Ever wondered what your cat spends its time doing when you’re not around? Where do our purring pets go when they disappear through the cat flap? Armed with micro-cameras, a team from BBC Two’s Horizon programme in collaboration with the Royal Veterinary College set off to a Surrey village to find out. If you fancy having ago at seeing what your feline friend does during the day a similar idea to that of the ‘cat cam’ is available HERE. The first of its kind video camera firmly attaches to your pet’s collar thanks to its especially-designed fastening clip. With the video camera safely in place, press the Record button to start recording. When you have finished recording, recover the camera and connect it to your PC using the USB cable provided. The recorded video sequences can then be viewed directly onto your computer screen without the need for any drivers or installation CDs.
If you’re keen to observe the night sky (and why wouldn’t you be) then you will no doubt be thinking of investing in an astronomical telescope. Of course, these aren’t the kinds of instruments you go out and buy every day so it is important to take a little time to research the topic before you part with your hard earned cash.
Below are a few aspects which you will more than likely need to consider in this respect.
General & Specific Factors
Your choice of telescope will be affected by both general and specific factors. General factors include aspects such as how much you can afford to spend, how much space you have, where you will be using your telescope and how exactly you want to use it. More specific factors will include aspects like how portable you want your equipment to be, and which of the two main areas of interest – deep sky or the planets – you will be most interested in focusing on. If your main interest lies with observing planets then you will need a telescope that is able to provide excellent views at high magnification. If you’re keen to explore deep sky objects through your scope then large aperture is more of a consideration than magnification.
While most astronomical telescopes will allow you to see both planets and deep sky objects, your option to specialise in observing one or the other will depend a lot on where you will be doing your stargazing. Whilst being in an area where light pollution is an issue will not have much affect on your ability to view the moon and other planets, it will mitigate your chances of enjoying deep sky observation considerably.
You may be surprised to learn that power isn’t everything when it comes to choosing a suitable telescope. In fact, a telescope’s capacity to gather light (known as its aperture) is generally the determining factor in how much you will get to see. Indeed, it is often the case that the clearest and sharpest images are those which are obtained at much lower powers.
A small, high quality achromatic refractor with an aperture of between 60 and 80mm is ideal for a novice stargazer’s telescope, especially if it’s just the main planets and the moon that you’re looking to observe. Not only are these scopes relatively cheap and simple to maintain, they are also highly portable so you can easily carry them to locations which may be more favourable than your back garden. If you’re looking to view galaxies and nebulae then you may well need to invest in a slightly more expensive telescope with a 90 or 100mm refractor.
With more than 70 years of experience, we here at Sherwoods are able to offer unparalleled advice and guidance when it comes to purchasing telescopes for novice stargazers. To take advantage of this experience,call 01527-857500 or send us a message by emailing info@Sherwoods-Photo.com.
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Prices, availability, appearance, product descriptions, and accessories are based on available manufacturer information and are subject to change without notice.