During the forthcoming year, hundreds of keen astronomers will make their way to various star parties in the hope (and expectation!) of enjoying some nights of clear, dark and steady skies. Many will be imaging the sky, at all scales; including some aiming at the widest vistas using only a camera on a sidereally driven mount.
We have happily come a long way since the days of attaching our cameras to clockwork timers liberated from old gas boilers. Although cameras can be piggybacked to driven telescopes, that overkill has led to the development of smaller mounts dedicated to celestial tracking for the camera alone. As its name suggests, this latest innovation from Baader is designed with maximum portability and compactness in mind with the claim that it is (currently) the smallest astrophotography tracking device in the world (do I hear the sound of a gauntlet hitting the ground?).
Despite itself being only 350 grams, it can carry an optical configuration of up to two kilograms. Powered by a tethered battery case, the diminutive drive mechanism is capable of delivering sidereal, lunar and solar rates; together with several slew speeds. It is feasible therefore to turn up equipped for astrophotography at a sky camp with just what you are carrying in your jacket pockets!
For more information, contact David Hinds Ltd. www.celestron.uk.com