Hello from NEAF 2011. It's a grey, grim, rainy day outside in Suffern, New York but that's OK. Everyone is having a great time indoors. With approximately 140 astronomy vendors in one location who wouldn't have a good time? This is my first post from NEAF 2011 and like last year, I will be focusing on pictures (no pun intended). Please click on any picture below to see a larger version.
In case you're wondering what this year's show looks like, here's a quick view of part of the exhibit hall:
Our first booth stop this year was the Teeter's Telescope booth. This is a 20" f/3.5 scope complete with ServoCat.
Teeter's Telescopes doesn't just make large telescopes. Here's an 8" scope. The rocker box is made from tiger maple and amazingly the wood is all from one tree.
Here are a couple great refractors from Takahashi. The foreground scope is a TOA-130 mounted on an EM-200. The background scope is an FRC-300 mounted on an NJP mount.
Speaking of Takahashi, the new Advanced Temma Hand Controller has been generating a huge amount of interest. Pictured below is Bruce Prager of AstroSolutions, LLC, the designer/developer of the hand controller, with his new "baby". By the way, they are hoping to start shipping in July.
Here is a close-up view of the hand controller itself:
Everyone reading this post is probably familiar with the telescopes from big name vendors like Celestron and Meade but how often do get to see hand-crafted wooden telescopes like this one? This is a 16" scope from Normand Fullum. This scope is made primarily from Zebra wood and Yellow Birch. There's also a bit of jatoba wood, as well.
Normand Fullum makes telescopes in many sizes. Here's a closeup of the wood detail on a 6" scope. Amazingly beautiful, isn't it?
Before I came to NEAF this year, one of the things I was looking forward to seeing the most were the Intes Micro telescopes sold by Astronomics. Guess what? I got to see a whole table full of them:
So far, I haven't seen a lot of new products at NEAF 2011. However, QSI has not let me down. First, they have introduced a new line of cameras – the 600 series with all new electronics and better cooling. Second, they have a new 8 position filter wheel which is shown below (the filter wheel itself is shown on the right with the cover on the left.)
At NEAF, it's not all about telescopes, eyepieces and cameras. There's also software. Here's a picture of Tom Field at the RSpec booth giving a talk about RSpec's capabilities.
Speaking of Spectroscopy here's a picture of Olivier Thizy of Shelyak Instruments. Shelyak markets a whole line of spectrographs. The spectrograph in Olvier's hands is the new Lisa.
Well, that's it for now. I need to go back to the exhibit hall and take more pictures. I'll post them as soon as I can!