Mike Simmons at a star party at Algueva Dark Sky Reserve, Portugal. Credit: Babak Tafreshi

What amateur astronomer doesn’t love to buy new gear? And the burgeoning astronomy industry is
more than happy to oblige with a steady stream of new products coming to market. Compared to when I became an amateur astronomer 50 years ago, the abundance of products we have now is, well, astronomical. Not a day goes by without some new astronomy gear hitting the market.

Until the last couple decades, we’d just peruse the ads of Sky & Telescope magazine to find out what the astronomy marketplace had to offer. A local business might pop up with a following generated by word of mouth, but there were no astronomy shops or online sellers – because there was no “online”.

No more. Search for astronomy gear online and you’ll be overwhelmed. A Google search for “astronomy equipment” returns 144 million results. This is great for all of us, but the sheer quantity of equipment to wade through makes finding what’s right for you a daunting task. There are plenty of reviews published, but they could be written by anyone. Who wrote them? Can you trust the site where they were published? Were they paid for a favorable review? Did they even use the equipment they’re writing about (hint: sometimes not)?

That’s why Babak Sedehi and I created AstroGear Today. Amateur astronomers need one source to find
reviews they can trust, and news from the hundreds of reputable astronomy equipment manufacturers
bringing new offerings to market. And those companies need a way to reach not only their loyal
customers, but also potential new customers. Reviews are written by authors you’ll recognize from
publications like Sky & Telescope, BBC Four’s The Sky at Night, and popular astronomy books.
As AstroGear Today launches, we’ll feature the essentials: reviews of telescope and binoculars, reports
on new products, and the basics for those getting into astrophotography and choosing telescopes.
Videos will start soon, with a look behind the scenes at gear companies, and “virtual booths” where you
can meet and query vendors and manufacturers. There is even more in the works, so be sure to
subscribe to our mailing list on the home page and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to learn about
new features as they’re rolled out.

Are you a writer with a story to pitch? Write to us at editor@AstroGearToday.com.

For companies:
Send news about new products or your company for our News section at news@AstroGearToday.com.
For information on advertising on AstroGear Today, contact us at advertise@AstroGearToday.com.
For information on a virtual booth or a behind-the-scenes tour of your company on AstroGear Today, contact us at editor@astrogeartoday.com.

Learn more about us and read an FAQ here.

About Mike Simmons

Mike Simmons has been an amateur astronomer outreach program organizer for almost 50 years. He is a past president of the Los Angeles Astronomical Society and was co-founder and president of the Mount Wilson Observatory Association, He co-chaired the 100 Hours of Astronomy Cornerstone Project for the International Year of Astronomy 2009, and is founder and past president of Astronomers Without Borders.

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