2021 Essential Products Guide

Sponsored by Astronomy industry partners

The Milky Way arcs across the sky near Mount Whitney in California, with the faint glow of the zodiacal light visible on the horizon. Credit: Frank Dibbell

Now is a better time than ever to get involved in the hobby of astronomy. There is a wide assortment of astronomy products in the market for the beginner to advanced astronomer, creating new opportunities for the backyard observer and making it easier than ever to get involved in the hobby. This article highlights some of the top products in the market for 2021, accumulated from partners of Astronomy magazine. Please check back often, as we will continue to add new items to this essential product guide!

MasterClass Pro ED Binoculars 10x56

Meade Instruments

A pair of blue binoculars

With its large (56mm) aperture and powerful (10x) magnification, Meade’s MasterClassPro ED Binoculars are ideal for astronomical viewing or terrestrial use.

Each model features premium extra-low dispersion (ED) glass, fully multicoated lenses, andBaK-4 prisms with dielectric and phase coatings, providing precise color correction and amplified high-resolution views with maximum light transmission. The integrated field flattener lens is a premium value that reduces all field curvature, yielding a sharp image from edge to edge while eliminating astigmatism and coma aberration, for comfortable viewing.

Ergonomically designed to be cozy in hand, and constructed with a durable IPX-7 water proof exterior, these binoculars can withstand natural outdoor elements for extended periods of time. Bonus accessories are also included: a quick release neck strap and harness, a carry case, plus more. Overall, Meade’s MasterClass Pro ED10x56 Binoculars are your all-in-one package for an enjoyable stargazing experience.

Series 5000 PWA Eyepieces

Meade Instruments

A set of eyepieces with blue accents

Introducing Meade’s Series 5000 Premium Wide-Angle(PWA) Eyepieces.

These high-quality eyepieces feature a fully multi coated optical design with premium-grade optical glass for the best possible image correction in color, contrast, and brightness. The blackened lens edges provide enhanced contrast and help to reduce reflections while the parfocal design delivers little to no focus change when switching between eyepieces. Enjoy a comfortable observing experience with the premium 82º apparent field of view.

Available in 1.25" 4mm, 7mm, 16mm, and 28mm (2") options, Meade’s PWA eyepieces are great for observing celestial objects that require a wide field of view – such as star clusters and large deep-sky objects including galaxies and nebulae.

Series 5000 UHD Eyepieces

Meade Instruments

A set of eyepieces with red accents

Meade’s Ultra-High Definition (UHD) Eyepieces are the latest addition in their Series 5000 Eyepiece lineup, offering a fully multicoated optical design with premium-grade optical glass for the best possible image correction.

Available in 1.25" 10mm, 15mm, 18mm, 24mm, and 30mm (2") sizes, each eyepiece offers pinpoint edge-of-field sharpness with a wide field-of-view, ranging from60º to 70º. Meade’s UHD eyepieces deliver a noticeable improvement in both field of view and off-axis optical performance over traditional Plössls by providing a 40% enhancement in corrections for chromatic aberration and edge distortions.

Now you can observe your favorite celestial objects in anew and improved view!

GM2000 HPS II Combi Mount

10Micron

A black telescope mount

Evolving perfection: The GM2000 HPS II Combi mount is built for the demanding observer using photographic instruments up to a weight of 110 pounds (50 kg; counterweights not included). Movements are driven by two servo brushless motors, with timing belt reduction having zero backlash. Both axes feature a classic worm-worm wheel pairing.

The worm wheels are made of bronze (B14), with a diameter of 172 mm and 215 teeth, while the worms are made of alloy steel with a diameter of 24 mm.

The axes themselves are made of 50-millimeter-diameteralloy steel, for maximum rigidity.

Polarie U Star Tracker

Vixen Optics

A curved white telescope mount

The PolarieU Star Tracker is an ultra-compact automatic star-tracking device designed to transport easily and to not interrupt the orientation of the camera. The Polarie U also features a function for customizing the rotation speed using a smartphone, so you are able to control the intervals of shots by adjusting the shutter release.

By linking Polarie U’s motion with the shutter release, you can easily set up complex shooting controls required for time lapse and interval photography. 

You can also experiment with Star-Scape Photography that captures the starry night and landscape below; using a wide-angle lens, this creates impressive photos of stars and scenery combined.

Selecting half sidereal rate allows you to capture both sky and landscape for impressive images.

SkyFi III Wireless Scope Controller

Simulation Curriculum

A hand controller featuring a button and velcro belt

The SkyFi III Wireless Scope Controller completely transforms your observing experience, giving you greater control, accuracy, efficiency, and enjoyment.

If you have a computerized GoTo telescope, SkyFi III can use the WiFi capabilities built into your Win/Mac computer or your iOS/Android device to replace your hand controller.

With a built-in rechargeable battery, strong WiFi signal from device for field use, and easy-to-use configurations, SkyFi III is a must have for any computerized-scope owner!

Starry Night Pro Plus 8

Simulation Curriculum

A computer monitor displaying the Starry Night Pro Plus software

Starry Night Pro Plus 8 for Windows 10 and macOS has the power and precision to bring the entire universe into ordered focus for you! 

Putting endless, incredible observing experiences and world-class scope control at your fingertips, the flagship Pro Plus desktop planetarium will provide unparalleled entertainment and education for anyone wanting to explore the many wonders of space.

SkySafari 6 Pro

Simulation Curriculum

A tablet and smart phone displaying the SkySarari6 app

SkySafari 6 Pro for iOS, macOS & Android will revolutionize your astronomical viewing experience.

It has the largest database of any astronomy app, includes every solar system object ever discovered, offers unparalleled accuracy and flawless telescope control, and provides the very best experience under the stars. Discover why SkySafari 6 Pro is the #1 recommended astronomy app for serious amateur astronomers since 2009.

Star Analyser

Field Tested Systems LLC

Star Analyser lens

Want to do some science with your standalone DSLR or telescope and camera? Use an inexpensive Star Analyser 1.25” grating and award-winning RSpec software to capture the colorful spectra of stars.

You can easily identify star types and their temperatures, detect methane on Neptune, measure the blue shift of bright supernovae, and the cosmological redshift of quasars.  Join the thousands of astronomical imagers who have discovered how easy and exciting it can be to do hands-on science. See website for short, helpful videos and more information