If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s that it’s worth having several telescopes in ones repertoire to cover all your possible needs.


Bigger does seem better optically, this is true.

But unless you have an observatory, the sheer size of the telescope and its accompanying mount making the system unwieldy.

The knock effect is that the large scope gets used less and less due to the effort needed to set up, especially when you consider the vagaries of the weather!

So it's worth having a 'get up and go' system to hand for those all too brief moments of clear skies which is where this month's review of the Orion StarBlast 62mm compact travel refractor by Mark Parrish comes into play.

Being able to dash outside, quickly set up and get viewing in just a few minutes can make all the difference in maintaining interest in a hobby that can be so frustrating due to the weather.

You don't even need a telescope mount, just a good tripod will do for a simple viewing session either at home or abroad under foreign skies.

At the same time, however, let's not forget that having a larger scope is definitely rewarding.

A large Dobsonian is an ideal solution, especially with many of today's popular models being so portable.

That's why I enjoyed my time with the SkyVision T300 highly portable 12 inch Dobsonian.

Large aperture, easy and quick set up and take down time means that you get to see the deep-sky in all its glory.


In the meantime we've also had a long wait for it but now it's here, the latest mount from Skywatcher, the EQ8 PRO. Steve Richards enjoyed getting to grips with it in this month's review.


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