It’s the little things

Barlow lenses are commonly used in conjunction with an eyepiece to increase magnification. Credit: The Secret Studio

It’s all too easy to put your efforts into selecting that large piece of kit like a telescope or mount, but it is worth remembering that what you add to the set-up can vastly improve what you can achieve with it.

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We like to experiment with equipment at BBC Sky at Night magazine, and this month we’re doing things a little differently by dedicating one of our reviews to not one item, but six.

In Six of the Best, we take a look at some of the top 3x Barlow lenses on the market.

Barlow lenses expand what you can do with your eyepieces, which can be a major help as quite often most telescopes will come with just one or two.

With a Barlow you effectively double your collection and extend the range of magnification available to you when viewing.

In this case, our chosen Barlows give 3x magnification of each eyepiece for an added boost.

Of course, sky conditions play an important role in dictating when you can push your eyepieces to the limit with Barlows.

They can’t solve everything!

See what Steve Richards thought of our selected six in the May issue.

Also featured this month is another camera from the prolific Altair Astro team, as Gary Palmer examines the Altair Hypercam IMX178 CMOS colour camera, which covers solar, planetary, lunar and even deep-sky imaging: something that it seems many camera manufacturers are now achieving with remarkable results.

Finally, Tim Jardine looks at the virtues of the Orion 6-inch f/4 Newtonian astrograph: nice and compact and yet packing a punch as an imaging instrument.

Pick up your copy of the May issue of BBC Sky at Night Magazine, which marks the 60th anniversary of The Sky at Night TV programme. Long may it continue on our screens!


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Read all of this month’s reviews and more in the May 2017 issue of BBC Sky at Night Magazine, out 20 April.