Where to start?

We all have to invest in equipment if we want to enjoy the treasures of the night sky, so it’s only fitting that our November reviews explores a few of the options available. The question is how far do you go down the technical path to satisfy your needs? Two of our reviews look at the standard approach of a pair of binoculars and a basic equatorially mounted telescope, neither of which will break the bank. Large binoculars such as the reviewed Orion Astronomy 15x70’s are affordable enough to give that little extra over the more traditional 7x50 and 10x50 binoculars; especially when used with a tripod.

The Saxon 4 basic equatorial mounted telescope is not computer controlled, so it encourages you to learn how to seek out and find objects by using star charts, be they paper ones or an app on your smart phone. Setting the mount up properly can also be instructive as you have to work out your latitude as well as finding where north is from your site, I think there is a lot to be said for this approach. Yet more astro retailers are reporting that the modern ‘thing’ is to have an all singing and dancing system that requires minimal setting up so that the time spent under those fleeting glimpses of clear skies can be used for actually viewing objects rather than hunting them down only to be clouded out. There is a lot to be said for this modern approach too and our tried and tested review of the SkyHawk 1145P GoTo bears this out. So let us know what you think – basic start up or modern GoTo – which is better for a beginner? Let the fun begin!

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