Sevunscope gives telescopes the "swappable lens" treatment
If you own a DSLR camera, you can simply buy more lenses as your needs dictate, instead of having to buy a whole new camera each time. The Sevunscope is intended to bring that same sort of upgradability to consumer telescopes.
Currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, the Sevunscope was designed by French astronomy hobbyists Paul Gheno and Damien Roy.
It's a Newtonian telescope, which incorporates two mirrors. There's a primary mirror, which collects light from the targeted area of the night sky, along with a secondary mirror, which redirects that light at a right angle so it can be viewed through a side-mounted eyepiece.
Ordinarily, amateur astronomers will start out by buying a telescope with one fixed optical configuration, then trade up to more expensive telescopes with other configurations as they get more serious about the hobby. Additionally, multiple telescopes may be required for viewing different types of celestial bodies.
The Sevunscope addresses this rather costly arrangement with a design that allows users to choose between three optical modules which are swapped on and off of a single telescope. Each module consists of either a 6-, 8- or 10-inch (152-, 203- or 254-mm) primary mirror, along with a corresponding secondary mirror.
It's additionally possible to mix and match primary and secondary mirrors from different modules. Although not shown in the photos, a black fabric tubular skirt is utilized to keep ambient light from getting in between the two mirrors.
The eyepiece can be mounted on either side of the telescope, plus a camera can be mounted on the non-eyepiece side. When it's time to take photos, the secondary mirror is just flipped at a 90-degree angle to redirect the light.
And while the Sevunscope does come with a 2-axis altazimuth mount, it is compatible with other types (some of which are in the works). The whole setup has a claimed weight of 11 to 17 kg (24.25 to 37.5 lb) depending on the chosen configuration, and can reportedly be quickly disassembled for transport in an included backpack.
Kickstarter pledges start at €799 (about US$842), for a package that includes a 6-inch optical module. Assuming the Sevunscope reaches production, it should ship next December.