With increasing light pollution and gas prices, astroimaging seems to be the up-and-coming trend in the hobby over the past few years. Sites that simply aren’t good enough for visual astronomy will still let you produce some great photos with the right combination of gear and know-how. That’s because software now allows you to subtract the part of your image that comes from light pollution. Still, there always have been barriers to getting started in astrophotography. The deeper you get into it, the more it’s going to cost you.
A mount is the most crucial (and expensive) piece of hardware for an astroimager. When you’re picking one, you have to choose between stability (which, for the uninitiated, means large, heavy, and expensive) and portability. You can make things a little easier by choosing to go with a less demanding (but equally stunning) form of celestial photography — wide-field — but the mounts can still be rather bulky.
It was to meet this market that Vixen Optics introduced the Polarie Star Tracker — an ultraportable tracking mount designed for wide-field photography and recommended for lenses with focal lengths up to 100 millimeters.