Paul Money's blog

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!
 

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.

The weakest link

The weakest link

Astronomers today have a plethora of high quality telescopes and mounts available at their fingertips. However, as Paul Money reveals, even the best pieces of kit can be wasted if you overlook that all-important eyepiece.

 

It is so easy today to seek out and purchase your chosen telescope: be it via the internet or by visiting one of the many astro retailers, many of which have showrooms enabling customers to browse at their leisure.

Blue-sky thinking

Cloudy nights need not be the scourge of astronomers, says Paul Money

Cloudy nights and clear days need not be the scourge of amateur astronomers, as Paul Money reveals.

It is perhaps the most frustrating aspect of the hobby: you have clear blue sky all day then, as day turns to night, the clouds roll in as if on a timer to obscure the stars.

Standing the test of time

As far as Paul Money is concerned, quality products will always endure

It's always worth keeping an eye on the latest astronomy products as they are released, seeking out the newest and best scopes, mounts and cameras. However, as far as Paul Money is concerned, quality products will always endure.

We are used to reviewing the latest products in BBC Sky at Night Magazine, but in recent years have also carried out Tried & Tested reviews of equipment that has stood the test of time and is still being produced and sold.

GoTo control, the smartphone way

Smart phones are increasingly becoming the 'go to' option for mount control, writes BBC Sky at Night Magazine reviews editor Paul Money.

Apps like SkySafari Pro are becoming an increasingly common option for GoTo users
Credit: Paul Money

New Year, new beginnings

New Year, new beginnings

The new year brings with it much to make astronomers happy, writes Paul Money: new Stargazing LIVE, a new calendar of observing and, most importantly, newcomers to astronomy!

 

Technology marches on

The rapid speed of technological advancement continues to make life easier for astrophotographers everywhere. But, as Paul Money discovers, keeping up with progress is not always easy in the modern age.

 


It's neither right nor fair! Just as you start to decide which planetary imaging camera you should purchase, along comes ZWO and produces yet another impressive product, as Pete Lawrence discovers in his review of the ZWO ASI174MM in August’s Sky at Night Magazine.

The world keeps turning

Paul Money discusses the latest astro equipment news

Earth's rotation was once a thorn in the side of amateur astronomers everywhere but, as Paul Money discusses, technology has changed all that...

In the beginning there was the alt az mount and the astronomer saw that it was good. Then they had to use it and discovered quite quickly that the sky rotates about us in an odd way!

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