Refracting telescopes: room for improvement

Can the design of the refracting telescope be improved upon?

Pictured: our first ever Prima LuceLab review is their incredible AIRY APO120 refractor.
Published: September 1, 2018 at 12:00 pm
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We like to feature newcomers in our reviews, so it is with great pleasure that we turn to Primaluce Lab for the first time ever in BBC Sky at Night Magazine, as Tim Jardine takes a look at their AIRY APO120 refractor.


Considering it was the humble refractor that Galileo turned to the heavens, it is amazing that refractors continue to be at the forefront of developments.

The quest for the perfect refractor will no doubt continue but, as Tim found, some products come reasonably close.

We almost had to prise it from his fingers in order to return it!

Refractors are not the only products that continue to be improved, as Martin Lewis has found. He reviews the latest from Celestron, the Skyris 236C Solar System camera.

AS sensors continue to be developed that are more sensitive and efficient; hopefully in future we will see even more products pushing the imaging boundaries.

Sometimes a product comes along that really is nifty and innovative, yet is a combination of ideas that perhaps should have been thought of sooner.

In the September issue, Pete Lawrence explores the virtues of the QHYCCD Polemaster electronic polarscope. Although small, it is still a camera but with a lens giving a field of view of 11x8 degrees.

Rather than attaching to the rear of and looking up through a polarscope, it affixes to the top of the mount then uses software to solve where to accurately aim, and so polar align, your mount.

The result is more accurate polar alignment, which aids in longer, unguided imaging or cutting down on the amount of guiding you need to do.


Sometimes it really is the little things that help!


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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