When it comes to watching the night sky, any astronomer worth their salt will know the best kit to buy. For those that are just starting, it can be much more challenging. So many brands and companies out there create great high-end, low-cost telescopes and accessories. It can be hard to know where to start without a slight nudge in the right direction.
That’s why we offer you a nudge towards Sky-Watcher.
Sky-Watcher is the brainchild of David Shen, a man with a history of loving astronomy. His days working at research institutes in Taiwan helped fuel his desire for the best in stargazing tech. So much so that he established his optics factory in 1990 before launching Sky-Watcher in 1999.
Since then, Sky-Watcher has focused its attention on two goals – improving commercial telescopes’ overall quality and reducing their cost. It has succeeded in both of these goals, becoming a world-renowned supplier of high-quality scopes and accessories. Now, Sky-Watcher enjoys a position of greatness in providing these telescopes – and their accumulated knowledge – to astronomers, new and old.
The Sky-Watcher Catalog
When it comes to telescopes, there are two things you always need – the scope and a mount. But it’s never quite that simple, as there are several different types of telescopes on the market. Sky-Watcher provides some fantastic examples of the three main types: reflector, refractor, and compound.
Each function in its way has its advantages and disadvantages. But one thing is for sure—Sky-Watcher makes fine quality products that astronomers and hobbyist stargazers worldwide enjoy and appreciate.
1) Reflector Telescopes
Reflector telescopes are the cheapest available type of telescope. They feature a simple design with a mirror at the far end reflecting light from the aperture to a viewing port. The image is focused by adjusting the positions of the mirrors and lens inside the telescope’s tube. They usually require the shortest tripods or a table mount and have the biggest tube. They also require maintenance, as their open tubes are prone to dust and debris build-up.
2) Refractor Telescopes
These telescopes are simpler to use than reflectors, as they don’t require any lens adjustment or maintenance. They use a large refractor lens at the aperture end of the telescope’s body to feed light to a viewing port at the opposite end. Their bodies are significantly longer than reflector telescopes, meaning they usually need much bigger mounts for tripods to hold them. They also cost more than reflector telescopes but make up for the higher cost in their easier use.
An example is the Sky-Watcher EvoStar 72. It’s a refractor telescope boasting a matched doublet objective with a synthetic fluorite element. Combined with metallic high-transmission coatings and fine quality glass, this model offers excellent color correction and sharp images for photographic uses.
3) Compound Telescopes
Also known as catadioptric telescopes, compound telescopes use a combination of mirrors and refractor lenses to create a clean and clear image. Light passes through a refractor lens at the aperture end and is reflected off a mirror at the back end. It then bounces again into a viewing port, where the image resolves itself. These are much smaller than the other types of telescopes but just as powerful for them. They need short to medium-sized mounts and also require regular collimation. These are best used by people with experience in star gazing but are a fantastic way to view the stars.
In Sky-watcher’s range, the Heritage 130mm Dobsonian Tabletop carries properties of a compound telescope. It combines the optical tube and the base into one tabletop package, making it portable and easy to store. Think you’ll need to assemble it from scratch? Think again, because the Heritage 130 comes assembled out-of-the-box. It’s the ideal telescope for budding astronomers.
What to Consider Before Investing in Sky-watcher?
Before buying your new Sky-Watcher telescope, it always pays to ensure you’ve found the right one. You should make some considerations that will help you decide which you need. Consider the following points, and you’ll be on the right track to your stargazing future.
Where am I going to stargaze from?
The location you plan to engage in your astronomy hobby is a factor many people only consider once it is too late. This is something that will have a big impact on the kind of telescope you buy. If you’re the kind of person who wants to set up a telescope in your backyard, then that leaves you open to anything. However, if you have another place in mind or want to search for the best stargazing hill, you’ll need to think about it. Some of the pieces on offer from Sky-Watcher are light and easy to set up, making them great for transportation. Others are much bulkier and better set up once and left.
What do I want to see with my telescope?
The specs of a telescope will determine what it can see. The two main aspects that you’ll need to know are the focal length and the aperture size. The focal length is the distance between the aperture and the viewing port, determining how far the telescope can see. The aperture is the size of the telescope’s front end that allows light in. The bigger the aperture, the bigger the area of space you will see. If you want to navigate the farthest depths of space, you’ll need a large focal length. A bigger aperture is best for observing whole constellations or areas of space.
What can I afford to spend?
As with any hobby, astronomy will cost you to get started. Decent telescopes can set you back as little as $100 but can easily get into the thousands. If you’re starting, it’s always best to start cheap (but good, as Sky-Watcher will provide) and upgrade later. You may not know whether stargazing is for you until after, and you don’t want to have dropped a thousand on something you’ll only use once.
Sky-watcher makes a variety of telescopes, some being more advanced than others. For those looking to invest in a new telescope device, options like 127mm SkyMax Maksutov-Cassegrain make spending on this brand worth the investment. This particular telescope blends the latest technology with Sky-Watcher’s advanced equipment, offering people to control their view from their tablet or smartphone.
If you use a DSLR, you won’t even need an intervalometer timer with some Sky-Watcher telescope models—they feature a pre-set exposure setting of up to 60 seconds. This means they can leverage the auxiliary shutter release cable to trigger a DSLR.
If you’re looking to get into astronomy, Sky-Watcher has your back. Their selection of high-quality yet affordable telescopes is a great option for anyone starting. With our advice, you’ll find your dream telescope and lead yourself into a lifelong obsession with the stars above.