What equipment should astronomy beginners buy?

Paul Money discusses what should be on your shopping list if you're getting started in practical astronomy.

An all-rounder: Bresser's Solarix © Secret Studio
Published: March 23, 2017 at 12:00 pm

In this month’s issue, we take a look at beginner’s equipment to coincide with Stargazing Live, as the April issue goes on sale just before the programmes are aired.


There is a lot of choice out there, and to help us we welcome a new reviewer, Nicolas Joannou, who takes a look at Bresser’s Solarix telescope.

It is modest but interesting, with the added benefit of a white light solar filter that can be affixed over the front of the tube to allow safe solar observations.

As Nicolas points out in his review, there are plenty of warnings about solar observing with the telescope, so it is good to see manufacturers have the safety of their customers in mind.

The telescope also works as an all-rounder with planetary and deep sky views too so there is no excuse now!

Be it day or night, there is something to look at if the sky is clear.

Astrophotography can sometimes feel like it is only for those with a lot of fancy equipment, but as long as you have a camera capable of taking long exposures then you don’t always need a telescope and equatorial mount.

We’ve featured tracking mounts over recent years and Sky-Watcher have now introduced a smaller version of their trusty Star Adventurer tracking mount, the Star Adventurer Mini.

I had a lot of fun with this lighter version, which is mainly dedicated to wide-field imaging but is also capable of using longer lenses too.

Celestron’s Inspire 100AZ Refractor © Secret Studio
Celestron’s Inspire 100AZ Refractor © Secret Studio

So now with a modest investment you can capture stunning wide field views – if the weather is clear of course!

Finally, stalwart reviewer Steve Richards enjoyed moments of clear skies as he explored the virtues of Celestron’s Inspire 100AZ Refractor, another telescope ideal for the beginner.


See what he thought along with all our reviews and much more by getting your copy of the Sky at Night April 2017 issue, out 23 March!


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

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