About Astronomy Alive

o is Astronomy Alive

Cris Ellis is founder, owner & proprietor of Astronomy Alive (established 1987).

His astronomy experience spans over five decades of continuous innovation & growth. His astronomy knowledge is exceptional – even by global standards.

Cris’ strategy in selecting optics with customers is simple:

* Do it Once

* Do it Right

* Using Exclusively the best products

We only supply quality products that actually perform – we do NOT supply low quality units that disappoint  (there are far too many of these).

Astronomy Alive is 100% Australian owned, 100% Australian located, and 100% Australian operated

We are Melbourne’s  ONLY  specialist supplier of telescopes. Plus we are actually Australian (most local competitors aren’t). 

Our telescope showroom and workshop is located in the Melbourne suburb of Bentleigh.

We ship locally, regionally, nationally & globally on a daily basis.

Our competitors are: Camera stores, Department stores or Asian “Brown Box” suppliers – all with limited / no specialist knowledge in telescopes & astronomy. And mostly foreign owned.                   

Specialists in Telescopes

When you contact us you are answered by the business owner, Cris Ellis – personally.

Cris is a specialist and is available to assist every aspect of astronomy & optics – you are not merely contacting a …… salesperson in a shop.

Cris is a globally leading specialist telescope designer & and the only manufacturer of high quality visual & astrophotography telescopes in Australia. Here you are dealing directly with the designer & manufacturer, thereby you can purchase high quality products at manufacturer direct prices that our competitors are unable to offer – thereby an affordability that is unique to Astronomy Alive. Cris has a long history designing telescopes & specialist optics for many of the world’s leading telescope manufacturers.


Specialists in Astrophotography Systems

We are the most experienced specialist astrophotography products supplier in Australia, and have the most exceptional range of astroimaging equipment available of any supplier in the southern hemisphere.

Representing  in excess of 70%  of the world’s highest capability premier manufacturers of specialist astrophotographic products – with most of these being  exclusively  available from Astronomy Alive. 

Our portfolio of astrophotographic products is specifically custom selected to provide maximum performance for beginner, experienced, professional & institutional astrophotography enthusiasts. Including major observatories both in Australia & globally.


Products that Perform

If you do not find a particular product you are interested in on our webpage – there is a good reason for this – as either we have better products than these at better prices, and aren’t interested in that supplier or their products – or these products don’t perform to the standard required for success in astronomy & astrophotography.

We only supply products that  perform !

We refuse to supply products that we regard as lower in quality / capability than the required standard. Or are excessively overpriced as they go through too many sets of hands to get to the customer (there are plenty of them, call us to understand more).

We deal direct with the manufacturers of the world’s best telescopes, not the marketers – ie: “Branders”  – who manufacture nothing.

You the customer deserve better gear that actually performs !



Our Major Suppliers

The world’s best telescope maker:
Officina Stellare (Italy)

The world’s best refractors by:

CFF Telescopes (Poland) [hand crafted exotica]

plus – ASA Astrosysteme (Austria)
Kunming United Optics (China)    
Canon (Tokyo, Japan)
Central DS CCD (Korea)
Skywatcher & Meade (Shanghai, China)
Orion Optics UK (Newcastle Under Lyme, UK)

Sharpstar Optics (Shanghai)
William Optics (Taiwan)
Finger Lakes Instruments (USA)
QHY CCD (China)
Baader Planetarium (Germany)
APM Telescopes (Germany)
Moonraker Telescopes (UK)

Telescope Engineering Company (USA)
Pentax (Japan), Nikon (Japan) & Vortex (USA)           

Carl Zeiss (Germany) – We are the largest Carl Zeiss stockist in the southern hemisphere


Jupiter at 8 years old …….

Cris Ellis was introduced to astronomy at age 8, when he viewed Jupiter through a telescope. He saw the round disc of the planet and its four major moons, and was instantly hooked on astronomy.

