Sky & Telescope - December 2020 - 68

S&T Test Report

synced to the sky, the app reports "Sky
Tracking On."

Observing and Imaging the
Deep Sky
The app's "Explore" tab features a
catalog of celestial targets from which
to choose, based on your location and
the current date. If you go to the settings within that tab, you can specify
whether you're observing from a city, a
suburb, or the countryside; the target
list then shortens or lengthens accordingly. It begins with recommended
highlights such as Messier objects, then
offers more choices grouped by category,
including galaxies, nebulae, and clusters
- which, for beginners' sake, should
be labeled "Star Clusters." Unistellar
says the full catalog contains many
thousands of objects and is revised and
updated regularly. Tapping on an object
brings up some basic data about it and
a few paragraphs of description. If you
want to observe and photograph something that's not listed, you can enter its
coordinates manually.
Once you've picked a target, tap the
"Go to" button. Quickly and quietly,
the eVscope slews to the vicinity, takes a
picture, and reports "Field detection in

S The eVscope is attached to a single-arm
alt-azimuth fork mount with motors on
both axes. The oval button near the bottom is the power switch, which glows dim
red when the instrument is operating and
flashes blue while the battery is charging.

68

DECEMBER 2 02 0 * SK Y & TELESCOPE

S Left: The eVscope's tripod has a built-in bubble level. A disk on the bottom of the mount fits into
the tripod ring and is secured with two large threaded knobs. Right: The back end of the eVscope
tube includes a large, knurled ring that you turn by hand to focus the optics. Note the larger bump
that serves as a reference point at the top of the ring. You can adjust the two collimating screws
(left and top) if necessary with an included Torx wrench to square the primary mirror with the builtin digital camera.

progress." Once the software figures out
how close it got, it commands the drive
motors to make whatever adjustments
are needed to center the target. Every
deep-sky object I asked the eVscope to
show me landed at or very near the
center of the field.
Observations begin in live-view
mode. What you see on your handheld
device's screen and in the eyepiece
is not much to speak of: galaxies are
indistinct smudges, and nebulae barely
show up at all. But tap the "enhanced

S The base of the eVscope's mount includes
a small USB-C port for charging the built-in
battery with a supplied cable and wall plug
as well as a larger USB-A port to charge your
smartphone or tablet using your own cable.
The round disk fits into a flange on the tripod.

vision" icon - an eye with a star above
it - wait a minute, and then look again.
Now every galaxy is different: face-on
spirals sport graceful spiral arms, and
edge-on spirals are bisected by razorthin dust lanes. Nebulae glow with
distinctive reds, greens, and blues that
you can see not only on your handheld
screen, but also in the eyepiece. And
you see not just the bright central parts
that show up in a larger telescope (such
as the 14-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain I
used alongside the eVscope), but the
faint outer reaches too. As long as you
remain on a particular target, the image
keeps improving as the eVscope and app
"track and stack" successive exposures,
automatically accounting for field rotation in the process. It takes only a few
minutes to acquire a color astrophoto
that anyone would be proud of.
As long as you're in eV mode, you can
save images on your device and/or send
them to friends and family via text or
email. There are two save options: the
full image, or a circular crop with an
overlay of the object's name or coordinates, the exposure time, your location,
and the date. I would have liked to have
the exposure time, at least, saved with
the full-frame images; unless you're
taking notes, the only way to keep track
of it otherwise is to save a labeled circular image and then quickly change the
setting and save an unlabeled rectangular version - something made more
difficult than it should be with the app's



Sky & Telescope - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Sky & Telescope - December 2020

Contents
Sky & Telescope - December 2020 - Cover1
Sky & Telescope - December 2020 - Cover2
Sky & Telescope - December 2020 - 1
Sky & Telescope - December 2020 - Contents
Sky & Telescope - December 2020 - 3
Sky & Telescope - December 2020 - 4
Sky & Telescope - December 2020 - 5
Sky & Telescope - December 2020 - 6
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