I first saw the craters on the moon through my dad's 30x30mm terrestrial refractor at the age of five, and my interest was awakened.
I saw Jupiter and its moons through a friend's 60mm refractor at thirteen, and I was hooked.
I have spent nearly 50 years looking through telescopes at the night sky.
Allow me to share my telescope knowledge with you!
Last updated: May 2020
If you'd like the chance to win a robotic GoTo telescope, just answer some simple questions for 'GoStargazing'
and you'll be entered into the draw... Please don't forget to come back here once you've done it!
Me and my 127mm f11.8
SkyWatcher EQ3 Mak-Cass.
Me and my 90mm f13.8
SkyWatcher Mak 90.
(Little brother to the Mak at top)
Over the last forty eight years I've had a number of fantastic telescopes, and some not-so-fantastic telescopes too!
This experience, and the use of the instruments over my astronomical career has given me a wealth of knowledge regarding astronomical instrumentation that this website will pass on to you.
I can answer your questions about telescopes. There are two ways you can do this: Browse the free guides or get in touch with your question and I'll do what I can to answer you.
Whatever your telescope query. Whether you are just starting out and need advice on the best way to get started or you're a seasoned observer who's looking for an information site for friends. Here you will find my friendly telescope advice pages.
I'm not here trying to sell you anything - This website is for information and education.
I had the guides for several years (In the case of some, since 2008) and I thought it was high time I made them all available under one umbrella, so to speak.
Me and my 150mm f5
Me and my 130mm f5
(Little brother to the Newtonian at top)
Me and my 120mm f8.33
Please take a few moments to visit my 'Mission Statement' and 'Testimonials' page if you feel the need to clarify this website's intentions.
ENJOY THE GUIDES: They're FREE... But, the information is priceless!
Me and my 200mm f5.0
Telescope Help: Please scroll down to view my astronomy and telescope guides.
Caveat Emptor - Don't buy a lemon!
This information has been written with the beginner in mind. Sometimes beginners make all sorts of errors when planning their optical equipment. Some will buy a tiny telescope because it magnifies 525 times. Some will buy any telescope by a certain manufacturer because most of the other beginners they know have told them that these are good telescopes...
"My Celesial-German7-Scope 52mm f19 Catadioptric-Newtonian, it's amazing - I can even see Jupiter's moons!!!" They're not very experienced - Please, don't listen to their advice!
Read these guides to find out the information you need to buy a useful telescope.
These guides will give you the knowledge you need so that you can make a good choice and move forwards in the enthralling hobby of amateur astronomy.
Excerpt: One of the most watched telescopes on eBay is a TINY 76mm Newtonian reflector! Such an instrument would be
Invest a few minutes to discover what you need to know when buying a telescope.
This guide gives you ALL the basics of astronomical telescope knowledge.
Excerpt: I'm often asked, by people who have read my Telescope buying guide 'Complete Essentials', the following question.
"I want to start with a good telescope. What would you recommend is the best value 'proper' telescope that I can buy that will show me all the wonders of the planets of the solar system?"
Excerpt: I'm often
asked, by people who have read my Telescope buying guide 'Complete Essentials', the following question.
"I'm just starting in astronomy, what is the cheapest 'proper' telescope that I can buy that will show me all the wonders of the solar system, galaxies, nebulae, double stars and star-clouds?"
Excerpt: I'm often asked, by people who have read my Telescope buying guide
'Complete Essentials', the following question.
"I'm just starting in astronomy, what is the cheapest 'proper' GoTo telescope that I can buy that will show me all the wonders of the solar system, galaxies, nebulae, double stars and star-clouds?"
is not the be-all-and-end-all of telescopes!
You can see a surprising amount with relatively modest magnifications - If you were to pin me down and say I could only have ONE eyepiece (therefore one magnification) I would choose one which gave about 150x magnification...
finder, or finder-scope, is an important part of your telescope. It is a small, low magnification wide field telescope which is set-up so that the crosshairs precisely line up with the
centre of the field of view of the main scope...
Excerpt: There has been much written about telescopes in this website with only a brief mention of binoculars. These are indispensible equipment to go alongside your telescope, but also as in instrument in their own right they can provide many hours of viewing pleasure...
Excerpt: If you're looking to get the biggest telescope for your money you will consider second hand telescopes. The biggest market for these, by far, is eBay, where you can browse many different sizes and manufacturers at very keen prices...
Newtonian reflectors often have spherical figured mirrors. The mirror's shape is incredibly accurate and MUST be parabolic to bring all the rays of light to the same focus.
Some manufacturers of small telescopes sometimes don't bother with this final 'figuring' of the mirror...
OK - So you've bought yourself a nice reflector of the Newtonian variety and you suspect that it may be out of alignment. (Stars look like comets with spikes off to one side!) Most telescopes will be pretty well collimated even straight out of the box...
This is a link to an album on Flickr showing the many telescopes that I have owend or used. There is useful information below each photo for your information.