News

  • The Next 50 Years of Total Solar Eclipses

    On August 21, 2017 the United States of America is lucky enough to witness a Total Solar Eclipse that passes through the entire country for the first time in many decades. Below you will see a map of the eclipse that will show you what percentage of the eclipse will be visible depending on location. The darker the color, the closer you are to seeing a Total Solar Eclipse. Make sure you get the right gear to watch the solar eclipse. Solar safety is very important as looking directly at the Sun can and will damage your eyes.

     

    August 21, 2017 Total Solar Eclipse – United States of America

    Path Of Totality for 2017 Total Solar Eclipse

     

    Below is a list of the Total Solar Eclipses that will touch land over the next 50 years. There are a total of 32 that will happen over the next 50 years on Earth and only 4 of them will be visible from the USA partially. The Eclipse on August 21, 2017 is very special because it will go from coast to coast in the United States of America and will not be seen in totality anywhere else on land in the world.

    1. July 2, 2019 Total Solar Eclipse – South Pacific, Chile, Argentina

    Solar Eclipse - South Pacific - Chile - Argentina

     

    2. December 14, 2020 Total Solar Eclipse – South Pacific, Argentina, South Atlantic

    South Pacific - Argentina - South Atlantic

     

    3. December 4, 2021 Total Solar Eclipse – Antarctica

    Total Solar Eclipse – Antarctica

     

    4. April 8, 2024 Total Solar Eclipse – Mexico, U.S., Canada

    Total Solar Eclipse – Mexico - U.S. - Canada

     

    5. August 12, 2026 Total Solar Eclipse – Arctic, Greenland, Iceland, Spain

    Total Solar Eclipse – Arctic - Greenland - Iceland - Spain

     

    6. August 2, 2027 Total Solar Eclipse – Morocco, Spain, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Somalia

    Total Solar Eclipse – Morocco - Spain - Algeria - Libya - Egypt - Saudi Arabian - Yemen - Somalia

     

    7. July 22, 2028 Total Solar Eclipse – Australia, New Zealand

    Total Solar Eclipse – Australia - New Zealand

     

    8. November 25, 2030 Total Solar Eclipse – Botswana, South Africa, Australia

    Total Solar Eclipse – Botswana - South Africa - Australia

     

    9. March 30, 2033 Total Solar Eclipse – Russia, Alaska

    Total Solar Eclipse – Russia - Alaska

     

    10. March 20, 2034 Total Solar Eclipse – Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Sudan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India China

    Total Solar Eclipse – Nigeria - Cameroon - Chad - Sudan - Egypt - Saudi Arabia - Iran - Afghanistan - Pakistan - India - China

     

    11. September 2, 2035 Total Solar Eclipse – China, North Korea, Japan, Pacific

    Total Solar Eclipse – China - North Korea - Japan - Pacific

     

    12. July 13, 2037 Total Solar Eclipse – Australia, New Zealand

    Total Solar Eclipse – Australia - New Zealand-1

     

    13. December 26, 2038 Total Solar Eclipse – Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific

    Total Solar Eclipse – Australia - New Zealand - South Pacific

     

    14. December 15, 2039 Total Solar Eclipse – Antarctica

    Total Solar Eclipse – Antarctica-1

     

    15. April 30, 2041 Total Solar Eclipse – Angola, Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Somalia

    Total Solar Eclipse – Angola - Congo - Uganda - Kenya - Somalia

     

    16. April 20, 2042 Total Solar Eclipse – Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, North Pacific

    Total Solar Eclipse – Malaysia - Indonesia - Philippines - North Pacific

     

    17. April 9, 2043 Total Solar Eclipse – Russia

    Total Solar Eclipse – Russia

     

    18. August 23, 2044 Total Solar Eclipse – Greenland, Canada, U.S.

    Total Solar Eclipse – Greenland - Canada - U.S.

