The bread and butter of our equipment reviews at BBC Sky at Night Magazine can be broken down into four broad categories: complete telescope and mount; telescope only; mount only, and finally, imaging systems such as webcams, CCDs and DSLRs, most frequently associated with astro imaging.
In the case of telescopes, most of the advances we see tend to focus on refinements of already proven designs, while developments in mounts and imaging cameras mostly offer new technology or improving sensors: all things that we love to hear about at BBC Sky at Night Magazine!
So, in the February 2018 issue we look at the Altair 60 EDF doublet refractor (reviewed by lil’ ol’ me!).
This is a lovely grab-and-go scope that also packs an imaging punch too, as I found out when I took aim at three classic wide-field targets: M31 the Andromeda Galaxy, M45 the Pleiades and the Orion Nebula, which I couldn’t resist.
It’s an ideal match for the lightweight tracking mounts we’ve covered over the last few years in the reviews section of the magazine.
Also in the February issue, Nicholas Joannou had the pleasure of taking Explore Scientific’s Exos 2 PMC8 Wireless Go-To mount for a test drive.
Wireless control via apps, laptops and remote control is incredibly popular and is likely to dominate mounts from now on, in my opinion.
Finally, Tim Jardine wondered if he’d need weightlifting classes when the ATIK 16200 Mono CD arrived!
Thankfully he didn’t, and was soon capturing stunning deep-sky, long exposures of the cosmos; so much so we almost had to prise it back off him to meet our photoshoot deadline!