Celestron Origin Technology
First released in 2024, Celestron Origin is a quantum leap in amateur astronomy. It’s not just a telescope; Origin seamlessly blends stargazing and astrophotography in an immersive experience. This technological tour de force is the result of more than a decade of engineering and multiple patented technologies. Join us as we embark on an in-depth exploration of the technical nuances that make Origin a pioneer in this new era of astronomy.
Patented Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Astrograph (RASA) Optics
Origin’s core innovation lies in its 6” Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Astrograph (RASA). Unlike traditional telescopes, RASA ingeniously places the imaging sensor at the front of the telescope tube. This design produces an ultra-fast f/2.2 system with an extraordinarily wide field of view that maintains exceptional optical performance across the entire field. Its large, 6” aperture and edge-to-edge performance truly place Origin in a class by itself. You get patented, observatory-grade technology—made in a size to fit your backyard.
Government agencies and private companies already trust RASA to track satellites and protect them from space junk. RASA’s fast focal ratio and wide field of view allow it to track small pieces of debris traveling at high speeds. There are currently hundreds of RASAs deployed around the world, scanning the skies every night.
Origin’s fast optics ensure unparalleled image brightness and clarity from the first 10-second exposure. Instead of waiting minutes or hours to see a celestial object come into sharp view, RASA gathers the bulk of the data in your image within the first 30 to 60 seconds. This means Origin doesn’t just replace complex astroimaging rigs but also visual observing setups. Your Origin can show you all the best targets in the sky and capture dozens of great images in a single night.
To bring out the best in your RASA images with no user input, Celestron engineers added an autonomous autofocusing system and a complete dew prevention system with an environmental sensor and intelligent power management. It all works together seamlessly to keep your images consistently sharp.
Unleashing the Power of the Sony STARVIS Color CMOS Sensor
Origin is based on the idea that a telescope and a camera sensor can “see” more than a telescope and the human eye. This is because sensors are more sensitive than the rods and cones in our eyes and can collect light over time. A system like Origin can even “stack” images together, building up light in an image with multiple short exposures. But to do this, you need a sensor that can collect lots of light in just a few seconds, depositing more and more photons into the “stacked master” image you see onscreen.
Celestron engineers evaluated all the best astronomical sensors on the market and selected the proven Sony STARVIS IMX178 color CMOS sensor for Origin. Sony STARVIS back-illuminated technology offers the highest sensitivity, fast readout, and low noise, delivering clear images as quickly as possible. This sensitive sensor has small 2.4µm2 size pixels, which provide high resolution. In short, this chip is a perfect match for RASA’s fast optical design. Thanks in part to the Sony STARVIS sensor, Origin shows you a better image than you could see visually through a much larger telescope under much darker skies.
AI-powered Image Processing: From Data to Masterpiece
Origin’s revolutionary, built-in artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms are one of its standout features. As Origin captures data, these intelligent algorithms stack and process every frame autonomously. The result? Images that are not just good but exceptional. You’ll be amazed at the sharp details and brilliant color Origin achieves—all instantly without any user intervention.
Celestron contracted with a cutting-edge AI firm to develop this innovative processing technique. AI optimizes image quality by analyzing each frame to identify and reduce noise, enhance contrast, and reveal subtle details in the captured data. And because it happens in almost real-time, users can enjoy the enhanced images immediately.
Before Origin, post-processing the data from your telescope was complex, tedious, time-consuming, and expensive. Experts could spend hours using multiple software programs, each with a steep learning curve. You might not see your final image for days or weeks after capturing the data! The AI image processing in Origin is nothing short of a breakthrough, making deep-sky astrophotography accessible to everyone, even first-time users.
Patented StarSense Technology: Effortless Setup and Navigation
Celestron’s breakthrough sky recognition technology, StarSense, has been simplifying telescope setup and alignment for over a decade. From the first self-aligning telescope, Celestron SkyProdigy, to today, StarSense aligns the telescope’s optics to the night sky with no user intervention. Past generations of StarSense have relied on an external camera to capture images of the sky and match them to an internal database. Origin builds upon and simplifies the process, using Origin’s CMOS sensor to capture wide-field images and “plate solve” in seconds for the fastest, most accurate StarSense alignment ever.
The process is as simple as placing Origin outside, turning it on, and connecting to the app. In less than two minutes, Origin autonomously focuses, scans the night sky, determines its exact pointing position, time, date, and location, and notifies you that it’s ready to begin your astronomical adventure.
Intuitive Control: The Celestron Origin App
Celestron developed the Origin app in collaboration with Simulation Curriculum, the experts behind the popular SkySafari™ app. It serves as the gateway to your cosmic journey. Boasting a simple yet powerful planetarium interface, it makes sky navigation and system control a breeze for iOS and Android users.
Celestron Origin App Key Features
- Planetarium Interface: The app’s planetarium interface provides an intuitive and interactive way to explore the universe. When you activate Compass Mode, the app’s planetarium screen adjusts as you pan across the sky to match your view. As you hold your phone up to the sky and move it around, you’ll be able to quickly identify any celestial objects in your view. The best ones are highlighted. Tap on any object you see to begin capturing images of it with Origin.
A Massive Internal Database: Origin’s database is updated regularly and features thousands of stars, double stars, clusters, nebulae, galaxies, and more. You can listen to hundreds of audio descriptions for the most popular objects as you observe. And if you want to see something that hasn’t yet been added to the database, like a newly discovered comet, just enter its coordinates and begin exploring.