     

    19. August 12, 2045 Total Solar Eclipse – U.S., Haiti, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Guyana, French Guiana, Suriname, Brazil

    Total Solar Eclipse – U.S. - Haiti - Dominican Republic - Venezuela - Guyana - French Guiana - Suriname - Brazil

     

    20. August 2, 2046 Total Solar Eclipse – Brazil, Angola, Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique

    Total Solar Eclipse – Brazil - Angola - Namibia - Botswana - South Africa - Swaziland - Mozambique

     

    21. December 5, 2048 Total Solar Eclipse – Chile, Argentina, Namibia, Botswana

    Total Solar Eclipse – Chile - Argentina - Namibia - Botswana

     

    22. March 30, 2052 Total Solar Eclipse – Central Pacific, Mexico, U.S., Central Atlantic

    Total Solar Eclipse – Central Pacific - Mexico - U.S. - Central Atlantic

     

    23. September 12, 2053 Total Solar Eclipse – Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia

    Total Solar Eclipse – Morocco - Algeria - Tunisia - Libya - Egypt - Saudi Arabia - Indonesia

     

    24. July 24, 2055 Total Solar Eclipse – South Africa

    Total Solar Eclipse – South Africa

     

    25. January 5, 2057 Total Solar Eclipse - Southern Atlantic, Southern Indian

    Total Solar Eclipse - Southern Atlantic - Southern Indian

     

    26. December 26, 2057 Total Solar Eclipse – Antarctica

    Total Solar Eclipse – Antarctica-2

     

    27. May 11, 2059 Total Solar Eclipse – Central Pacific, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil

    Total Solar Eclipse – Central Pacific - Ecuador - Peru - Brazil

     

    28. April 30, 2060 Total Solar Eclipse – Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Libya, Egypt, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Russia

    Total Solar Eclipse – Ivory Coast - Ghana - Togo - Benin - Nigeria - Niger - Chad - Libya - Egypt - Turkey - Kazakhstan - Russia

     

    29. April 20, 2061 Total Solar Eclipse – Kazakhstan, Russia

    Total Solar Eclipse – Kazakhstan - Russia

     

    30. August 24, 2063 Total Solar Eclipse – China, Mongolia, Japan, Central Pacific

    Total Solar Eclipse – China - Mongolia - Japan - Central Pacific

     

    31. August 12, 2064 Total Solar Eclipse – Central Pacific, Chile, Argentina

    Total Solar Eclipse – Central Pacific - Chile - Argentina

    32. December 17, 2066 Total Solar Eclipse – Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific

    Total Solar Eclipse – Australia - New Zealand - South Pacific-1
  • Show Floor And Used Equipment Blowout!

    OPT Sales Floor Blowout!

    On Saturday, July 22nd, OPT will be having a HUGE sales floor blowout sale. To celebrate 70 years in the astronomy industry, we are bringing out more demo products to our sales floor and we are selling it all to you! In addition to the sales floor savings, all of our used telescopes and equipment will be an additional 5% off in store and online!

    This is your chance to stock up on some really amazing astronomy gear at some really amazing prices. If you do get a chance to make it into the store and make a purchase, there will be a (not so secret) secret give-a-way. All we can tell you is that it involves a free Coronado PST, beer from Wavelength Brewery, and possibly a t-shirt or two. Happy observing!

    Floor-1 TPO-Scopes Vixen-scopes Explore-scientific Sales Floor at OPT - 2
  • Celestron Hot Products

    Celestron has been a long standing manufacturer of SCT Telescopes and Telescope mounts. They have continued to offer innovative products that are affordable for any user.  Below is a list of the products that we think are the hottest in the astronomy industry right now. Click on the links if you want to see all the products offered in these incredible product lines.

    Advanced VX:  The Celestron Advance VX German Equatorial Mount and Telescopes have been a staple for entry level astrophotographers. This portable telescope mount is easy to use, very modular, and offers advanced features found in Celestron's bigger telescope mounts.

    Celestron Advanced VX Mounts

    CGX & CGX-L: The CGX and CGX-L are the newest telescope mounts from Celestron. both of these mounts were designed for tracking performance and ergonomics.  These telescopes and mounts work extremely well for Advanced astrophotographers.

    Celestron CGX & CGX-L

    Nexstar: The Celestron Nexstar series of telescopes are actually several products lines, Nexstar telescopes are designed for ease of use. The can be set up without any knowledge of the stars and will easily find a track the object that you would wish to look at.

    Celestron Nexstar Series
  • Price Match Guarantee!

    Price Match Guarantee

    BUY WITH CONFIDENCE!

    Oceanside Photo & Telescope has a very customer friendly Price Match Guarantee. Now you can buy with confidence knowing that you will always get the best deal available. We will match any online price that we confirm as valid. This offer applies to all telescopes, mounts, cameras, and accessories you can find on our website.

