Unistellar says that it has developed a new technology that can eliminate city light pollution when taking photos or just stargazing through its telescopes.
Unistellar is one of the biggest names in consumer-focused digital telescopes (the other being Vaonis) and its technology has been impressive enough to get Nikon’s attention, as not only does the company provide the optics for Unistellar’s devices — via a partnership started back in the summer of 2021 — but it also invested a financial stake in the company earlier this year.
The company says that more people are choosing to live in urban areas and the brightness of city skies is increasing by about 10% annually, so the problem of light pollution doesn’t appear to be solving itself. To that end, Unistellar says it developed a system to give even people living in the middle of populous cities the ability to enjoy astrophotography and stargazing.
Called “Deep Dark Technology,” Unistellar says it automatically eliminates any visual interference caused by city lights. Unistellar claims its suite of proprietary algorithms, which were informed by the many images of the sky that have been captured by users of its telescope cameras, are able to automatically distinguish the light signal coming from celestial bodies from noise and light pollution, which makes it possible to map the light pollution in each observed image.
This interference is then filtered and removed automatically, the company claims, which allows the celestial object being observed to shine through. Below is a graphic Unistellar has provided that further explains how the technology works:
“Even in very bright urban areas, the technology instantly transforms the image so that its black background is as intense as the depths of space, revealing celestial objects with impressive clarity,” Unistellar claims.
“The Ring nebula displays its vivid blue, green, and red hues, and the Cigar galaxy, located 11.4 million light-years away, showcases the picturesque shape and details for which it is named.”
Unistellar’s Deep Dark Technology is already available via an update in any of the company’s telescopes, including the eQuinox 2 and the eVscope 2.
Update 6/9: The original article stated Deep Dark was available on the eQuinox 2 at launch, but this is not the case. The Smart Light Pollution Reduction available in that telescope was built upon to make Deep Dark, which is a more advanced technology.
Image credits: Unistellar