Blogs

Solar observing beyond white light

BBC Sky at Night Magazine reviews editor Paul Money reveals the kit we're testing in the August issue, including a new set of Calcium H eyepieces that offer solar observing beyond the usual white light.

 

The Quark eyepiece offers views of the sun in the Calcium H wavelength. You can see a 360° model of the filter at www.skyatnightmagazine/quarkcah.

It used to be that viewing and imaging the Sun was a tricky and potentially dangerous affair: indeed, only the most experienced astronomers ventured into the imaging side of things.

Hold steady: the virtues of image stabilising binoculars

Paul Money looks ahead to this month's reviews, featuring Canon's IS binos

BBC Sky at Night Magazine reviews editor Paul Money reveals how image stabilisation has enhanced the power of binoculars.

HowTheLightGetsIn 2016: our top picks

Celebrating the current hot topics in science, art, ethics, language and technology, the HowTheLightGetsIn festival returns to Hay-on-Wye in Hereford for a week of music, food, philosophy and big ideas.

This year's HowTheLightGetsIn festival takes place 26 May to 5 June in the literary town of Hay, and we have scoured the 2016 programme to find out what's in store for those interested in all things cosmic.

The entire programme is available to view at the festival’s website, but take a look below at our personal highlights for 2016.

Pictures from space

ESA's Paolo Nespoli reveals what makes ISS astronauts reach for the camera

ESA's Paolo Nespoli reveals what it is about the view of Earth from the International Space Station that makes astronauts reach for the camera.

DLSR cameras: here to stay?

Paul Money reveals the latest kit reviews appearing in this month's issue

As astrophotography becomes an increasingly popular option for astronomers, DSLR makers are following suit, writes BBC Sky at Night Magazine reviews editor Paul Money.

The D810A is Nikon's first foray into the astronomical DSLR market

The biggest change in astronomy surely has to be the surge of interest in photographing the night sky, especially given how recent advances in the imaging capability of smart phones are enabling almost everyone to try their hand.

So does this mean the end is in sight for the use of DSLRs in astrophotography?

Film review: The Last Man On The Moon

Gene Cernan's final visit to the lunar surface explored in new documentary film

Iain Todd reviews The Last Man On The Moon; a film about Eugene Cernan's final journey to the lunar surface.

Trailer for Mark Craig's The Last Man On The Moon, out in UK cinemas on 8 April

On 19 December 1972, NASA’s Apollo 17 mission returned to Earth at the climax of a 12-day journey to the Moon. Its touchdown on back on terra firma marked the end of the Apollo campaign, and humanity’s final journey to the lunar surface, for the time being at least.

In praise of the modern refractor

Refractor users today have much to be thankful for, writes Paul Money

Astronomers who use refractors today have much to be thankful for, writes BBC Sky at Night Magazine reviews editor Paul Money.

 
refractor telescope astronomy
 

Refractors traditionally were long focal length affairs with quite long tubes, which makes you wonder how astronomers like Cassini and Hevelius coped with the huge ungainly equipment they regularly used.

We really have to take our hats off to them, considering the achievements and discoveries they made with the refractors of old.

Technology marches on

Paul Money looks at the technology improving how we view and image the sky

This month's kit has left BBC Sky at Night Magazine reviews editor Paul Money in awe of new technologies that continue to improve how we view and image the sky.

The march of progress continues apace, and in this month’s reviews Pete Lawrence gets to play with the Atik Infinity CCD camera. This compact device not only captures great pictures of the sky, it can also show the images being built up live on your screen as well, making it ideal for public outreach. It makes you wonder how far such technology can go and indeed, how they can fit it into something so small and easy to handle!
 

An Hour On The Moon

British scientist Colin Pillinger remembered at inaugural lunar lecture

Yesterday evening the Great Hall in the Wills Memorial Building, University of Bristol, was packed as a full house gathered for the inaugural Colin Pillinger Memorial Talk, entitled ‘An Hour On The Moon’.

Lunar scientist Dr James Carpenter reveals ESA's vision for future travel to and exploration of the Moon at the first Colin Pillinger Memorial Lecture.
Credit: Philippa Walker/University of Bristol

Yesterday evening the Great Hall in the Wills Memorial Building, University of Bristol, was packed as a full house gathered for the inaugural Colin Pillinger Memorial Talk, entitled ‘An Hour On The Moon’.

Aperture fever

Paul Money discusses the ailment that grips many an amateur astronomer at this time of year: aperture fever!

 

It’s that time of year when the almost inevitable bug bites and you are stricken. No I’m not talking about the flu, but aperture fever. It is a common affliction that occurs just when you think you are enjoying your own telescope and spy someone else’s larger one.

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