Out in the cold

With poor weather blighting 2012, let's hope that our winter nights stay crisp and clear as we move into February. But don’t forget, it can be extremely cold when you are out for long periods under the winter stars. Of course, if you are able to set up an observatory or adapt a garden shed you can give yourself a little protection from the elements. Some even go as far as operating their telescopes remotely – from indoors!

But for me there is nothing like being outside, in the cold, looking through my telescope at distant galaxies – as long as I'm wrapped up warmly.

Of course it's useful to know if the sky is clear and let's face it, the weather forecast isn't always accurate. Astro apps such as Scope Nights that use the latest Met office data to let you know whether the sky is going to be clear for viewing can be quite useful. But there is another way of checking the sky, other than sticking your head out into the cold night air of course, and that’s with a web cam. We test the Orion ALLSky camera in our February issue and welcome new reviewer Martin Lewis to the team. Along with the AllSky, I take a look at Altair Astro's LightWave 60mm Triplet Apo whilst Pete Lawrence examines Meade’s latest eyepiece set, the Meade Xtreme 100deg eyepieces. So if it's cloudy outside then why not have a read of our latest reviews!

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