arcsec or 5 arc minutes or 1/12 degree, an apparent size of 1/6 the diameter of the moon as seen with the naked eye.

2. I don't know if they have coma correction. It can be done in software by deconvolution but it seems it would be a lot easier to use optics. The diagram of the telescope may be simplified and not showing any correcting optics.

http://www.princeton.edu/~rvdb/images/deconv/deconv.html

3. It would be good to incorporate optical filters to discriminate against light pollution. I'm not sure why a filter could not be placed in front of the detector.

4. I would guess the OLED display is to make it "stand alone". The phone screen display is probably better.

5. It's true, this scope is not so much a scientific instrument as it is made for folks who are not adept at astrophotography and just want to look in the eyepiece and see the galaxies and nebulae. So while it may not compare favorably with a scientific instrument, it is user-friendly and very well might be successful in the marketplace.

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