Blogs

Every cloud: in praise of solar astronomy

Longer days shouldn't mean the end of another observing season

Longer days and cloudy nights shouldn't mean the end of another observing season. BBC Sky at Night Magazine reviews editor Paul Money is taking the opportunity to engage in a spot of daytime astronomy.

 

"A clear blue sky also means we can view the nearest star to us."
Credit: iStock

 

Staring directly at the Sun can permanently damage your eyesight. Find out how to observe the Sun safely with our guide here.

 

My first telescope

Taking that first step into practical astronomy is a memorable moment

BBC Sky at Night Magazine reviews editor Paul Money writes remembers the joy of getting his first telescope.

Looking to buy your first telescope but don't know where to start? Read our guide in the April issue of BBC Sky at Night Magazine.
Credit: iStock

 

What was your first telescope?

Mine was a very small 30mm aperture 20x fixed magnification table top item that just about managed to call itself a telescope, but was all my parents could afford at the time.

Astronomical seeing: to be clear or not so clear

Cloudless skies do not always mean good stargazing conditions

Many amateur astronomers keep an eye on weather forecasts ahead of observing sessions but, as BBC Sky at Night Magazine reviews editor Paul Money writes, cloudless skies do not always mean good stargazing conditions.

 

Weather apps may provide accurate information, but perhaps not the information amateur astronomers are looking for.
Credit: iStock

 

When the weather forecaster makes the statement "tonight will be clear" or "will have clear spells" I have no doubt that astronomers all over the country get excited.

The importance of portable astronomy kit

BBC Sky at Night Magazine reviews editor Paul Money ponders the technological advances in smartphone astronomy.

 

 

Clouds: an astronomer's nemesis. But it does help to have decent gear for when the skies do eventually clear.
Credit: iStock

 

Frustrated, but at least I have the gear.

That’s what I tell myself as I write this blog, the day after the 21 January perigee full Moon lunar eclipse (you may have heard it called 'Blood Wolf Supermoon' or something along those lines).

The future's bright for smartphone astronomy

Paul Money ponders the technological advances in the year ahead

BBC Sky at Night Magazine reviews editor Paul Money ponders the technological advances in smartphone astronomy.

 

Smartphones can be used to capture most astronomical events. What will the coming year bring for smartphone astrophotography?
Credit: iStock

 

As I write this blog it is just a week away from Christmas, so naturally I’m getting excited as to what astro goodies await me in my stocking this year.

Festive first light?

Christmas is a great time to request your first scope, writes Paul Money

BBC Sky at Night Magazine reviews editor Paul Money wonders whether there will be a telescope-shaped present under the tree for him this Christmas morning...

Credit: iStock

 

We’re closing in on the festive season (doesn’t it come around quick?!)

So, thoughts must be turning to your pressie list from Santa, I do hope you’ve all been good...

It is this time of year when we get asked about beginners' telescopes, so in our December issue we take a a look at a couple that are currently available.

In praise of the humble binocular

A good pair of binoculars can be a companion for life, writes Paul Money

As the International Astronomy Show 2018 approaches, BBC Sky at Night Magazine reviews editor Paul Money looks forward to another chance to get up and close with the latest equipment.

"Sometimes all I want to do is explore the night sky with a pair of humble binoculars"
Credit: iStock

 

The joy for me of this time of year in the evenings is that we still have a good part of the higher summer sky delights over in the west, whilst over in the east we find winter's delights beginning to tempt us.

The (astronomy) show must go on

Looking ahead to the International Astronomy Show 2018

As the International Astronomy Show 2018 approaches, BBC Sky at Night Magazine reviews editor Paul Money looks forward to another chance to get up and close with the latest equipment.

The International Astronomy Show: an opportunity to get view the latest equipment on the market.
Image: BBC Sky at Night Magazine

 

October sees the 2018 International Astronomy Show take place in Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire on the 12th and 13th, Friday and Saturday.

Piering into space

Tripods can be the backbone of a good astronomy setup, but when it comes to sturdiness, it might be worth considering something more substantial like a pier, writes BBC Sky at Night Magazine reviews editor Paul Money.

"Why not go the whole hog and replace your tripod with a pillar/pier tripod or a permanent pier instead?"
Image: iStock

 

In last month's blog I extolled the virtues of having a sturdy tripod to support your equipment, but now let us look at other options, in particular piers and pier extensions.

Normal tripods are undoubtedly good, and a large range of equipment is supplied with one as standard.

The benefits of a tripod

A good tripod is not to be taken for granted, writes BBC Sky at Night Magazine reviews editor Paul Money.

 

In the August 2018 issue of BBC Sky at Night Magazine, Pete Lawrence reviews the Sky-Watcher SolarQuest Solar Go-To tracking mount, which incudes a lightweight tripod.
A good tripod can be the backbone of a successful observing session, writes Paul Money.
Image: www.thesecretstudio.net

 

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