Telescopes Take Plane Spotting to New Heights with Tele Vue Powermate Image Amplifiers

Air China A332 crossing the Moon (crop) by Instagram user Kacper Lechwar. Copright Kacper Lechwar. (Used under permission granted to Tele Vue – see full image at Tele Vue website). Air China Airbus A330-243 is captured poking its nose into the Sea of Serenity as it crosses the face of the Moon. Imaged using 254mm / 1200mm Dobsonian telescope with Tele Vue 2x Powermate and Canon 1200D / EOS Rebel T5 (18.1-megapixel) camera. Shot at cruising altitude (30,000+ feet). With this Powermate setup, Kacper takes a series of images in quick succession of each plane. He then reviews them on a computer before processing the best ones.

In a recent blog post, Tele Vue has pointed out a new phenomenon that is entering the amateur astronomy ranks. This new way to utilize telescopes can be seen from the growing number of close-up plane images at cruising altitude that can be found Instagram that were made using Tele Vue Powermate image amplifiers.

As they comment in the post, “In the world of plane spotting, standard telephoto and zoom lenses are employed to photograph commercial jets at or near the airport. But to turn glints of metal and white contrails at cruising altitude (30,000-ft to 42,000-ft / 9,000-m to 13,000-m) into detailed portraits requires optics beyond that. Even super telephotos used at sports events won’t do for objects 8-miles in the sky! For this lofty task, many plane spotters attach their digital cameras to a Tele Vue Powermate amplifier inserted into an astronomical telescope. The resulting images are breathtaking. We see these amazing machines operating in their design environment: away from ground clutter, framed against an almost black sky.”

As you can see from the attached image, the results are truly breathtaking. Check out the blog post to learn more.

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