- Scheduled Imaging Sessions: Astroimaging while you sleep? It’s possible with Origin. Many objects are at their best viewing positions in the wee hours of the morning. To capture them, simply configure a scheduled imaging session in the app and leave Origin initialized and waiting outside. At the time you specified, Origin will conduct the imaging session independently. The next morning, you’ll find a masterpiece waiting for you in the app.
- Manual Image Adjustment: Origin’s baked-in AI algorithms automatically process your images to bring out their best. But you can add your creative spin with manual adjustment sliders for Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, and Sharpening.
- Social Stargazing: Origin transforms astronomy into a shared experience. Multiple users in the same network can connect to Origin simultaneously. Users can take turns selecting celestial objects, adjusting imaging settings, or simply marveling at the wonders of the cosmos.
- Screen Mirroring for Larger-than-Life Views: Use your smart TV or projector’s screen-mirroring capability to take the Origin app to the next level. It’s perfect for friends and family, public outreach events, or educational sessions where everyone can gather around and share the excitement.
- Save and Share: Capture the magic of the night sky and share it with the world. Origin allows you to save and share images to your social networks directly through the app. You can crop the image and customize it with an optional watermark, including crucial data like time, location, exposure settings, and your name! And thanks to Origin’s camera sensor, your saved images have enough resolution to make stunning 8x10 prints suitable for framing.
Beyond the Telescope: Onboard Electronics and Hardware
Origin is more than just a telescope; it’s a group of integrated electronic and mechanical components that work together seamlessly.
Celestron Origin Hardware Highlights
- Raspberry Pi Computer: An internal computer, which resides in Origin’s rear cell, controls the camera, focus motor, and dew prevention system. The computer also handles all the automated processes, including StarSense “plate solving,” image calibration, and stacking for the stacked master image you see in the app.
- NexStar Evolution-style mount: A new mount based on Celestron’s bestselling NexStar Evolution computerized altazimuth mount provides a solid base for your Origin system. It offers spring-loaded brass worm gears for precise tracking and manual clutches in both axes. There’s also a full-size tripod (included) and a tabletop tripod (sold separately).
- LiFePO4 Rechargeable Battery: This safe and reliable 97.9Wh lithium iron phosphate battery is a dependable power source at home or a remote dark-sky site. You can run Origin for hours without worrying about plugging in. Origin can run on additional PowerTank Lithium batteries (sold separately) if you need even more power.
- Built-in WiFi: Origin and the Origin app work anywhere, even beyond of the range of cell networks. Origin generates its own WiFi network, which you can connect to directly with no external WiFi network required. Alternatively, you may connect through your home’s WiFi network for expanded range and full network connectivity.
- A Complete Smart Dew Prevention System: An integrated dew heating ring, thermistor, and environmental sensor allow Origin to heat its optics just above the dew point. You conserve power and never need to worry about fogged optics ending your observing session prematurely.
- Dual Cooling Fans: Two onboard fans (one for the optics, one for the computer) prevent any heat from building up in the electronics or entering the optical tube and affecting the view.
- Status LED Ring: The unique LED ring on the rear cell of the telescope provides instant system status feedback at a glance. Check on Origin from indoors by looking out the window at the status ring.
Advanced Features: Expanding Your Astroimaging Toolkit
Origin is designed to grow with astronomers as they progress in the hobby. Beyond the basics, Origin offers advanced features and the promise of exciting future upgrades, ensuring users can continually elevate their capabilities.
Battling Light Pollution: Interchangeable Filters
Origin features a built-in filter drawer that accepts standard 1.25” and 2” format astronomical filters. Filters can be handy for imaging nebulae in light-polluted environments like the typical suburban backyard. Celestron has created a specialized Nebula Filter for Origin (sold separately), but you can experiment with any filters in your collection.
However, when imaging broadband objects like galaxies and star clusters or objects from dark skies, it’s best not to use filters; this maximizes light throughput for the brightest possible images. Origin comes with a custom-designed clear glass “placeholder” filter to maintain its optical performance when you aren’t using filters. It’s a significant advantage over systems with permanently installed light-pollution filters; these filters will greatly dim galaxies and star clusters from any sky. Origin’s versatile filter system ensures users can tailor their setup to meet specific targets or goals.
Manual Processing for Creative Control
For users looking to delve deeper into the art of astrophotography, Origin saves all its raw image files so you can download them for manual processing with third-party software. Simply plug a USB flash drive into Origin to transfer the images for later post-processing. You can learn new software, unleash your creativity, and develop your unique perspective.
Compatibility and Upcoming Enhancements
When you invest in Origin, you can count on Celestron’s engineers as your long-term partners in astronomy. Our technical teams are working hard on multiple generations of upgrades and new capabilities for your Origin. With these future enhancements in mind, we also provide access to Origin’s camera and upgradeable firmware on the Origin mount. At the same time, we’re also developing all-new functionality for the Origin app. We’ll keep you notified whenever our team drops something new!
Origin: Where Technology and Astronomy Converge
Celestron Origin defines a new category in astronomy: the intelligent home observatory. But it’s also a testament to Celestron’s decades-long commitment to making astronomy accessible, engaging, and fun. From the revolutionary RASA optics to the seamless integration of AI, every component of Origin works in harmony, transforming the night sky into your celestial playground.
So, gear up, connect with the stars, and let Origin take you on an exhilarating journey like never before. With Celestron Origin, the universe is at your fingertips.