61–80 of 88 results

Astronomy & Observing News

Meade Steps into the Sunshine

Telescope giant Meade Instruments will acquire Coronado Technology Group, the leading manufacturer of hydrogen-alpha filters and telescopes for solar observing.

New Product Showcase

Laid-Back Astronomy

Binoculars are one of the best ways to explore the starry night sky. The StarSeeker, a motorized observing chair from Bigha, offers an incredibly comfortable way to scan the heavens with two eyes.

New Product Showcase

Make Way for the LightBridge

Finally a mass-produced Dobsonian telescope with a truss-tube design — until now a feature found only on homemade and premium-priced commercial instruments.

di Cicco Observatory

DIY: Astronomy Projects & Guidance

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.

Astronomy & Observing News

Case Closed: Celestron and Meade End Litigation

The multi-year legal battles between telescope giants Meade and Celestron have been mutually resolved.

Celestron SkyScout

New Product Showcase

SkyScout Hits the Street

The first production models of Celestron's SkyScout began shipping in July, and we had one in time to begin our testing late last month. Here's our first impression.

Comin' our way Friday


Hunting Asteroids From Your Backyard

You can discover an asteroid tonight. Digital technology and the CCD revolution have given amateurs the ability to do it. Here's how.

Stargazing Basics

A Simple Home Observatory in Your Backyard

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

Astronomy Questions & Answers

What does "lignes" mean for aperture of antique telescope?

Paging through a reproduction of the 1909 Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalog, I found a telescope with an aperture of 25 lignes. Are you familiar with that term? In short, no. We’re also surprised to learn that such an archaic measurement was attached to a “modern” telescope. A ligne is…


Hobby-based Q&A

Why do Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes have focal ratios of f/10?

Why do most if not all of the Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope I see advertised have focal ratios of f/10? During the past 20 years or so, amateurs have favored shorter tubes for both refractors and reflectors, even if it meant paying for more costly optics. Portability is the chief motivation -…

Gaussian function

Astronomy Questions & Answers

What does "error" mean?

In your product reviews, when you state that a telescope drive has a periodic error of, say, 10 arcseconds, do you mean that it has a tracking accuracy of ±10 arcseconds or ±5 arcseconds? All gear systems have inherent mechanical errors that limit the accuracy with which a telescope drive…

Tim Hunter and his telescope

Astronomy Questions & Answers

How Can Amateurs Find Asteroids?

In a 1996 article titled “Hunting Asteroids,” you said a dedicated amateur could discover an asteroid on almost any night using a CCD-equipped 8-inch telescope. Is that still true today? It was easier for backyard observers to discover asteroids a few years ago. Today, massive professional surveys such as LINEAR,…

SLRs: film (left) and digital (right)

Hobby-based Q&A

Why do people doing CCD imaging often stack five 1-minute exposures instead of taking just one 5-minute exposure?

Why do people doing CCD imaging often stack, say, five 1-minute exposures instead of taking just one 5-minute exposure? Modern digital cameras capture faint astronomical objects with much shorter exposures than their film-based counterparts did, but it still takes an exposure of many minutes to produce a good picture. So-called…

Twilight view, September 6th

Hobby-based Q&A

Should you set your digital camera to a low or high ISO value in twilight?

When I’m shooting a planetary grouping in twilight, should I set my digital camera to a low or a high ISO value? The easiest way to answer this question is to make test exposures of a skyline during twilight, with or without planets. Try all the available ISO values (analogous…

Centaur 2nd-stage rocket

Celestial News & Events

What was the cloud spotted near the western horizon August 31, 2004?

Around 9 p.m. on August 31, 2004, I saw a bright patch of light about half the size of the Moon near the western horizon. It moved slowly upward and fluctuated somewhat in brightness. Through an 8-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope here in New Bloomfield, Pennsylvania, there were two points of light…

Astronomy Questions & Answers

How can an astrophoto shot through a refractor have diffraction spikes on bright stars?

In your Gallery department (S&TSeptember 2004, page 144), you had a nice image of the star Pollux showing diffraction spikes. That suggests it was taken with a Newtonian reflector, but the accompanying note says a Takahashi refractor was used. Where did the spikes come from? Many imaging enthusiasts like the…

sigma 3053

Hobby-based Q&A

Where can I find double star SAO numbers for my Go To telescope?

I want to observe double stars, but my Go To telescope needs their SAO numbers. Where can I get them? SAO numbers come from the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Star Catalog (1966). They aren’t normally used by double-star enthusiasts, who prefer special notations such as ADS 1630, S748, and Krueger 60.…

German Equatorial Mount

Astronomy Questions & Answers

How can I get my German equatorial mount to hold its tilt?

My old German equatorial mount won't hold the proper tilt for my latitude. What can I do? Believe it or not, grease the threads and washer of the large bolt that clamps the polar-axis housing to the tripod head. Then tighten it. — Dennis di Cicco

Equipment: Guides & Recommendations

Meade's RCX400: Raising the Bar

The 12-inch RCX400 telescope from Meade Instruments, shown on its field tripod.S&T photo by Craig Michael Utter. When Meade Instruments announced its new RCX400 line of catadioptric telescopes in early 2005, it created such a buzz in the astronomical community that I visited the company's Irvine, California, headquarters to look…

Astronomy & Observing News

Meade CEO Announces Retirement

Steven G. Murdock, who has been at the helm of Meade Instruments since 1990, has announced his retirement. in the coming months.