Supercooper Telescope Help:

The wonders of the 'Autumn Sky' are on show. It's an excellent time to have a look at what the night sky has to offer whilst not having to endure the freezing temperatures of the 'Winter Sky'!

I first saw the craters on the moon through my dad's 30x30mm terrestrial refractor at the age of five, and my interest was awakened. 

I saw Jupiter and its moons through a friend's 60mm refractor at thirteen, and I was hooked.

I have spent nearly 50 years looking through telescopes at the night sky.


Allow me to share my telescope knowledge with you!


Last updated: November 2019

Me and my 127mm f11.8

SkyWatcher EQ3 Mak-Cass.

Me and my 90mm f13.8

SkyWatcher Mak 90.

(Little brother to the Mak at top)

If you need help with any aspect of choosing or using a telescope for astronomy ...Look no further than these web pages.


Over the last forty eight years I've had a number of fantastic telescopes, and some not-so-fantastic telescopes too! 


This experience, and the use of the instruments over my astronomical career has given me a wealth of knowledge regarding astronomical instrumentation that this website will pass on to you. 


I can answer your questions about telescopes.  There are two ways you can do this: Browse the free guides or get in touch with your question and I'll do what I can to answer you.



Whatever your telescope query.  Whether you are just starting out and need advice on the best way to get started or you're a seasoned observer who's looking for an information site for friends.  Here you will find my friendly telescope advice pages.


I'm not here trying to sell you anything - This website is for information and education.


I had the guides for several years (In the case of some, since 2008) and I thought it was high time I made them all available under one umbrella, so to speak.

Me and my 150mm f5

SkyWatcher Newtonian.

Me and my 130mm f5

SkyWatcher 130P.

(Little brother to the Newtonian at top)

Me and my 120mm f8.33

Celestron XLT120


Please take a few moments to visit my 'Mission Statement' and 'Testimonials' page if you feel the need to clarify this website's intentions.


ENJOY THE GUIDES: They're FREE... But, the information is priceless!

Me and my 102mm f4.9

SkyWatcher StarTravel 102

Telescope Help: Please scroll down to view my astronomy and telescope guides.

                                           Caveat Emptor - Don't buy a lemon!

This information has been written with the beginner in mind.  Sometimes beginners make all sorts of errors when planning their optical equipment.  Some will buy a tiny telescope because it magnifies 525 times.  Some will buy any telescope by a certain manufacturer because most of the other beginners they know have told them that these are good telescopes... 


"My Celesial-German7-Scope 52mm f19 Catadioptric-Newtonian, it's amazing - I can even see Jupiter's moons!!!"


                                                      They're not very experienced - Don't listen to their advice!


Read the guides to find out the information you need to buy a useful telescope.  Some telescope companies are trading on their good reputation honestly earned.  Some are trading on their historical reputation, but their current manufacturing is slipshod and well below par.  They have rivals who produce much better telescopes, more cheaply.  You need to be able to sort the good telescopes from the bad, regardless of 'Branding'. 


These guides will give you the knowledge you need so that you can make a good choice and move forwards in the enthralling hobby of amateur astronomy. 

The guides:

Excerpt: One of the most watched telescopes on eBay is a TINY 76mm Newtonian reflector!  Such an instrument would be a mistake...
Invest a few minutes to discover what you need to know when buying a telescope.

This guide gives you ALL the basics of astronomical telescope knowledge.

Excerpt: The most important thing to know before you start...  It's easy to set up sufficient for visual observing and it is something that can be done in under a minute with a little practice.  

This guide is intended for those wanting to learn how to set up their telescope for simple visual observation.

Excerpt: I'm often asked, by people who have read my Telescope buying guide 'Complete Essentials', the following question.
"I want to start with a good telescope. What would you recommend is the best value 'proper' telescope that I can buy that will show me all the wonders of the planets of the solar system?"

Excerpt: I'm often asked, by people who have read my Telescope buying guide 'Complete Essentials', the following question.
"I'm just starting in astronomy, what is the cheapest 'proper' telescope that I can buy that will show me all the wonders of the solar system, galaxies, nebulae, double stars and star-clouds?"

Excerpt: Magnification is not the be-all-and-end-all of telescopes!
You can see a surprising amount with relatively modest magnifications - If you were to pin me down and say I could only have ONE eyepiece (therefore one magnification) I would choose one which gave about 150x magnification...

Excerpt: The finder, or finder-scope, is an important part of your telescope.  It is a small, low magnification wide field telescope which is set-up so that the crosshairs precisely line up with the centre of the field of view of the main scope...

Excerpt: There has been much written about telescopes in this website with only a brief mention of binoculars.  These are indispensible equipment to go alongside your telescope, but also as in instrument in their own right they can provide many hours of viewing pleasure...


Excerpt: If you're looking to get the biggest telescope for your money you will consider second hand telescopes.  The biggest market for these, by far, is eBay, where you can browse many different sizes and manufacturers at very keen prices...


Excerpt: Small Newtonian reflectors often have spherical figured mirrors.  The mirror's shape is incredibly accurate and MUST be parabolic to bring all the rays of light to the same focus.
Some manufacturers of small telescopes sometimes don't bother with this final 'figuring' of the mirror...

I get letters from beginners who are having a bit of trouble finding or seeing details on objects in their telescopes. Rarely it is because they are trying to use the Barlow without an eyepiece, or no eyepiece is in the drawtube!  But, much more often, it's because they haven't focussed properly...

OK - So you've bought yourself a nice reflector of the Newtonian variety and you suspect that it may be out of alignment. (Stars look like comets with spikes off to one side!)  Most telescopes will be pretty well collimated even straight out of the box...

This is a link to an album on Flickr showing the many telescopes that I have owend or used. There is useful information below each photo for your information.

Useful Websites

Below are websites that I personally recommend to beginning and seasoned amateur astronomers.

Information Websites:


An Excellent Astronomy Astrospace website.  

With monthly charts of what to look out for and a fab

gallery of Paul's pictures, among many other things:

Paul Money's ASTROSPACE.


Another Excellent Astronomy website.  

With ideas about what to look out for and great

advice regarding binocular observation:

Stephen Tonkin's BINOCULAR SKY.


Telescope Supply Website:


Where would I recommend you buy your new

telescope and equipment from in the UK?

Well, I have excellent service from

Harrison Telescopes

Excellent products, great advice from Ed Harrison,

personal attention and £2 delivery in 48hrs!

ABOVE Picture courtesy Astrospace                                

Me and Paul Money with his                     

14" (360mm) f5 Newtonian. Dob mount