In the shops

The lat­est books, apps, soft­ware, tech and ac­ces­sories for space and as­tron­omy fans alike

All About Space - - Stargazer -

1. Book How to Live in Space

Cost: £16.99 (ap­prox $21.50) From: An­dre Deutsch Ltd

With mis­sions to the Moon and Mars planned in the near fu­ture, fre­quent All About Space writer Colin Stu­art de­scribes the prac­ti­cal­i­ties and dif­fi­cul­ties of liv­ing be­yond Earth. Mak­ing use of in­fo­graph­ics and im­ages, Stu­art’s book is split into four parts. The first sec­tion is an in­tro­duc­tion to space travel, look­ing at its his­tory from Yuri Ga­garin through to as­tro­nauts liv­ing on the In­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion, ex­plain­ing how we get into space with pow­er­ful rock­ets. Next up is a chap­ter de­scrib­ing as­tro­naut train­ing, de­tail­ing ev­ery­thing from how as­tro­nauts are se­lected, to what it is like to go on a cen­trifuge or the fa­mous ‘Vomit Comet’ aero­plane for zero-grav­ity train­ing, to ac­tu­ally get­ting into space and dock­ing with the ISS. The third part looks at how as­tro­nauts live in space, from eat­ing and drink­ing to the in­evitable de­scrip­tion of how as­tro­nauts go to the toi­let, and more straight-faced fare such as pro­tec­tion from so­lar ra­di­a­tion. Fi­nally, the books ends with a look to the fu­ture and how as­tro­nauts will ex­pe­ri­ence new mis­sions to the Moon, Mars, as­ter­oids and per­haps, one day, in­ter­stel­lar travel.

2. Find­er­scope Omegon red dot fin­der

Cost: £17.90 (ap­prox $22.70) From: omegon.eu

Find­ing a de­sired ce­les­tial ob­ject through the eye­piece of your tele­scope can be dif­fi­cult; your field of view through the eye­piece is usu­ally quite nar­row, and if you’re us­ing a re­flect­ing tele­scope the im­age is also up­side down. Fin­der­scopes, which are low- or zero-mag­ni­fi­ca­tion point­ing de­vices at­tached to the tube of your tele­scope, are the an­swer. This red dot fin­der from Omegon makes things even eas­ier. It sports a frosted glass panel with zero mag­ni­fi­ca­tion, mean­ing it shows the sky as it ac­tu­ally is, upon which a red LED dot is su­per­im­posed. Sim­ply align the red dot with what­ever you want to look at in the sky – say the planet Jupiter – and hey presto, your tele­scope will then also be aligned with Jupiter, sav­ing you the task of nudg­ing your ‘scope around look­ing for it. Omegon’s red dot fin­der is made for use on Sky-Watcher, Ce­le­stron and Vixen brack­ets that can at­tach to any tele­scope, and fea­tures a dim­ming func­tion so you can make that red dot as bright or as faint as you are com­fort­able with just by turn­ing a knob.

3. Eye­piece Omegon Su­per Wide An­gle

Cost: from £90-£126 (ap­prox $114-160) From: omegon.eu

Su­per-wide an­gle (SWA) eye­pieces pro­vide re­ally wide views of the night sky, per­fect for tak­ing in ex­tended deep-sky ob­jects such as gal­ax­ies, neb­u­lae and star clus­ters. This re­vamped range of SWA eye­pieces from Omegon sport grip­pable rub­ber ar­mour, a more com­fort­able eye­cup with eye re­lief suit­able for glasses-wear­ers, in­ter­nal baf­fling to re­duce light scat­ter and high-def­i­ni­tion views all the way to the edge of the field, with barely any dis­tor­tion to the im­age.

There are six eye­pieces in the range, with fo­cal lengths of 38mm, 32mm, 26mm, 20mm, 15mm and 10mm. The 38mm, 32mm and 26mm have two-inch bar­rel di­am­e­ters and enor­mous true fields of view. The 20mm, 15mm and 10mm va­ri­eties have 1.25-inch bar­rels. Their 70-de­gree ap­par­ent field of view means you’ll feel like you’re float­ing among the stars in no time.

4. App NASA Space Im­ages

Cost: Free From: iTunes/Google Play NASA’s var­i­ous space mis­sions, from the Hub­ble Space Tele­scope to New Hori­zons, pro­duce a vast amount of won­der­ful space im­agery, and now they’ve all been wrapped up to­gether in this third ver­sion of NASA/JPL’s Space Im­ages app. Fea­tures in­clude the abil­ity to share im­ages from the app on so­cial me­dia, save the best im­ages to your favourites folder, turn im­ages into back­grounds or wall­pa­pers for your de­vices, browse through hun­dreds of im­ages and videos with de­tailed cap­tions de­scrib­ing each im­age and a com­pre­hen­sive search mode. The app works in con­junc­tion with the Jet Propul­sion Lab­o­ra­tory’s new Space Im­ages web­site at jpl.nasa.gov/ jplim­ages. Best of all this app is free, so there’s no ex­cuse not to down­load it and start shar­ing won­der­ful im­ages of the cos­mos.

“Their 70-de­gree ap­par­ent field of view means you’ll feel like you’re float­ing among the stars in no time”

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