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Explore Scientific Eyepiece Guide

Posted by on 11/6/2015
Explore Scientific's founder Scott Roberts presents on Eyepiece selection and how to pick one that best uses you and your telescope.


Can your Eyepieces do this?

Posted by Steve Mallia on 8/2/2015
Here is a really easy way to clean your eyepieces!!  Watch this video and start at 7:35 to be amazed!!

Measureing the night sky

Posted by Steve Mallia on 8/2/2015
Here is a really easy way to navigate the night sky!

IDAS EOS filter installation

Posted by Steve Mallia on 5/25/2015

ZEQ25GT payload rating

Posted by Steve Mallia on 3/16/2015
The iOptron ZEQ25GT is rated for 27lbs.   You can decide on the 1.5" tripod, or the 2" tripod.  The biggest advantage of the 2" tripod is the added height that you will get with it.  

But this is what I would like to show everyone.

credit to Paul Chasse for making this video

iOptron ZEQ25 guiding

Posted by Steve Mallia on 3/8/2015
iOptron ZEQ25 guiding
The ZEQ25GT continues to amaze!  For those of use that live in and near a city, or do not have a backyark observatory traveling to a dark sky location is what we need to do.   As much fun as it is to find that piece of dark sky and enjoy the night it can very quickly become a chore if you need to lug around a bunch of heave equipment.

The ZEQ25GT is not only a mighty mount and it light weight and easy to transport. It also is available with a case making the task even easier.   You can even get a case for the tripod!

What would make this even better?  How about knowing that your imaging setup is going to work well for you and is reliable.  Check out this video by Paul Chasse as he demonstrates how often the ZEQ25GT needs to be corrected while it is tracking an object.



Want to make it even easier?  Take a look at the LVI Smartguider 2.  Keep your laptop at home and control your DSLR camera from the LVI hand controller.  One less item to lug around, and power up!


The LVI Smartguider 2 Auto Guide system will control your ST4 mount, and a DSLR camera.  Less cables to fuss with, less items to power up, one simple to use interface.

Dont forget your DSLR control cable!

iOptron ZEQ25GT Problem??!!

Posted by Steve Mallia on 2/21/2015
If you are considering a new mount for your imaging setup?  You might want to check out this "problem" with the ZEQ25GT mount.



Want to have the same "Problem"?  Follow this link

What can you see with a Telescope??

Posted by Steve Mallia on 10/9/2014
Have you ever wondered what you could see with your telescope?

Things you can see with a telescope based on its aperture

60-70 mm refractors, 70-80 mm reflectors:

  • binary stars with angular separation of over 2", e.g. Albireo, Mizar, etc.;
  • faint stars (up to 11.5 stellar magnitude);
  • sunspots (with an aperture filter);
  • phases of Venus;
  • lunar craters (8 km in diameter);
  • polar ice caps and maria on Mars during oppositions;
  • atmospheric bands on Jupiter and the Great Red Spot (GRS) under ideal conditions, four moons of Jupiter;
  • rings of Saturn, Cassini Division under ideal conditions, pink atmospheric band on the planetary disk;
  • Uranus and Neptune as stars;
  • large globular, e.g. M13, and open clusters;
  • almost all of the Messier objects (not detailed).

80-90 mm refractors, 100-120 mm reflectors, 90-125 mm catadioptric telescopes:

  • binary stars with angular separation of over 1.5", faint stars (up to 12 stellar magnitude);
  • structure of sunspots, granulation and solar flares (with an aperture filter);
  • phases of Mercury;
  • lunar craters (5 km in diameter);
  • polar ice caps and maria on Mars during oppositions;
  • clearer view of atmospheric bands on Jupiter and the GRS, shadows cast by moons onto the planetary disk;
  • Cassini Division in the rings of Saturn and 4-5 moons;
  • Uranus and Neptune as small disks with no details;
  • tens of globular clusters, bright globular clusters are resolved into cosmic dust at the edges;
  • tens of planetary and diffuse nebulae and all Messier objects;
  • brightest objects from NGC;
  • some details are resolved on the brightest and largest objects;
  • details are not resolved during observations of most galaxies.

100-130 mm refractors, 130-150 mm reflectors and catadioptric telescopes:

  • binary stars with angular separation of over 1", faint stars (up to 13 stellar magnitude);
  • details of lunar highlands and craters (3-4 km in diameter);
  • spots in the atmosphere of Venus may be seen with a blue filter;
  • numerous details on the surface of Mars during oppositions;
  • features in the atmospheric bands of Jupiter;
  • atmospheric bands on Saturn;
  • plethora of faint asteroids and comets;
  • hundreds of clusters, nebulae and galaxies;
  • spiral features of the brightest galaxies (M33, M51);
  • a large number of objects from NGC (features may be observed on most objects).

150-180 mm refractors, 175-200 mm reflectors and catadioptric telescopes:

  • binary stars with angular separation of less than 1", faint stars (up to 14 stellar magnitude);
  • lunar features (2 km in diameter);
  • Clouds and dust storms on Mars;
  • 6-7 moons of Saturn, planetary disk of Titan may be observed;
  • Spokes in the B ring of Saturn, at the peak of visibility;
  • Galilean moons as small disks;
  • at such apertures, resolution is more dependent on viewing conditions, rather than practical power;
  • some globular clusters are resolved into individual stars;
  • with minimal light pollution most features of a number of galaxies and nebulae may be observed.

200 mm refractors, 250 mm reflectors and catadioptric telescopes (and beyond):

  • binary stars with angular separation of 0.5" (under ideal conditions), faint stars (up to 15 stellar magnitude);
  • lunar features (less than 1.5 km in diameter);
  • small clouds and features on the surface of Mars, at times Phobos and Deimos may be observed;
  • a large number of features in the atmosphere of Jupiter;
  • Encke Gap in the rings of Saturn, planetary disk of Titan;
  • Triton, moon of Neptune;
  • Pluto as a faint star;
  • viewing conditions have a great effect on the quality of produced images;
  • thousands of galaxies, star clusters and nebulae;
  • almost all of the NGC objects, faint colors may be observed in the brightest nebulae;
  • finer details on many NGC objects. 

iEQ45-Pro and the CEM60 iOptron mounts - Firmware updates

Posted by Steve Mallia on 9/28/2014
iOptron has released new firmware for the iEQ45-Pro and CEM60 mounts

Iridium Flares and ISS in the night sky

Posted by Steve Mallia on 6/9/2014