     

    Details: 

    • The item must be the identical item, brand name, size, weight, color, quantity and model number. It must be in stock at the time of Price Match for us to make a guarantee.
    • The price for an item/offer must be listed and valid at the time of match. We reserve the right to verify a competitor’s advertised price and the availability of the item.
    • No rainchecks will be issued for items out of stock at OPTcorp.com to match a competitor's price. We do not price match competitors if they are out of stock.
    • We reserve the right to limit quantities of price matches per identical item per guest for local and/or online competitor matches.
    • Offers found on deal websites will be validated at retailer’s primary website and must meet all other price match criteria.
    • International/Non-US pricing will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

     

    Exclusions: 

    • MAP violations, clearance, closeout, liquidation sales, damaged, used, open package, refurbished, pre-owned, or rent/lease to own items, unspecific offers, non-branded items, or prices that only display on a website after guests log in.
    • Pricing or typographical errors, limited time or quantity offers, daily deals, coupon offers, credit card offers, gift card offers, financing, service offers, bundled offers, sales tax promotions, free items, rebates, mail-in offers, or close-out sales.
    • “Marketplace” prices and prices from third party sellers will not be honored. 
    • We will match the price of manufacturers or licensed retailers only.
  • Buying Your First Visual Telescope| Video

    BUYING YOUR FIRST VISUAL TELESCOPE

    There’s a vast universe of sights to see in the night sky. While unassisted stargazing can be a lot of fun, a telescope is definitely the best way to get the most out of your viewing experience. If you’re new to the world of astronomy, there are a few things you need to consider when purchasing your very first visual telescope.

    TELESCOPE TYPES

    buying your first visual telescope-types

    Firstly, you should be aware of the three basic types of telescopes, which are refractors (which use lenses to bend light into focus,) reflectors (which use mirrors to reflect light into focus,) and catadioptric or compound scopes (which use a combination of lenses and mirrors.) For more information on this subject, check out our video explaining the basic types of telescopes.

    Generally speaking, the basic function of every telescope design is to collect light to make a faraway object more visible. The various scope designs, whether they use lenses, mirrors, or some combination of these, are simply different methods to achieve this goal. Each of these types has its own benefits and considerations, including portability, durability, maintenance, ease-of-use, and budget.

    APERTURE

    buying your first visual telescope-types aperture size

    The term “aperture,” as it typically applies to telescopes, is the size of a telescope’s main optical element, whether that be a lens or a mirror. As a rule, larger aperture scopes are typically the best way to view widefield and deep sky objects like galaxies and nebulae. At the same time, smaller scopes are great for observing solar system objects like the moon, Jupiter, and Saturn.

    buying your first visual telescope-types aperture size

    Since aperture is tied to the size of the scope in this way, a lower aperture telescope will usually cost less than a higher aperture scope of the same type.

    MAXIMUM MAGNIFICATION

    Another important aspect of telescopes to consider is “maximum magnification,” which represents the highest degree to which you can enlarge the image before the view starts to become blurry.

    maximum magnification different scopes

    In most cases the maximum magnification of a telescope is 50x per inch of your scope’s aperture. The larger the aperture, the larger the useful image you can see. Following this 50x magnification rule, a 2” aperture scope will have a maximum useful magnification of 100x, whereas a 10” aperture scope will have a maximum useful magnification of 500x.

    9mm eyepiece low number equals high magnification

    In order to reach the magnification you need, you will have to attach an eyepiece to your telescope. The lower the rating of the eyepiece in millimeters, the more it will magnify your scope’s view. Since certain magnifications are better for viewing certain objects, it’s usually a good idea to have a handful of eyepieces with different powers to let you view a wide array of objects.

    same magnification with differing apertures

    Just be sure that your desired magnification does not exceed your scope’s maximum magnification, since pushing a small scope beyond its limit just to see a faint object won’t actually help you see it any better. If you’re struggling to get the useful magnification you want with a small scope, you might need to upgrade to a larger aperture scope.

    eyepieces-9mm-20mm-32mm

    A good selection of starting eyepieces that should work with a wide range of scopes would be, a 9mm, a 20mm, and a 32mm eyepiece.

