For retailers selling telescopes and binoculars, sales generally stay steady throughout the year. But every year there are specific events in the night sky which might result in extra sales, particularly of astronomical telescopes. To help you prepare for such occasions and perhaps even leverage them to your advantage, here’s a quick run-down of some of the most significant celestial events visible in UK skies over the next couple of months.
Peak of the Leonids meteor shower – 16th-17th November
Though meteor showers are of course best viewed with the naked eye due to the limiting field of view of binoculars and telescopes, they are events that provoke interest in the night sky. Those watching the meteor shower may be inspired to purchase astronomical telescopes or binoculars to view further celestial events. The annual Leonids shower is visible this year from the 6th to the 30th of November, with a peak of around 15 meteors per hour on the night of the 16th/17th. December meanwhile sees the more dramatic Geminids meteor shower, peaking on 13th/14th December.
Comet ISON – 28th November
Late November sees the closest approach of comet ISON to the sun. The comet was discovered just last year and has since caused quite a stir among skywatchers. Though early speculation suggested that it might be visible at dawn with the naked eye, this is now seen as unlikely. For astronomers though, ISON is certainly one to watch well into December.
Good views of the Andromeda Galaxy
Those with astronomical telescopes should get a good view of the Andromeda galaxy in November, with it appearing high in the sky at around 20:00 GMT. This spectacular galaxy is our nearest celestial neighbourhood and can also be seen with the naked eye, but would-be astronomers may prefer to view it through binoculars before graduating to a telescope.
When choosing a pair of binoculars, there will be many things to bear in mind. Not only do you need to ensure that you have the most appropriate equipment for the unique activities you are likely to carry out, whether that is bird-watching or simply viewing wildlife in general, but it is also important to know how and when you are likely to use them.
For example, anyone who is likely to be using such equipment late at night will almost certainly find that choosing night vision options will improve their experience immeasurably. However, it is not just added extras such as night vision that you should take into account and everything from capability to weight should factor into your choice.
Many people do not consider just how important weight will be when choosing binoculars. However, if you are likely to have to carry the equipment around for long periods of time, or comfortably need to hold them to your face for long stretches of time, you are unlikely to want them to be extremely heavy.
There will be other considerations too: how fast do you need them to focus (in other words, will it be for items that are moving very fast or more languid objects or creatures?), how wide do you need the field of view to be and how close or how far away do you need to be top ensure you are able to see?
Whilst many people will assume that price will equate to the very best pair, with so many different needs from one person and one activity to the next, binoculars should always be bought with the individual in mind, and whilst price may equate to quality in many instances, by paying more you may actually find that you are simply getting qualities you don’t need, and that may even get in the way of what you wish to achieve.
Bird watching is a pastime that is increasing in popularity all the time. Whilst it may seem like a more antiquated hobby than some, in reality it is now actually more popular than ever before. However, this means that, whilst it is going to be easier to find clubs or societies to be a part of, the actual ability for many people to find a prime spot from which to watch birds, without encroaching on other people’s patches, may not always be easy.
The first thing to do, should you wish to take up bird watching, or even if you are fed up with the increasing crowds gathering in the very best spots, is simply to look at getting the very best bird watching binoculars. The better the binoculars you use, the more likely you are to be able to find a good vantage point from wherever you happen to be, getting a better focus on the birds in question without having to be quite so near.
The other important thing for those just starting bird watching to remember, is that bird watching is for everyone. By getting too close to the birds, you are possibly going to scare them off or sully their natural habitat, whilst disregarding the accepted etiquette could lead to anger amongst other bird watchers and ruin the experience for everyone. Therefore, it is wise to learn the etiquette of not only ornithologists and twitchers in general, but also to understand each and every area you visit in advance to make sure you are not going to be making any mistakes.
The right bird watching binoculars will be integral for any would-be twitcher. However, it not just the right binoculars that will improve your experience; instead, understanding the best approach to bird watching will also be extremely important for everyone concerned.
Trying to get your child interested in specific subjects can be hard work. However, in many instances it will not actually be your child’s fault that they are struggling to get enthused or struggling to truly understand certain work that is set, but instead the way in which the lessons are taught.
When it comes to science, ensuring your child understands and enjoys the subject can be even harder since the lessons they are given will only scratch the surface of the available information, often rendering it rather dull, when the subject should actually be by far the most interesting one on offer. When you add to this the fact that different people learn in different ways and that the majority of syllabi will be taught in a way that is very rigid and will not be easily bent to accommodate those who learn in a more tangential manner, it is easy to understand why many people struggle to get enthused.
