Blog Archives

ESO : Their telescopes and the Universe

Europe to the Stars : The European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) first 50 years of exploring the southern sky.

Large Telescopes And Why We Need Them – Professor Carolin Crawford

Beyond the Solar System, all astronomers have to work with is the light that falls to the Earth from distant cosmic objects. Newer, larger telescopes are always needed to boost scientific progress, and the next generation of facilities – whether the 42m diameter optical-infrared Extremely Large Telescope, or the Square Kilometre Array of radio dishes – will represent a huge advance. We shall look at the science driving the need for such large telescopes, through history and to the present-day and beyond. Many scientific and engineering challenges are involved in the design and construction of the largest telescopes and their mirrors, and technological developments will be essential to their success.

Seeing Beyond – The James Webb Space Telescope

The Webb Space Telescope is NASA’s next great orbiting observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope’s successor. This video, narrated by “Deep Astronomy” host Tony Darnell, draws the line between the two telescopes, explaining how Webb will build upon and continue Hubble’s work exploring the universe.

Telescope Basics: Understanding telescope finders, types, and alignment

New telescopes come with a couple different types of inexpensive finders – magnifying and non-magnifying ones. In this video, David Fuller of “Eyes on the Sky” takes the viewer through the various types of basic finders, highlighting the benefits and drawbacks of each so the viewer can make a better educated decision when purchasing a new telescope. Also covered is how to align a finderscope with the main telescope, with a visual demonstration of how it might look for the viewer.

Telescope Basics: Learn the basics about barlow lenses for telescopes

Barlow lenses are an inexpensive – and often effective – way to increase the magnification and eyepiece collection of amateur astronomers. In this video, David Fuller of “Eyes on the Sky” takes the viewer through the various types, caveats and benefits with using them, as well as what to look for when shopping for one.

Telescope Basics: Understanding telescope and apparent field of view in telescopes

This video about the basics of telescopes discusses field of view, in particular, the difference between apparent field of view (AFOV) and telescopic field of view (TFOV). With an explanation of the math used to calculate these plus various examples of the calculations and visuals, the viewer can finish this video with a more complete understanding of this concept that is often confusing to beginning amateur astronomers who are new to telescopes.

Telescope Basics: Understanding the most common eyepiece sizes and types for telescopes

Hosted by David Fuller of “Eyes on the Sky,” this video goes over the various sizes and types of basic eyepieces for many amateur telescopes. The three most common eyepiece barrel diameters are discussed, as well as the types of lens configurations which determine how well the eyepiece forms an image for the user – including the concept of eye relief which can matter a lot to those who wear eyeglasses. Discussed are Huygens, Ramsden, Kellner, RKE, Modified Achromat, Plossl and some advanced designs, plus some information about anti-reflection coatings. An excellent primer for anyone wanting to understand more about telescope eyepieces.

Telescope Basics: Learn to calculate magnification for a telescope/understand focal ratios

Hosted by David Fuller of “Eyes on the Sky,” this video discusses the basics of telescope magnification and focal ratio. Each concept is covered, guiding the viewer through how to calculate magnification of a telescope and eyepiece combination, and how to determine the focal ratio of a given telescope. An excellent primer for anyone wanting to understand more about telescopes.

Telescope Basics: The Three Types of Telescopes Explained by David Fuller

Top 5 tips for improving planetary views with your telescope

In this video Robert gives you our top five tips to coax the best possible views of planets regardless of the cost or quality of your telescope.

It doesn’t matter if your telescope costs tens, or thousands : it always makes sense to try to get the best views you possibly can when observing planets. And sometimes improving the view involves no more than selecting the best site available to you to set up the telescope or using the telescope within its ideal power range — this video will give you the information you need to consistently get the best views of planets with your telescope.

Presented by Robert J Dalby FRAS

Produced by A.R.B Media Productions for Astronomy and Nature TV

Observing Planets: Optimising your View

Robert J Dalby FRAS of The Astronomy and Nature Centre explains how to observe planets.

Getting consistently good views of planets and other targets in the night sky can seem a bit hit and miss to the new telescope user. In this video look at a couple of the most basic variables that can affect the resolution and detail seen in planetary observation. Learn how and when to address the target to optimise image quality with any telescope.