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.

You find yourself wanting desperately to own it, or worse; an even bigger one.

Now there is nothing wrong with wanting a larger telescope; let’s face it the larger the better, right?

No, not quite, as it depends on a whole range of factors that someone suffering from aperture fever doesn’t recognise or accept if they are really afflicted!

You see with bigger aperture comes greater weight, bulk and, if you wish to track the sky for astrophotography, an even larger mount to hold the larger beast.

You also have to take into account whether your needs really prefer something more portable; either for moving around the garden or transporting in the car to a dark-sky site.

So, when deciding whether to go for something larger, there is far more to take into account than simply the prospect of enjoying the deeper and fainter views of the sky that a larger aperture can bring.

And then there’s also the question as to whether your site has good enough skies to even warrant going larger.

If your interest is simply viewing, then light pollution will limit the practical size that works best for you.

Of course if imaging is the aim, then narrow band filters and light pollution filters can offset that particular problem.

But if you really do suffer from aperture fever, this issue we have you covered.

Martin Lewis gets the chance to review the SkyVision 24 inch T600 Compact Go-To Dobsonian (pictured) in this month's First Light.

This huge system still breaks down into ‘manageable’ sections and so could be the cure to your aperture fever.

Steve Richards enjoys the latest colour CCD camera from Atik, the 4120EX, while Pete Lawrence examines the latest range of eyepieces from Televue, the DeLite eyepieces.

See how they got on by picking up a copy of our December issue, which hits the newsstands 18 November.


Paul Money is an experienced astronomer, BBC Sky at Night Magazine's Reviews Editor and author of the annual stargazing guide Nightscenes.