Since 1999, I have done casual star gazing using telescopes:

  • 8″ Celestron SCT with Celestron Goto Mount
  • Televue 70mm Pronto Refractor with Skywatcher AZ-Gti Mount
  • Televue 102mm Genesis Refractor (Flourite) on Televue Gibralter Mount
  • Unistellar eVscope Smart Telescope
  • Vaonis Vespera II Smart Telescope

I never got into anything that could take astrophotographs until recently. I got a camera an ASI Air Pro controller from ZWO for the Pronto but after getting the eVscope, all that was too much work and effort. The eVscope sets up and is already providing color(!) images of nebula in 5 minutes or so, but had to be collimated occasionally and manually focused several times per night. The Vespera is even faster – a couple minutes plus as a refractor, needs no collimation and does the focusing for you. The eVscope is faster but the images from the Vespera are wider and better.

None of these images are high quality and I do not consider them astrophotographs per se. But they are very indicative of what you see at the eyepiece or on a smartphone when using this telescope. In real time. In color. Versus the gray smudges and fuzzies when looking through en eyepiece without image stacking. It is a big change in amateur astronomy.

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