Dobsonian simplicity

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Paul Money tests UK newcomers Omegon’s offerings this month by turning his hand to their N 203/1200 Dobsonian. Image Credit: www.thesecretstudio.net

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Here at BBC Sky at Night Magazine we like to feature new kids on the block, so to speak, and a recent new supplier to the UK is Omegon, based at Landsberg am Lech near Munich.

They have a large range of home brand telescopes and in our December issue we take a first look at their kit by testing the Omegon N 203/1200 Dobsonian telescope.

We have a bit of a soft spot for Dobsonians as they offer the best value telescope/mount combination, ideal for either the newcomer to astronomy or for those more experienced observers who want a simple set-up.

John Dobson, father of the Dobsonian, designed his eponymous telescope for this very reason, as he aspired to using large mirrors – often ground by his own hands – and a simple rocker box, rather than worrying about complex mount systems.

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While the N 203/1200 did require some assembly, once done we enjoyed taking tours of the night sky and it was refreshing to have a telescope that is dark in appearance so didn’t disturb our night vision.

The set-up is very basic but pleasurable to use, knowing you don’t have to be concerned with GoTo systems or equatorial mounts.

This is often a real selling point to those on a budget who would rather get stuck in, even if it does mean learning how to use star charts to find your way star-hopping across the sky.

Also in the December issue, Stephen Tonkin explores whether a low-cost binocular from Celestron, the UpClose G2 10×50, gives respectable views.

Quite often bird watching and nature binoculars can be turned on the night sky for those widefield views so, if you want a pair for casual viewing, read Steve’s review for a guide on what to expect.

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If there is one market that is constantly evolving at a frenetic pace, it has to be high frame rate cameras.

This month we asked Pete Lawrence to put the Altair Astro GPCAM2 IMX224 CMOS camera to the test.

It is amazing how versatile these cameras are becoming.

For all this month’s reviews and much more make sure you pick up a copy of the December issue, out 18 November.


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