    2x barlow

    It would also be a good idea to pick up a 2x barlow, as this can be used to double the magnification of an eyepiece. These should give you a good range of available powers, but you might possibly need a different set of eyepieces depending on your telescope or what you want to see.

    CHOOSING A TELESCOPE

    So, with these basics in mind, what are some good telescope choices for beginners?

    refractor telescope

    If you’re on a budget and just want to do basic nearby solar system observing of the moon and the planets, a small refractor is a great value. A quality entry-level refractor scope will usually be in the range of 3-5 inches of aperture with packages starting at around $100. These are highly portable and rugged, and can be used for both nighttime and daytime viewing.

    reflector telescope dobsonian

    If you’d prefer to look at deep sky objects like galaxies and nebulae, a great option is a Dobsonian reflector with an aperture of 6-10 inches. These scopes are both very powerful and great for beginners. They are one of the simplest types of telescopes to use, as simply pointing the optical tube in the direction you want to look is enough to move the scope’s view. On top of that, they are also very affordable, with quality options as low as $200.

    catadioptric telescope schmidt-cassegrain

    If you’re looking for a scope with even higher optical quality, a catadioptric telescope, makes for a great investment. Packing a lot of optical power into a compact package, a compound scope is a great pick-up-and-go scope for observing in a variety of locations and situations.

    MOUNTS

    Depending on the scope you choose, you may also need to consider what kind of mount you need for it. You’ll need to make sure that you have a mount with enough load capacity to hold up your telescope, along with all of your accessories.

    mount accessory tray

    However, there are many telescope package available which include a mount that will support the scope it comes with, along with more than enough accessories to get you started.

    CONCLUSION

    These are just a handful of things to consider when purchasing your first telescope for visual observing. Ultimately, what you choose is up to you and the type of observing experience you want. If you have any questions or want to know more, you can contact the experienced staff at OPT. We’ll be glad to share our expert knowledge with you and help you get the visual scope that’s right for you. Happy observing!

  • Basic Telescope Types | Video

     

    THE BASIC TELESCOPE TYPES

    If you're new to the world of astronomy it's important to learn the basic telescope types. Most any telescope you get will fall into one of three categories: refractors (which use lenses to bend light into focus,) reflectors (which use mirrors that reflect light into focus,) and catadioptric or compound scopes, (which use a combination of both lenses and mirrors.) While you might hear other specific terms for telescope types mentioned, such as “Dobsonian” or “Schmidt-Cassegrain,” most of these other types are actually variants of the basic three, such as a Dobsonian being a type of reflector or a Schmidt-Cassegrain being a type of catadioptric.

    REFRACTORS

    the basic telescope types refractor light path diagram animation

     

    Refractors utilize specially designed lenses to focus the light into an image. They are usually long relative to their size, as the light must flow in a straight path through the telescope tube to the eyepiece. The larger the lenses in a refracting telescope, the longer the optical tube has to be to bring the image into focus. This combined with the fact that large lenses can be difficult and expensive for glassmakers to manufacture at high quality means that larger refractors can get rather expensive. For this reason, most refractors available for purchase tend to be smaller than other types, making refracting telescopes one of the most portable types of telescopes on the market.

     

    the basic telescope types chromatic aberration refractor doublet

    Depending on the type of lenses used for the optics, you may encounter visible color fringing at high magnifications. Also known as chromatic aberration, color fringing is when the various colored wavelengths of light get split from each other and arrive at slightly different angles, showing up as an image with distinct coloration at the edges. Most low-cost refractors are “doublets,” which may have color fringing, whereas “triplet” refractors are designed to eliminate this issue.

    Still, whether a doublet or triplet, refractors are solidly built scopes. Their non-movable lenses make for a sturdy design that doesn’t need much maintenance beyond the occasional cleaning.

    REFLECTORS

    the basic telescope types reflector light path diagram animationReflectors use mirrors, which causes light to reflect at various angles within the optical tube, extending the overall light path. This often causes reflectors to be shorter than refractors of the same aperture, as the light doesn’t need to flow in a straight line to move the same distance. When combined with how manufacturing large mirrors is often cheaper than manufacturing large lenses, it’s fairly common for reflectors to be much less expensive than refractors at larger apertures. Additionally, reflectors are not susceptible to color fringing in the same way that doublet refractors are. If you’re looking for a lot of bang for your buck in terms of aperture, reflectors are a great way to go. This is especially true for Dobsonians which come with their own easy-to-use rocker-box mount.