However, it is also easy to boost your own child’s interest. Not only will astronomical telescopes help you to hook their interest in physics and the inner workings of life and the universe, but even a simple pair of binoculars and a trip into the countryside could be enough to help you to boost their interest in biology too. Science deals with very big theories and extremely complicated events and, as such, it can be hard for a secondary school syllabus to really explain these ideas in the way that they should be explained.
By using astronomical telescopes to see the universe and in turn learning more about quantum theories about reality and life, your child may suddenly find that they see physics in a whole new way. Likewise, by going out and seeing animals in their natural habitat, they are likely to have far more interest in the biology of both animal life and even plant life.
Anyone who loves the great outdoors should be pretty easy to buy for, right? Well, whilst it may seem that way, getting them something that they don’t already have can be hard work. After all, those who spend a great deal of time outdoors, will understand just how important it is to be prepared for everything from hiking trips to lengthy time spent camping out.
Whilst you may well be able to do a little bit of digging and find out exactly what they might be lacking or needing, there are plenty of items that even the most experienced outdoorsman might not have considered purchasing but that will almost certainly improve any outdoors experience for them.
Certain items of very technical clothing can be a very good present, but making sure you get something that is a perfect fit will be extremely important and therefore potentially a big task. Instead, consider items that might improve what they can achieve. For example, even those with the very best binoculars for bird watching, or hiking equipment, may not have considered night vision equipment.
Whilst night vision goggles or cameras may well be associated with spies and intrigue, in reality they can be the perfect tool for those who love the outdoors. Not only are they a great way to be able to optimise binoculars when wishing to view wildlife in its natural habitat, but they can also help people to get around more safely, to be quieter and in turn not wake others when they need to get around at night and even potentially just be safer from potential threats, should they find themselves in the middle of nowhere in the dark.
So when it comes to gifts for the outdoors type, think outside the box and consider which items might really improve what they can achieve.
It may be easy to assume that you do not like physics. After all, in school, physics lessons were often enough to drive the majority of us to sleep, scratching at the surface of many different areas, but without really going into the depth needed to actually pique the interest. Likewise, quantum physics is often used as a metaphor for anything that is hard to grasp or generally unfathomable and, as such, the majority of people assume that the truly interesting areas of physics will simply be above their heads.
This, however, is not true. Physics covers a huge range of different areas from the creation of the universe itself through to the way in which the planets themselves work. In many ways, simply buying yourself astronomical telescopes and studying the night sky will give you a far better physics lesson than you will have ever had in school.
Learning about the universe through self-study is extremely easy too. Whether you work things out for yourself using those telescopes or whether you have a helping hand with one of the many science magazines or books available to buy, even just a slightly improved knowledge of physics can often make one look at the world in a whole new light. From multiverse theory to what really kick started creation, whilst much of physics remains theory (until proven 100% accurate), you may well be surprised at just how much reality has in common with your favourite sci-fi movies.
After all, what they don’t teach you in school is that it is physics that gives the base to science fiction and, as such, physics should really be the most interesting lesson going. However, with just the right telescopes and a little bit of background knowledge, you may well be able to put those memories of dull science lessons to bed forever and start to understand not only more about the universe, but also possibly more about yourself too.
Being able to really look at the night sky can make anyone feel incredibly small, but it’s also a captivating experience that can leave you in awe of everything else out there. But, the only way to really experience the night sky in all its glory is to get the right telescopes to suit, and if you’re looking for the best you’ve come to the right place.
We can help you find any astronomical telescopes you’re looking for, because with such a fantastic range we’re confident you’ll have no need to look anywhere else. Our extensive catalogue covers some of the best makes available to ensure there’ll be plenty of telescopes that could meet your needs, and with exceptional prices on everything in stock you won’t need to spend a fortune to get the level of quality that you’re after.
But, we realise that it can sometimes be difficult to make your decision. The sheer range of choice on offer (not to mention the often mind-boggling specifications) could leave you wondering where to start, and that’s why we don’t expect you to go it alone. If you want to discuss the options just get in touch and one of our specialists will be pleased to advise—we’ll help you make sense of the huge array of options out there, ultimately ensuring you’re left with the astronomical telescopes that perfectly meet your needs. So, why go anywhere else? Our product knowledge and extensive range means we’re bound to have what you’re looking for, so take a look around and you’ll soon see for yourself.