For many, looking through the eyepiece is where a personal connection with the Universe is made, as you witness the light of stars, nebulae and galaxies many light years away. A natural step up is to want to capture those views as real images, and this can be achieved with simply a digital camera on a tripod, to the best CCD cameras. In this month's Focus, Neil English starts us off with a simple tutorial on capturing the Milky Way with a camera on a tripod. Then we move on to Ian Morison's guide of how to the image the Moon by pointing a camera through the eye piece of a telescope. Nick Howes then steps in with remote imaging – accessing telescopes all around the world – for those inevitably cloudy nights. Then, for the CCD imagers, Nik Szymanek demonstrates how to create a multi-pane mosaic of large galaxies or nebulae, and Nick Howes rounds off with imaging with the same style filters as the Hubble Space Telescope.
Elsewhere in the magazine, Bob Mizon reveals an array of deep sky objects that can be observed from light-polluted cities, and Emily Baldwin reports back from her first star party experience at the Salisbury Star Party. Following the burst of solar activity that lit up the skies of Scotland and northern England with the eerie green of the northern lights in August, Keith Cooper finds out how you can track the aurora down. In other features, David Powell checks in with the New Horizons spacecraft as it looks back at our Solar System, and we review the drama of the 2010 Twitter Meteorwatch phenomenon.
Sticking with a meteor theme, Jeremy Perez explains how to sketch shooting stars in his Drawn to the Universe column; Martin Mobberley offers some collimation tips in Telescope Talk, and Carole Stott finds out what happens when galaxies collide in Wonders of the Universe. Our night sky section includes tips on observing comet 103P/Hartley and sky tours of globular clusters and Local Group galaxies, while our reviews section covers the StarlightXpress' Lodestar and the Orion Starshoot Solitaire autoguiders. There's also the chance to win The Universe series four on DVD!