Telescope tinkering can be fun and rewarding.
You see much more of the universe in a steady view than in a jiggling view. Change your binocular observing forever with this easy-to-make stabilizer frame.
Ever since we first became serious about astronomy more than 20 years ago, we dreamed of having our own backyard observatory.
My current observatory is a multilevel structure. It began as a plan to mount my telescopes on the roof of a small barn on the property.
The backyard observatories of our editorial staff run the gamut from the elegantly simple to the luxuriously complete.
Three tools are commonly used to collimate Newtonian reflectors.
Accurate optical alignment is neither difficult, mysterious, nor time-consuming. In fact, it's only three steps away.
Size can be deceptive; this small observatory is remarkably practical.
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!
After working at Sky & Telescope for nearly a decade I got the chance to build the observatory I'd always wanted.
By day my observatory looks like an ordinary (if rather grandiose) garden shed. At night the roof sections go down and back up. They "flap" like a bird's wings.
The secondary-mirror offset is no doubt the most misunderstood aspect of collimation. Luckily you don't need to understand it to collimate your instrument.
Twenty weekends and countless trips to the building-supplies store later, I'd done it I had an observatory to call my own.
With just a little electrical know-how you can make an antidew heater that suits your scope.
Long-exposure astrophotography requires an accurately aligned equatorial mount.
Here are a few potential problems that you might not see on your blueprints.