Stargazer's Corner: Adventures Under the Night Sky

rDUINOScope Boiana: DIY Go To Unit

Frustrated with the high cost of a proprietary Go To, the author developed a free, open source, DIY option, rDUINOScope Boiana.


A Compact, Lightweight Solar Projection Viewer

Learn how to make a travel-friendly solar projection viewer for your telescope for the next total solar eclipse!

Tilting the binos to fit the eyes

DIY: Astronomy Projects & Guidance

Image Stabilize Your Binoculars

You see much more of the universe in a steady view than in a jiggling view. Change your binocular observing forever with this easy-to-make stabilizer frame.

chained telescope

DIY: Astronomy Projects & Guidance

Tune Up Your Telescope

Telescope tinkering can be fun and rewarding.

Collimate Newtonian Reflector

Stargazing Basics

How to Align Your Newtonian Reflector Telescope

Accurate optical alignment is neither difficult, mysterious, nor time-consuming. In fact, it's only three steps away.

foam-pad dew shield

DIY: Astronomy Projects & Guidance

Dealing With Dew: Dew Heaters, Dew Shields and More

How to keep your optics dry and clear even on the dampest, dewiest nights.

ready for the stars

Stargazing Basics

The Observatories of Sky & Telescope

The backyard observatories of our editorial staff run the gamut from the elegantly simple to the luxuriously complete.

dome sweet dome

DIY: Astronomy Projects & Guidance

Our Stairway to the Stars

Ever since we first became serious about astronomy more than 20 years ago, we dreamed of having our own backyard observatory.

di Cicco Observatory

Stargazing Basics

Think Big (and Small)

My current observatory is a multilevel structure. It began as a plan to mount my telescopes on the roof of a small barn on the property.

Stargazing Basics

A Simple Home Observatory in Your Backyard

Size can be deceptive; this small home observatory is remarkably practical.

Removing Mirror

Stargazing Basics

How to Care for Your Telescope Optics the Right Way

The mirror in your telescope will probably work fine with a bit of dust on it, but if it's really dirty, you may want to clean it — carefully!

dew-it-yourself heater

DIY: Astronomy Projects & Guidance

DIY Dew Heater

With just a little electrical know-how you can make an antidew heater that suits your scope.

ready to observe

Stargazing Basics

My Place in the Dark

Twenty weekends and countless trips to the building-supplies store later, I'd done it — I had an observatory to call my own.

plenty of elbow room

DIY: Astronomy Projects & Guidance

An Observatory with Sails

After working at Sky & Telescope for nearly a decade I got the chance to build the observatory I'd always wanted.

ready for the stars

DIY: Astronomy Projects & Guidance

My "Flapping Roof" Observatory

By day my observatory looks like an ordinary (if rather grandiose) garden shed. At night the roof sections go down and back up. They "flap" like a bird's wings.

click here for complete diagram

DIY: Astronomy Projects & Guidance

Offsetting Your Secondary Mirror

The secondary-mirror offset is no doubt the most misunderstood aspect of collimation. Luckily you don't need to understand it to collimate your instrument.

ready for action

DIY: Astronomy Projects & Guidance

A Compact Backyard Observatory

A personal telescope shelter doesn't have to take up a lot of yard space.

Aligning an equatorial mount on Polaris

DIY: Astronomy Projects & Guidance

Accurate Polar Alignment with Your Telescope

Long-exposure astrophotography requires an accurately aligned equatorial mount.


Stargazing Basics

8 Backyard Observatory Mistakes to Avoid

Here are a few potential problems that you might not see on your blueprints.

outstanding collimation aid

Stargazing Basics

Collimation Tools

Three tools are commonly used to collimate Newtonian reflectors.