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AstroFilters for Amateur Astronomers
Dec 2006
Omega Optical Inc.Request Info
BRATTLEBORO, Vt., Dec. 5, 2006 -- Omega Optical, an optical filter manufacturer that has supplied filters for NASA JPL’s Hubble Space Telescope and the Mars Exploration Rovers, is now offering filters to the amateur astronomy community. The initial product line includes four nebula filters -- which include a "UHC" (UltraBlock)-type filter, a UHC/light-pollution reduction filter, an O-III filter and a Galaxy contrast enhancement (GCE) filter -- produced in collaboration with DGM Optics. Omega said it will continually add filters to the line.

The narrow pass-band (NPB) filter is an ultrahigh-contrast type of filter that is very effective for small and fainter emission and planetary nebula and a variety of bright nebula, especially through larger scopes, Omega Optical said. The NPB filter provides natural coloration of star images and pinpoint star images. High transmission at the 656.3-nm hydrogen alpha emission line is a bonus feature of this design.

The very high-throughput (VHT) filter is a nebula filter suited for smaller scopes (4 to 6 in. aperture), with which light gathering and throughput are at a premium, and are quite effective with larger scopes, Omega Optical said. The VHT filter offers a compromise between an ultrahigh-contrast type filter and a broadband light-pollution reduction filter and enhances emission and reflective nebula with minimal dimmed background stars.

The high-performance O-III filter is a complementary filter to the NPB filter, the company said. Its high transmission and narrow bandwidth allow maximum enhancement and detail for a large variety of both emission and reflective nebula.

The GCE (galaxy contrast enhancement) filter, the newest addition to the product line, aids in the visual observation of galaxies and Milky Way dust clouds and dark lanes. The GCE filter takes a different approach to enhancing galaxy observation by allowing high transmission through nearly the entire visible spectrum while rejecting only the harmful light-pollution wavelengths. As a result, it is also a good general-purpose light-pollution reduction (LPR) filter -- unlike traditional wideband filters, which exclude most of the red portion of the visible spectrum.

All Omega AstroFilters can be purchased in two sizes, 1.25 and 2 in., online.

A free poster (see image above) illustrating how Omega Optical’s filters are being used on the Mars rovers is being offered with each filter purchase during the launch of the site.

For more information, visit:; e-mail:

Omega Optical Inc.
Delta Campus
Omega Drive
Brattleboro, VT 05301
Phone: (802) 254-2690
Toll-free: (866) 488-1064 (US only)
Fax: (802) 254-3937


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astronomyBasic ScienceDGM OpticsFiltersGalaxy contrast enhancementlight-pollution reductionnebula filtersO-III filterOmega OpticalopticsphotonicsProductsUHC filter

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