Hubble Optics Hubble 5-Star Artificial Star
The 5-star Artificial Star(s) by Hubble Optics:
The star test is the ultimate method to test and collimate your telescopes. The most and very much the only difficult part of doing the star test is that you need a star. Sadly, a real star is not always available, and you really may not want to spend your precious observation time doing star test even when it is available. Of course, you will also need a good tracking system for doing star test with the moving star. After all the troubles, due to the turbulence, the real star may not even reveal the true quality of your telescopes or give you a perfect collimation.
An artificial star will provide you an excellent alternative mean to do the star test anytime and anywhere you want, without all the drawbacks of the real stars. However, the problem with the artificial star is that you really need a different size of artificial stars for different telescopes of different apertures with different F/#, and even for the same telescopes but at different distances, and under different lighting environment.
The innovative Hubble 5-star Artificial Star(s) is a perfect solution to this problem. It has 5 bright white LEDs with 5 precision pinholes (50/100/150/200/250 microns). It will enable you to test practically all the telescopes of different apertures with different F/#, from any reasonable distances needed, and under different lighting environment.
We are not suggesting that you should stop using any other methods or any collimating tools you feel comfortable with. You can continue your current practice, but after that always use the star test to validate or confirm your scope is indeed in perfect collimation; no other method (except the star test) can guarantee a perfect collimation. If your scope is still not in a perfect collimation after your current practice, you need to use the star test to fine-tune the collimation to its perfection. However, if you do not have any other collimating tool yet, then a star test with Hubble 5-star Artificial Star(s) alone will enable you to reach a perfect collimation with your telescopes.
Hubble 5-star Artificial Star(s) Advantages:
- You can instantly find out which star is best for your particular telescope at that particular distance under that particular lighting environment by simply choosing the smallest possible star, but which still give you clear defocused image.
- You can even adjust the brightness of the stars by twisting the LED cap.
- You can mask out any 4 of the 5 stars with a provided magnetic mask.
- Please make sure the cleanness of the mask, and use it only when needed to prevent the blockage of the pinholes.
- The unit should be kept in a clean Ziploc bag when not used; separated from the magnetic mask.
- It is powered by 3 AAA batteries (Not Included).
|Collimation By Scope||Multiple Designs|
|Collimation Tool||Artificial Stars|
|Warranty||1 Year Warranty|
- Hubble Optics Hubble 5-Star Artificial Star
It produced the artificial star image I needed to collimate a refractor but it uses batteries too fast and illuminates all 5 star openings even if you just need one. It would be much nicer if the LED corresponding to the star you want could be selected and the rest turned off. Also would be nice if an external power supply could be added so I dont go bankrupt buying aaa cells.
Hubble Optics 5-Star Artificial Star
Over all the items works and allowed me to touch up the collmination of my SCT's secondary mirror. However I find the little magnet mask supplied with it is hard to get to stick to the surface to cover the unwanted stars. You have to mess with it to get it to stay on.
Functional, But Low Quality Construction
It works, but I don’t know for how long. Made from VERY cheap materials. At least build it in a metal flashlight frame. Metal LED flashlights this size are a dime a dozen. You are basically paying for the laser-drilled plate of holes.
Waste of money
I tried for about 45 minutes to find the right distance for my 8" RC to focus on it. Couldn't find it. Ended up using the peep hole in my front door with some paper and a toothpick sized hole in it, and that worked. So I wasted my money on this product. It may suit Refractors much better.
Four-star review for a five-star device
It’s a very simple device, just five white LEDs, each illuminating a differently-sized small hole. Construction quality is adequate. (If it were an LED flashlight without the hole plate it’d cost 3 bucks.) Its one flaw is that the hole plate is bright aluminum rather than dark, so that the space between “stars” is much brighter than in the real night sky, which unnecessarily reduces contrast. Black-anodizing the plate would be a nice touch.
Amazing $25 Artificial Star
When I found out that the $100 that I spent for an Orion Laser Collimator was wasted — you can’t use a laser collimator to align the mirrors of an SCT, I did further research, and discovered that the best means of collimating an SCT was with a bright star in a clear, steady sky (almost never for my urban location), or, an artificial star. I had two choices at OPT for an artificial star, one for another $100, and the Hubble Optics 5-Star Artificial Star for $25. The advantage of an artificial star is that you can use it indoors (where the air is clear and stable), day or night. It’s a brilliantly designed LED flashlight, with an overlying, carefully machined mask that provides 5 varyingly sized pinpoint light sources, and then a magnetic mask that you can place over the machined mask to select the best opening and eliminate overlap. The device worked perfectly down a hallway at a distance of about 30 feet for my Celestron 8 inch SCT — I got great defocused stars which were then easy to adjust to perfection. The device does not come with instructions, but the Hubble web site provides all the information you’ll need and a list of useful resources (http://www.hubbleoptics.com/artificial-stars.html). Anyone want a never used Orion Laser Collimator?