Help and advice

If you are completely new to astronomy, then it can all seem a bit bewildering, possibly even intimidating. Well it doesn’t have to be. You don’t need to understand any physics or maths to enjoy the wonder of the night sky.

You won’t face any exams in the SPA! (Though if you want to, we can even help you prepare to take GCSE Astronomy.)

We also offer help and advice in many areas of astronomy, including how to choose and use a telescope, and how to get observing.

Our advisory services

Got a question the books can’t answer? Members can get expert advice from our Inquiry Service. If we can’t tell you the answer straight away… we know someone who can.


There’s a bewildering array of telescopes available these days. Deciding which is right for you can be a daunting task – which is where our adviser can help.


Photography remains an ever-popular means of capturing the sky, and our expert can help you when shooting the stars and the bodies of the Solar System whether you use conventional film, a digital camera or a specialised CCD camera. These are revolutionising amateur astronomy with their ability to pick up faint objects even in light polluted city skies.

Astronomy GCSE

Astronomy is an exam subject in schools. The SPA has a free GCSE advisory service, run by a teacher, to help members prepare for the exam. With our help, many have passed with flying colours!

Light pollution

The bane of many astronomers’ lives – but there are things all of us can do to help to reduce it. This is the place for expert help on how to tackle the problems, such as getting shields fitted to streetlights and dealing with badly designed lighting in your area.