Technology marches on


It's neither right nor fair! Just as you start to decide which planetary imaging camera you should purchase, along comes ZWO and produces yet another impressive product, as Pete Lawrence discovers in his review of the ZWO ASI174MM in August’s Sky at Night Magazine.

It begs the question as to just how much more detail is possible, as pictures taken today of Jupiter by amateurs around the world would have been classed as amazing professional images just a few decades ago.

Of course, there is another aspect to planetary imaging, and that is marrying the camera with a large telescope boasting a nice, long focal ratio. This is why almost all of the most prominent planetary imagers tend to use compound telescopes with a mirror and corrector plate, which often have a long focal ratio with the light path folded into a short tube. This does make them much more portable and ideal planetary scopes, suited to higher resolution planetary cameras such as the ASI174MM. Of course, we still have to look up and image through our turbulent atmosphere, but this is where the astonishing high frame rates of cameras like the ASI174MM come into play. See what Pete made of it in this month's review.

Telescopes require mounting, and in astrophotography this is vital in order to take long exposures. Long noted for their high precision, heavy duty mounts, now Paramount have produced a portable version, the MyT (pictured), pronounced 'My Tee'. So Pete was on double duty this month, reviewing that as well when the skies permitted!

Finally, I was able to enjoy the latest refractor from Altair Astro, their Lightwave 66ED-R, and put it through its paces.

Read the latest reviews and more in the August issue of BBC Sky at Night Magazine, out 16 July.


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