The Big Book of DIY Astronomy Projects

The Big Book of DIY Astronomy Projects

The Big Book of DIY Astronomy Projects

Discover how to make a solar funnel for safely observing the Sun, upgrade your focuser and construct your own telescope with The Big Book of DIY Astronomy Projects. In this special edition, the experts from BBC Sky at Night Magazine show you how you can make your own equipment using everyday objects. With projects covering accessories, telescopes, solar observing, mounts, observatories and imaging this fully illustrated special issue features clear instructions, step-by-step guides, and detailed illustrations and plans, all to help you see the stars without breaking the bank.

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United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
10,08 €(IVA inc.)

en este número

5 min.
make and use a fats panel

To get the most from deep-sky image data, it’s necessary to calibrate your subframes before stacking and processing them into a final image. There are three types of calibration that can be applied to your images: bias frames, to remove signal noise caused by the action of downloading your data; dark frames, to remove thermal noise produced when your sensor warms up; and fat frames, to remove the effects of vignetting and dust motes. Whereas bias and dark frames can be easily captured at any time, fat frames require careful planning and execution, which means they’re often overlooked in the excitement of capturing new images. A fat frame is a special image taken in such a manner that only a facsimile of the plain light cone passing through the telescope to…

1 min.
a diy astronomer’s toolkit

Workspace 1 Bench 2 Bench vice (or use clamps) 3 Adjustable lamp 4 Tool storage (box, bag or rack) 5 Small parts storage (tray, boxes or pots) Marking out 6 Pencil and permanent marker 7 Steel rule (also use with craft knife) 8 Tape measure 9 Adjustable square (measures/marks depths) 10 Centre punch (mark holes prior to drilling) Cutting and shaping 11 Craft knife (and spare blades) 12 Cutting mat (keeps knife tip sharp) 13 Hand drill (or upgrade to cordless drill) 14 Drill bits (HSS bits cut most materials) 15 Handsaw (not for metal) 16 Coping saw (not for metal) 17 Hacksaw (any material, full or junior size) 18 Files (half round and round) 19 Plane Smoothing and finishing 20 Sand paper (coarse, medium and fine) 21 Sanding block 22 Paint brushes (also use for glue) Assembly 23 Screwdrivers (set or holder with bits) 24 Spanners (set or adjustable) 25 Hammer (manageable size) 26 Allen keys 27 Thin pliers/cutters 28 Clamps Powering…

5 min.
make a multi-camera stand

Whether it’s the Lyrids in April, the Perseid spectacle in August or Taurid’s fireballs in the autumn, there are some nights where you just don’t want to miss a thing. Wrapping up warmly and sitting under the stars is a wonderful way to enjoy the show, but a photographic record of even just one elusive trail can be a beautiful memento, as well as being of scientific interest. This project is a simple mount that enables you to aim up to four DSLR cameras towards the sky. How many you choose to use, and their orientation, will depend on what you have available. The principle is to cover as much sky and take as many images as you can, in the hope of a bright trail appearing in one of the…

5 min.
make a small refractor

Small refractors are light and portable. What’s more, their optics need little or no adjustment so they’re ideal telescopes for beginners – and easy to build. Best of all, building one shouldn’t even cost you £100. The heart of any refractor is its convex glass objective lens, which is mounted close to the front of the telescope tube. Rays of light from distant objects such as the Moon pass through this and are bent, or refracted, towards a point just inside the back end of the tube. This point is the objective lens’s principal focus and the distance from here to the centre of the lens is called the focal length. At the opposite end of the tube to the objective lens is the eyepiece, arranged so that its principal focus coincides with…

2 min.
tools and materials

Tools 1 500W electric drill 2 Cordless screwdriver 3 Drill bit set, including: 3mm to 10mm HSS/titanium drill bits A centre-punch Hexagonal-fit screwdriver bits 4 20-inch handsaw, 11 teeth per inch 5 Utility knife 6 Coping saw and blades 7 Junior hacksaw and blades 8 200mm-handle combination pliers 9 Three-piece wrench set 10 Two-piece rasp and file set 11 5m tape measure 12 Combination measuring set 13 Three clamps 14 Set-square with 30° and 60º corners 15 Block plane 16 Metal rulers 17 Hole saw set 18 Paintbrushes Fixings Nuts, bolts and washers Three M3 50mm slotted pan-head bolts Four M6 65mm cup square carriage bolts Seven M6 washers Four M6 nuts Three M6 wing-nuts Seven M6 1.25-inch washers One M10 2-inch bolt Four M10 2-inch washers One M10 nylon lock-nut Screws 200 3 x 12mm Two 3 x 16mm Six 3.5 x 20mm 34 of 4 x 30mm 16 of 4 x 40mm 16 of 4 x 50mm 16 of 6 x 100mm Screwfix’s Goldscrew Pack has all these…

5 min.
make a   binocular   dew shield

If you mount your astronomical binoculars, they spend a long time aimed at the sky, resulting in much more radiative cooling than you get with handheld use. With few exceptions, binoculars don’t have any form of dew shield and the consequence is that you can find your observing session cut short by the fading mushy images that are the sign of dew forming on your objective lenses. So here we show you how to make a simple dew shield to extend your observing sessions. Dew forms when an object cools to a temperature called the dew point. The actual temperature of this threshold depends upon the humidity of the air. As the air cools, it can’t hold so much moisture, so the relative humidity increases until it reaches 100 per cent,…