On the Road with David Levy

An Old Warrior Telescope Lives On

A unique telescope, built by a unique man, finds new life in New Mexico as Sky & Telescope contributing editor David H. Levy explains while "On the Road."

People, Places, and Events

The Oregon Star Party

Located 40 miles from the nearest town, the Oregon Star Party is one of the premier dark-sky astronomy gatherings in the United States.

People, Places, and Events

A Root of Amateur Astronomy Unearthed

Russell W. Porter, the founder of amateur telescope making in America, was still virtually unknown when he built a 16-inch reflector for his home on the Maine coast.

Telescope Control

Equipment: Guides & Recommendations

Handy Controller

Even Harry Potter would enjoy this method of steering a scope.

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!


Astronomy Questions & Answers

Can you adjust a f/7.7 spherical mirror to act like a f/8.0 parabolidal mirror by racking the focus farther out?

My 114-millimeter (4.5-inch) Newtonian reflector came with an f/7.7 spherical mirror. I can purchase a 114-mm f/8.0 paraboloidal mirror. Can I simply adjust for the 34 mm of added focal length by racking the focuser farther out, or should I extend the main tube? Either way, is the upgrade worth…

Hobby-based Q&A

How is the date of Easter determined?

How is the date of Easter determined? The rule most people remember is that Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first full Moon following the March equinox. In practice, Roman Catholic and Protestant churches follow a method of calculation adopted with the Gregorian calendar reform of 1582. The…

Hobby-based Q&A

What size first telescope mirror should I make?

What size is best for someone’s first attempt at making a telescope mirror? Most books on telescope making recommend starting with either a 6- or an 8-inch mirror, and that’s good advice. Either size is suitable for a first-timer, but a 6-inch will probably take a little less time to…