If you’re someone who has an enquiring mind then you may well find yourself looking up at the stars frequently. Indeed, there really is no better way to indulge the inner existentialist within you than by scanning the night sky and pondering over questions which have fascinated humans for thousands of years.
Of course, your naked eye, or evena good pair of binoculars, can enable you to scrutinise the cosmos and learn more about the secrets of the universe. However, if you want to explore the heavens in detail and find out what’s really ‘out there’ then you need to invest in a high-quality telescope.
Buying a Telescope
Of course, a telescope is not the kind of thing you buy every week; therefore you will need to weigh up a few things before you make any concrete decisions. For instance, you will have to be clear in your mind about how much you can (realistically) afford to spend. Moreover, you will also need to know exactly what you’ll want to use your telescope for, and where you will be using it. Therefore, it is integral that work out a clear budget, determine what your goals are, and ensure you have access to a suitable observation spot, long before you start shopping around.
Of course, only you (and your partner) will be able to conclude what is – and isn’t – an acceptable amount to spend on a new telescope. However, when it comes to determining your goals and finding the best observation points, we here at Sherwoods can provide you with some invaluable advice.
In general, there are two main areas of interest for telescope users – deep sky and the planets. If you are keen on observing planets then you will need to be looking at buying telescopes that are able to provide excellent views at high magnification. However, if your main concern is that of deep-sky objects then large aperture will be more of a consideration than magnification.
Suitable Observation Point
While most astronomical telescopes will in practice show you both kinds of object, they will be influenced greatly by where you will be doing your stargazing. Although it is quite possible to observe the moon and other planets in densely populated areas, deep sky viewing is generally not suited to places where light pollution is an issue. However, it is worth remembering that not all remote areas guarantee star gazing success. Indeed, even the light free environs of the countryside can prove fruitless for planet viewing if there are trees blocking your view of the southern horizon.
With seven decades’ experience, we here at Sherwoods are able to provide you with unrivalled specialisation in both our products and our advice. So, if you’re looking to by a telescope which will suit your budget, goals and needs perfectly, we really should be your first and only port of call.
Explore our pages further or call 01527 857500 to find out more.
Over the past few weeks I have been contacted by a small number of customers as their SLT / SE scopes are showing ‘Boot Load Error’ on the handset when turning on the scope. My advice, don’t panic ! It can be hugely frustrating I agree, but can be easily rectified by a quick download from the Celestron website http://bit.ly/WE9MCB. Click the link and save the downloaded Zip file, then simply unzip into a folder connect the handset data cable that was supplied with your scope (if you don’t have one we can supply one for you), turn on the scope (you may need to hold the ‘menu’ & ‘Logo’ buttons together whilst doing this) and run the program called CFM that you have just unzipped. The program then scans your serial ports looking for the scope and guides you through the rest of the process to re-install the handset firmware. The only snag maybe that you don’t have a serial port on your PC, if you don’t have one we can supply a USB – Serial port adapter to you. The whole process takes about 5 minutes and you shoud then be back up and running.
If you get into problems remember we are only a phone call away.
If you were lucky enough to receive a telescope as a gift for Christmas then now is the time to really enjoy it. Indeed, now that everything is back to normal and your weekends are once again free from the need to shop or decorate, you can finally spend some quality time getting to know all about your wonderful new gift.
Moreover, this time of year is a great period to be looking up at the stars. To be sure, the long nights which are part and parcel of a UK winter provide stargazers with plentiful opportunities to wrap up warm and enjoy a few hours of exploring the awesome splendour of space.
If this is your first telescope then you may well be a little uncertain about how to get the best star gazing experience from it. Fortunately, this can be easily rectified as there are some great little tips and techniques which can help you to quickly get the most out of your new telescope.
Below are some of the most notable of these tips and techniques:
Always put your telescope outside at least half an hour before you plan on using it (and take the covers off it). Doing so will enable the optics and the air inside the tube to adjust to the temperature difference between your house and the outside world. If you don’t give it some prep time outside then your telescope’s lenses will almost certainly fog up, thereby degrading the quality of your observations.
Effective Night Vision
When looking for a place to set up your telescope outside, try and put it in the darkest area you can find (preferably as far away from house lights as you can manage). The reason for this is that your eyes will need to adjust slowly; and this will make a big difference in what you see!
Sadly, the tripods which come with most introductory telescopes are not well known for being overly stable. This means that you need to be very careful about the surface you set it up on. Wooden decking areas are to be avoided as these surfaces shake whenever there is a single movement on them. Remember, astronomical telescopes magnifying things a hundred times or more so the tiniest shake will be magnified a hundred times. When looking through your telescope, give it a few seconds to stabilise after moving it (and try to get into the habit of not touching it as you look through it).
Avoid Full Moons
It is best to avoid observing the night sky during a full moon. Indeed, the light from a full moon will simply ‘wash out’ a lot of things which are normally easy to see. The best nights are those with thin slivers of moon as they provide you with clear dark skies as well as wonderful crater shadows on the moon itself.
So there you have it – now all you have to do is enjoy!
Sherwoods Photo Ltd Orders & Information Telephone 01789-488880
Registered Office: The Arden Centre, Little Alne, Wootton Wawen, Warwickshire, B95 6HW - Registered in England No.00666856
Prices, availability, appearance, product descriptions, and accessories are based on available manufacturer information and are subject to change without notice.