Many budding astronomers want to view the skies in the best way possible, but with notoriously fickle cloud cover in the United Kingdom and light pollution from nearby cities and facilities, the chances of even glimpsing anything beyond the moon are almost zero. So what can you do to maximise your chances and keep your interest in astronomy flowering? The first step is naturally to invest in good astronomical telescopes but it can also benefit you to simply be sensible.
Weather reports will naturally be your friend, since it is senseless to travel to a dark area only to find that the skies above are opaque with clouds. There will however be times where the weather is ambiguous: some cloud cover, some chance of seeing the desired astronomical phenomena. This will purely be a matter of your discretion, but what might inform your decision to travel is the rarity of the event that you are seeing. Some events only come around once every decade, century or even many millennia, so with a little bit of research on the Internet, you can easily decide whether to travel.
Location is all important. Again this will be largely dictated by the phenomena you are going to see and where is the best location to see it. To see more distant objects it is best to reduce interfering light as much as possible which can mean travelling into the countryside to get away from it completely. It is important to be wary that certain geographical features can actually turn the weather against you, particularly in Britain. Finding a spot that is ideal will be of primary concern and is something that a local astronomical group might have already identified. Joining them is a great idea and one of the best ways to increase your interest in astronomy rather than invest in telescopes only then to leave them in storage.
Night vision could help but it depends on what you want to do. If you are wanting to experience the outdoors as well as the night sky, then this could have uses. Again, interference from light in the form of nearby cities, moonlight, floodlights or even car headlights can ruin everything, even your equipment! So long as the conditions are dark enough, you should be able to see astronomical phenomena without the need for night optics. If you are wanting to use it, however, Cobra Optics offer a great range that can be used for astronomy as well as camping, bird watching, hunting and so on. These devices are particularly sensitive and are often not designed to withstand buffeting or shocks, so you must be careful with night optics, otherwise it will be an expensive waste of money. Optics like this can often be attached to other pieces of equipment.
We have lots of information on our site concerning all manner different pieces of astronomy equipment. If however, you are not finding the answers you seek, please send us an email and we will be only too happy to assist.
Nature has a world of wonder to show us, but it can also present significant challenges to even the most experienced of photographers. Woodlands, forests and even jungles can all be difficult to take proper snaps or image through binoculars or telescopes, so it is reasonable to assume that a little help is needed. At Sherwoods Photo, we have a fantastic range of products that will make light work of even the most awkward of terrain, allowing you to get a truly spectacular perspective on wildlife.
Our Acuter Scopes are designed to be affordable, rugged and of a high quality. The Mak-70, for instance, is sleek and compact but will give you incredible magnification capability, so you don’t have to get up close potentially ruining your opportunity to image. The light transmission is some of the best around due to the Fully Multi-Coated design yielding fantastic resolution and contrast. One of the biggest problems effecting your shot is the focusing, with awkward or stiff operation causing your scope to wobble. The Mak-70 has a super smooth action making zooming a joy that won’t frustratingly impinge on your shot.
If you are wanting to step up in technology when imaging the natural world, then the Acuter DS-Pro ED series is a particularly good option. It offers waterproofing, which can allow you to make the most of a hidden world that exists in rain or snow. The design is all-premium, removing chromatic aberrations from shots while also offering super high contrast and pin-sharp colours. The fine focus Double Speed Focuser will give you a 15:1 ratio to allow you to get those all important shots as perfect as possible for professional grade work. It is an adaptable piece of kit as well since you can attach standard 1.25” Push-Fit telescope eyepieces, while the 20mm eye relief is great for those who are wearing glasses.
If you are wanting to go for bird watching binoculars or scopes, we have a great selection. Celestron are a renowned manufacturer of high quality bird watching scopes, each of which will benefit from the high quality, robust tripods that are available with them. If you are going for the Maksutov C90 Mak, then it is always best to pair it with a tripod especially made for the device. The C90 itself is a dual purpose scope that can be used for astronomy as well as for imaging the natural world. It is built to be compact and portable and will provide you with exceptionally crisp images, living up to its price tag as a premium, professional grade scope. The erect image system creates significant advantages for both terrestrial and astronomical use while the T-Adapter will allow you to attach cameras easily. The scope also offers significant versatility with a 32 mm eyepiece, 45° erect image diagonal and 8×21 erect image finderscope. The Celestron Granite Roof Prism is a great binocular to invest in with ED low dispersion glass offering fantastic resolutions and contrast.
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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.