How To Guides

Get started in spectroscopy

From the simplest spectroscope to the most complex setup imaginable, you can capture the spectra of many objects and create fantastic images.

Written by Maurice Gavin.

Skill level: intermediate

How to make a small refractor telescope

Here’s a low-cost instrument you can build yourself that will reveal the wonders of the Solar System and more.

Written by Mark Parish.

Skill level: beginner
How to make a portable sundial

This easy-to-make instrument, based on a portable 16th-century design, will accurately tell the time.

Written by Ade Ashford.

Skill level: beginner
How to observe the Sun safely

You don’t need a dedicated solar scope to explore our parent star.

Written by Pete Lawrence.

Skill level: beginner

How to make a sky ruler

This simple instrument will help you locate and describe the position of objects in the night sky.

Written by Mark Parrish.

Skill level: beginner

How to find an exoplanet

CCD detectors are useful for more than capturing detailed deep-sky images: you can also use them to detect planets outside the Solar System.

Written by Robin Leadbeater

Skill level: advanced.

How to collimate your telescope

Follow our beginners’ guide to collimation and make sure your reflecting telescope is tuned for the task.

Written by Pete Lawrence.

Skill level: beginner

How to locate Barnard's Star

Our guide will help you star-hop across the Milky Way to find one of the nearest stars to the Solar System.

Written by Ade Ashford.

Skill level: beginner

How to clean a reflector

Ensure your reflecting telescope is delivering the best views with our cleaning tips

How to clean a refractor

Ensure your refracting telescope is delivering the best views with our cleaning tips.

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