PART VI: COMMON TELESCOPE ACCESSORY RECOMMENDATIONS
Our most popular accessories:
Dew Shields-these extend the tube forward and prevent
the formation pf dew on the front lens of a Refractor or Catadioptric
telescope (like a Schmidt-Cassegrain or a Maksutov-Cassegrain) by slowing
the cooling of the front lens as it radiates its heat into space.
Power Packs-portable batteries to give you power for
your telescope and its accessories when you are in the field, far from
a source of plug-in power. Car batteries are not designed to be discharged,
so this is a better idea than hooking up to your car¡¯s battery.
Barlow Lens-Doubling, Tripling, or more, the power of
your eyepiece when used in the telescope right in front of the eyepiece,
this can provide the extra power you need without costing as much as a
lot of eyepieces.
Additional Eyepieces-Scopes, today, usually come with
one, or at most two, eyepieces. But, objects in the sky come in all different
shapes and sizes, so a multiplicity of magnifications is often called
for in order to see different objects. Over time, most people develop
a set of eyepieces to cover all the possibilities such as wider fields
of view, or sharper images of the planets.
Planetary filters-these enhance the view of details
on the planets
Nebula Filters-these enhance your ability to see, and
see details in, nebulae
Solar Filters-These make solar viewing possible and
Upgrade Star Diagonal-For the refractor or catadioptric
telescope user, this can improve the quality of Images and expand the
maximum field of view at the same time.
Cleaning kit-All you need to clean any optical surface
safely except the mirrors. Mirrors require their own cleaning methods.
Observer¡¯s chair-Standing up is, well, uncomfortable.
Plus, it¡¯s a lot harder to hold your head steady to look through the eyepiece
when you¡¯re standing. These adjust to any necessary height and make viewing
Planisphere-Everyone should have one of these. Not only
can you teach yourself the constellations by using one, it will also tell
you at a glance what will be above the horizon any time of night any night
of the year.
Star Atlas-A map of the sky showing where all those
pretty objects are, this is an essential part of an astronomers gear.
These range from beginner to advanced.
Collimation Tool-An essential accessory for the Newtonian
telescope owner, this can make quick work of lining up the mirrors to
produce the sharpest possible images.
Accessories case-These come in all sizes. You need one
to carry your eyepieces and your stuff.
Telescope Case-Usually a bag or hard case for the tube
assembly, they can make transport safe and worry free, or simply keep
dust off when the telescope is not in use.
Vibration Suppression Pads-Designed to go under the
feet of a tripod, these can cut the shimmy from the mount in half, and
allow easier focusing at high powers by damping vibrations from wind,
motion of the scope, or even the beating of your own heart from your hand
on the focuser.
Focal Reducer-A useful tool for the photographer seeking
to put the whole field of his telescope on a camera chip, or for the visual
observer seeking the widest field possible in his telescope. For the catadioptric
telescope user only.
Coma Corrector-The short focal length Newtonian or dobsonian
telescope displays a smearing of the star images in the field of view
called Coma. This device essentially cancels it, producing better images.
Green Laser Pointer-Projecting a green laser beam about
5000¡¯ into the sky, this is a powerful teaching tool. You can easily point
out star patterns to your friends and family, and help a fellow astronomer
find an object in the sky. Caution: Never point at airplanes or people¡¯s
Red Dot Finder (RDF)-Telrad and Rigel are the brands
to look for, here. Essentially, you are looking through a window at the
sky only a bulls-eye pattern is projected on the window. These sure make
finding things in the sky easy , especially for the starhopper.
Digital Camera Adapter-this allows you to attach any
digital camera to a telescope to take pictures right through the eyepiece.
Makes Lunar and Planetary photos easy.
Lumicon Multiple Filter Selector-Coming in both 1-1/4¡±
and 2¡± versions, these make possible the near- instantaneous switching
of filters so a quick comparison can be made. These are primarily designed
to be used on catadioptric scopes, but may work in some refractors.
RA finder-Your neck tired of twisting to look through
that Straight-Through finder on your telescope? Try a Right Angle finder,
and quit bending. Some of these even have the option of upright images.
Binoviewer-They say using two eyes improves contrast
by 40%. Whether that¡¯s true or not, it¡¯s certainly more comfortable to
use 2 eyes to observe. This device allows you to view with both eyes.
It¡¯s only drawback? It requires you have two of every eyepiece.
Light Shroud-This is for the truss-tube dobsonian owner
only. It covers the truss tubes between the upper and lower tube assemblies,
and shuts out stray light. A popular accessory for the new Meade LightBridge
Camera Adapters-Depending on your camera and intended
target, these allow the camera to be mounted to a telescope.
Red LED flashlight-Red light will not damage your night
vision. A white light flashlight can destroy your night vision for up
to 45 minutes. This is essential at a star party, where consideration
for others is paramount. Use of a white light at a Star Party might get
you kicked out.
Binocular Tripod Adapter-this allows a pair of binoculars
to be mounted to a photo tripod, making higher power or larger binoculars
Piggyback camera adapter-these allow a camera to be
mounted to the back of a telescope, so that wide-field photography of
the sky can be done through the camera¡¯s standard lens.
Folding hand truck-this is a small, portable, dolly
that allows you to move your telescope and its equipment easily.
Binoviewers-a device that splits the image into two
so that, with the use of two identical eyepieces, both eyes can be used
for viewing through the telescope. Since it is estimated there is a 40%
increase in contrast by the use of two eyes instead of one, this is becoming
an attractive accessory.
Crayford Focuser-an improvement on the original focuser
in most scopes. They allow smoother focusing
at high powers, and eliminate image shift in catadioptric telescopes.