     

    the basic telescope types dobsonian reflector rocker box mount

    Reflectors can be a great value with many conveniences. They can also come in a variety of sizes and can get quite large. With this in mind, purchasing the largest reflector you can afford is a great low-cost way to get a high-aperture scope. Just make sure you are able to store and transport it safely.

    the basic telescope types reflector flip view upside down

     

    the basic telescope types red dot finder

    There are some things you should consider about the reflector design. By default, the image you see through a reflector’s eyepiece will be upside down. For this reason, you’ll want to use your scope’s finder to line it up with the objects you want to see before looking through the eyepiece. Most modern reflecting telescopes come with a finder scope or a red dot finder, so you most likely won’t have to make an additional purchase to acquire this.

    the basic telescope types reflector collimation demonstration mirror alignment

    Additionally, a reflector will sometimes require a process called collimation, which consists of adjusting the reflector’s mirrors to make sure they stay in proper alignment with each other.

    When properly maintained, a large reflector is a great way to view smaller or far away objects with great clarity and is a great value for achieving high-aperture viewing.

    CATADIOPTRICS

    the basic telescope types catadioptric compound light path diagram animation_maksutov-cassegrain

    Catadioptrics combine the optical benefits of both lenses and mirrors into a compact, convenient package, being smaller and more portable than either refractors or reflectors of the same aperture. This is made possible by the corrector plate that folds the light path and the curved secondary mirror that magnifies the light internally. There are many variations on this design, including Schmidt-Cassegrain and Maksutov-Cassegrains.

    Since it uses mirrors much like a reflector, a catadioptric scope will require collimation. However, unlike with reflectors, this procedure needs to be performed far less frequently. If well taken care of, a compound scope can go for years without requiring collimation.

    The catadioptrics’ small size and portability give them a convenience not found in reflectors of the same class, making them a great investment for both beginners and experienced astronomers alike.

    PICKING THE RIGHT SCOPE FOR YOU

    So which scope is right for you? In most cases, you’re going to want the largest telescope that you can reasonably afford and carry. However, you might have specific needs that could make one scope or another more worthwhile for you personally.

    If you want to do deep-sky observing or wide-field astrophotography of distant galaxies and nebulae, you might want to consider picking up a large reflector.

    If you want a high degree of flexibility in what you observe, a Schmidt-Cassegrain or other compound telescope will give you a lot of options for how to target your viewing and imaging experience.

    If you carefully weigh their benefits and considerations, while also keeping your budget in mind, you should be able to choose a scope that will help you get the most enjoyment you can out of the night sky.

    If you have any questions or want to know more, you can contact us at OPT and we will be glad to help you out. Happy observing!

  • OPT Events 2017

     

     

    astrocon2017logo1024x235

    Astrocon 2017

    WHEN: August 16th - 21st 2017

    WHERE: Parkway Plaza Hotel Convention Centre 1 Parkway Plaza Drive, Casper, WY 82601

    Click here for more details

     

    nightfall-banner-home-2017-c

    Nightfall 2017

    WHEN: October 19th - 22nd 2017

    WHERE: Palm Canyon Hotel & RV Resort 221 Palm Canyon Dr. Borrego Springs, CA 92004

    Click here for more details

  • Imaging with Mosaics in TheSkyX- Wide FOV Astrophotography [VIDEO]

     

    Take breathtaking, detailed astrophotography images of the moon and other objects with large fields of view using TheSkyX's Mosaic functionality. OPT's Charles Walker shows you how to get things up and running with this dynamic feature.

  • Spectrum Telescope Solar Filters (VIDEO)

    OPT's Ian Lauer gives you an overview of solar filters from Spectrum Telescope. These filters can help you get a fun and safe view of the sun, which is especially useful during eclipses.

    Shop at OPTCorp.com for Spectrum Telescope solar filters: https://www.optcorp.com/manufacturer/spectrum-solar-and-telescopes

  • OPT at K1 Speed- Our First Company Outing of 2017! (VIDEO)

    The OPTeam recently had a ton of high-octane fun at K1 Speed in Carlsbad! Check out all the intense racing action!

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