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Telescope design promises to revolutionize amateur astronomy

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Posted in Hardware on 24th Jul, 2017 05:27 PM by Alex Muller

The SETI Institute and French startup Unistellar announced a partnership today to commercialize a new telescope that promises to deliver an unparalleled view of the cosmos to amateur astronomers, and provide the opportunity to contribute directly to cutting-edge science.

 

Unistellar's new eVscope leverages "Enhanced Vision" imaging technology and now provides three unique features never before offered in a compact mass-market instrument thanks to this partnership:
 
Enhanced Vision produces extremely sharp, detailed images of even faint astronomical objects by accumulating their light and projecting it into the telescope's eyepiece. Enhanced Vision technology mimics the light gathering capability of significantly larger reflector telescopes, thus delivering unprecedented views of night-sky objects previously inaccessible to amateur astronomers.
 
Autonomous Field Detection (AFD) powered by GPS, enables the eVscope to pinpoint celestial objects of interest without complicated alignment procedures or expensive equatorial mounts. Thanks to AFD intelligent pointing and tracking, astronomers from novice to expert, can spend more time observing and always know precisely what they are looking at. This system is also able to name any object the user is observing, thanks to a coordinates database of tens of millions of celestial objects.
 
Campaign Mode, a revolutionary and exciting feature developed at the SETI Institute, takes advantage of the telescope's advanced imaging technology and allows users around the world to participate in observing campaigns to image and collect data on objects of special interest to researchers. In Campaign Mode, image data is automatically sent to a data repository at the SETI Institute's headquarters in Silicon Valley.
 
The international scientific community can then access unprecedented volumes of image data for specific objects, from thousands of telescopes around the world, at different dates and times. This in turn, can enable new discoveries and enhance our understanding of the universe around us.
 
"Classical high-end telescopes are wonderful tools for observing the four main planets. But they are generally disappointing for viewing fainter and more distant objects, which remain inaccessible to amateur astronomers," said Laurent Marfisi, Unistellar CEO.
 
"Our telescope will revolutionize amateur astronomy by allowing people to see in real time, celestial objects that until now have only been available as images in books or online. Our compact 4.5-inch telescope allows observers to see objects fainter than Pluto and achieve sensitivity equivalent to a one-meter telescope!"
 
"We are extremely excited to partner with Unistellar to bring advanced imaging technology to amateur astronomy and thus enable impactful new research through global citizen science," said SETI Institute President and CEO Bill Diamond. "Images collected from the worldwide network of telescopes will be automatically downloaded to our database and analyzed by researchers using the latest machine-learning algorithms to facilitate new discoveries and detect new events."

Tags: astronomytelescopehardwareresearchscience

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