There is no one more difficult to buy a gift for than the fanatic, especially the astronomy fanatic. You could always buy them another telescope, but it’s almost guaranteed that the perfect telescope for them will be their dream telescope, at a dream only price.
Coming back down to earth over how much you really want to spend on this perfect gift, there are many extras that an astronomy fanatic may need to make their astronomical viewing complete. All of them at reasonably affordable prices, and among these extras are zoom lens eyepieces.
A good quality zoom lens eyepiece should only be bought from a recognized manufacturer. If they are not a reputable company, then don’t buy the lens. The zoom lens covers a range of focal lengths from 8mm to 20mm. This size of lens is especially useful for observing planets, or the moon. The zoom facility eliminates the need to continually swap over lenses when viewing the sky, and are priced at around the £100 upwards mark for a 1.25-inch wide lens.
The longer focal length telescopes such as the 8inch or larger Dobsonian, take a 2inch wide lens. You can purchase an adaptor to make the1.25-inch zoom lens fit the larger 2-inch telescope lens aperture, and the field of view still remains quite reasonable. It’s best to check which lens will fit your astronomy fanatic’s telescope before you buy them though.
A light pollution filter is always good to have. This filter cuts down on the light pollution that seems to be everywhere nowadays, by masking certain lights. Although the filter won’t fix anywhere near all the problems caused by the light pollution, using a LPR (light pollution rejection) filter can make the difference when viewing a deep-sky object. The price of these filters can start at £30.
If your astronomy fanatic is interested in taking pictures of astronomical bodies, then you can’t go wrong with CCD imaging. The CCD camera (charge-coupled device) fits onto the eyepiece of the telescope, and is hooked up to your computer. These images can be processed to bring out as much detail as possible. Again, the cost starts at about £120 to buy, but opens up a whole new area in stargazing.
The perfect gift for the astronomy fanatic is available, and it is an evening spent at the local observatory. A lot of observatories now offer a selection of evening lectures and stargazing. Can you imagine what looking at the stars through a 20 or 28-inch telescope would be like? That may be the perfect gift for even the fussiest of astronomy fanatics.