The Ten Best: Telescopes
Thursday 16 November 2006
1. EvoStar 102, £269
Highly regarded, reliable 102mm refracting telescope giving bright, contrasty images; can suffer from false colour, however. www.telescopes-direct.com; 020-7935 2580
2. Meade LX90 GPS, £1,729
This Go To telescope with a 200mm aperture knows the date, time and location, so just switch it on and wait for it to find its reference stars. www.telescopehouse.co.uk; 01892 550 100
3. Sky-Watcher Infinity 76P, £39.99
Fun for a child, but a 76mm reflector still gives bright images and a useful magnification of 30. Better than most toy-shop efforts. www.greenwich-observatory.co.uk; 01954 211 288
4. Skyhawk 1145PM, £139
A short-tube reflecting telescope, this has a motor drive that tracks objects as the sky turns. Excellent images even at 100 magnification. www.pulsar-optical.co.uk; 01353 699 448
5. Coronado PST, £439
Observes only the one object - the Sun - but gives breathtaking and safe views of its detail and fiery prominences; no eclipse needed. www.telescopehouse.co.uk; 01892 550 100
6. Celestron Firstscope 114EQ, £119
A basic astronomical telescope on equatorial mount, it offers good views and will show some planetary detail. Easy to set up. Long, portable models. www.celestron.uk.com; 01442 827 768
7. Meade ETX 105, £619
A classic portable Go To telescope, capable of giving top-quality views of planets. Photographic and computer accessories available. www.greenwich-observatory.co.uk; 01954 211 288
8. Celestron 102 SLT on Go To mount, £299
Go To mounts take the work - some say the fun - out of discovery. Line it up on any three stars and it will find any object in its huge database.
www.telescopeshop.co.uk; 01373 474 763
9. Sky-Watcher 130PM, £199
An all-rounder very popular with amateurs. This is large enough that you can really start to see detail on a range of objects. www.telescopes-direct.com; 020-7935 2580
10. Celestron CGE 925 with Go To, £4,259
Top of the line: exquisite planetary detail under good conditions, this is for the enthusiast. But you'll need an observatory: it is not exactly portable. www.celestron.uk.com; 01442 827 768
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