BBC Sky at Night Magazine


Our equipment specialist cures your optical ailments and technical maladies

- With Steve Richards Email your queries to scopedocto­r@skyatnight­

I’m a new stargazer. I currently own a set of binoculars that let me view the Moon’s craters, but I’d like a telescope to start looking at the planets. What can you recommend for a mobility limited pensioner?


Close up views of the Moon and planets require a telescope with a long focal length and for compactnes­s and ease of setting up, a Maksutov Cassegrain on an altazimuth Go-To mount is hard to beat. A Maksutov-Cassegrain scope will also open up observatio­ns of galaxies, open star clusters, globular clusters, planetary nebulae and many other deep-sky objects.

Suitable instrument­s include the Sky-Watcher SkyMax 127, SynScan AZ Go-To or the Celestron NexStar 127SLT Computeris­ed Telescope.

Small altazimuth Go-To mounts like those above are light, simple to assemble and make for quick and easy location of objects, but they can be prone to vibration when adjusting the focus. They have internal battery compartmen­ts, but an external ‘PowerTank’ will help to provide plenty of power.

If you would prefer a manually operated mount then the Sky-Watcher SkyMax-127 AZ5 Deluxe would also be suitable and has the advantage of a very stable mount.

 ??  ?? ▲ Light and easy: the Celestron Nexstar 127SLT
▲ Light and easy: the Celestron Nexstar 127SLT
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