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Summer stargazing

BBC Sky at Night Magazine's Reviews Editor, Paul Money, discusses the latest astro equipment news

The Summer has finally arrived and despite it also being a traditional time for amateur astronomers to take a break whilst the night time skies are lighter - it doesn't have to be the case. There's plenty you can do; cleaning and checking your equipment, tidying up an observatory, checking out the summer sights and always on the lookout for noctilucent clouds.

The latest trends

BBC Sky at Night Magazine's Reviews Editor, Paul Money, discusses the latest astro equipment news

Several of the editorial team, including myself, recently attended the International Astronomy Show which was held near Leamington Spa in early June. It was a great chance to network with suppliers, catch up with what's hot and upcoming and look round the huge assembly of telescope, trade stands, and generally mix with everyone interested in the Universe around us.

See through scopes

BBC Sky at Night Magazine's Reviews Editor, Paul Money, discusses the latest astro equipment news

 

Scopes for all situations

BBC Sky at Night Magazine's Reviews Editor, Paul Money, discusses the latest astro equipment news

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s that it’s worth having several telescopes in ones repertoire to cover all your possible needs. Bigger does seem better optically, this is true. But unless you have an observatory, the sheer size of the telescope and its accompanying mount making the system unwieldy.

Multitasking equipment

BBC Sky at Night Magazine's Reviews Editor, Paul Money, discusses the latest astro equipment news

Astronomy equipment often contains so much technology that you can be forgiven for being confused as to what is needed for your telescope or mount to work properly. For example, if you have a good optical tube assembly, OTA, then you will need to have a good mount to go with it. Add to this mix the large variety of accessories that cover imaging and soon you have so much equipment that you may need to look for another property to store it all!

Camera angles

BBC Sky at Night Magazine's Reviews Editor, Paul Money, discusses the latest astro equipment news

In memory of John Dobson

BBC Sky at Night Magazine's Reviews Editor, Paul Money, discusses the latest astro equipment news

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Something for everyone

BBC Sky at Night Magazine's Reviews Editor, Paul Money, discusses the latest astro equipment news

Starting a new journey in astronomy often begins with the question of what size telescope to buy. The advice regularly given is to get a pair of binoculars rather than a small telescope and in the past this was with good reason – often telescopes of less than 80mm aperture were of poor quality.

A splash of colour

BBC Sky at Night Magazine's Reviews Editor, Paul Money, discusses the latest astro equipment news

The one negative thing about deep-sky observing has to be the lack of colour in the view through an eyepiece.

When running public stargazing events, I have to make sure everybody understands that what they’ll observe won’t necessarily look like the stunning astro images seen in glossy magazines.

A lot to take in

BBC Sky at Night Magazine's Reviews Editor, Paul Money, discusses the latest astro equipment news

Unless you dedicate your setup solely to imaging, eyepieces are a vital part of any astronomer’s toolkit.

They come in a variety of designs including Orthoscopic, Kellner, Erfle, Plössel, Nagler and more.

Each have advantages and disadvantages depending on what you plan to observe, with some more suited to low magnification work and others to high.

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