Cris is well known in Australian astronomy as founder and president of the Astronomical Society of Melbourne. He is also creator and teacher of astronomy courses at various Melbourne colleges. He is an established astronomy author in Astrophysics & Cosmology, the most active night sky tour leader and astronomy public speaker in Australia. He has also assisted with the establishment of astronomical societies in Asia. He comes from a long history in specialist physics & engineering in the global automotive industry.


Optical Excellence

Cris is the only specialist telescope optics designer, hand craftsman & optical consultant in Australia. He designs specialist optics for many of the world’s premier telescope makers. His linkages in the optics industry globally are unique.

These linkages enable him to source optics directly from the world’s premier optics manufacturers in Japan, USA & Europe – and bespoke manufacture premier optics into a telescope portfolio with highly attractive pricing. These optics also being available under other famous brand names (but not at our low prices).

Astronomy Alive has significantly the most comprehensive portfolio of astronomy and astrophotography products in the southern hemisphere, from beginner through intermediate, advanced, professional and institutional systems for major observatories. Cris is the preferred supplier for beginner telescopes for newbies to astronomy – right through to designing and supply of major observatory systems to professional, university, institutional, scientific & research bodies throughout Australasia, South East Asia, the Americas & Europe.

He is Australia’s most experienced astronomy specialist tour designer & tour guide, customising specialist tours to the world’s major observatories. 

Astronomy Alive is proud to support nearly every major premier manufacturer of quality telescopes and astrophotography systems globally. With most of these global astronomy paragons of capability & quality having their exceptional products being  exclusively  available from Astronomy Alive. Our product range is without rival by any southern hemisphere supplier.

Shipment policy

We deliver products using Australia Post, plus a range of local and Interstate couriers, such as Fastway, TNT, Couriers Please, Border Express & Allied Express. The shipment company used to ship to you is dependent on the size of your shipment consignment, plus your location. This is as not all couriers serve all locations, and couriers may not serve your region on a daily basis if you are outside a metro region.

Shipping costs are calculated by the size and weight of the product, plus your location. Shipment addresses required to be input into our webpage shopping cart are “Street Addresses”, as P.O. Box addesses are not serviced by couriers and they refuse to pick up the consignment.

Shipment cost is calculated in our webpage shopping cart and is added to the order total
before checkout. Orders are usually dispatched within two business days. Shipping times are estimated at between one and ten business days depending on your location.

Refund policy

Please choose with care. We do not usually extend refunds if you simply change your mind or make a wrong decision. Please contact us if you have any issues, as our Director will assist is determining whether a refund, exchange or credit is applicable should goods be determined as faulty, supplied as incorrectly described, or an incorrect supply to the product purchased, or under personal review with our Director do not perform as specified. Goods accepted for returned for a credit may be subject to a restocking fee, typically these can range between 10%, 15% or 20% and are applied at the sole discretion of our director in accordance with Victorian State legislation. The refund may be allocated as a payment or store credit at the discretion of our director.

Warranty policy

Astronomy Alive include a 100% full Australian Warranty with every product we sell.

We recommend you exercise caution when buying as there are suppliers that “Gray Market” product from Third World countries and supply goods  excluding  a warranty. Generally speaking then higher the quality you are procuring the higher the  exclusivity  for supply capability.

For all our best products (and we have very many of these) we hold Australian marketplace distributorship  exclusivity  for supply. If you find other suppliers also trying to offer supply they are either being mischievous (and are unable to support), or trying to place a lowball offer deliberately to mislead you the customer (and can’t supply anyway), or are procuring 3rd World & supply with the warranty being VOID !

There are some highly questionable suppliers in the industry, so exercise caution.

Security policy

When purchasing from Astronomy Alive, your details input into our web system are totally secure and not used for any marketing purposes whatsoever.

Card details are transmitted through a Secure Server using Westpac’s latest generation secure service SSL system named Payway – plus also with the added protection of Westpac’s world leading 3D Secure process to protect you as a customer in the transaction.

Your credit card data is not passed on to Astronomy Alive on processing, and we do not learn of your card details, this is secured within the banking system and does not progress into our knowledge.

Please note this is the latest and highest customer protection available globally for webpage payment and data processing to protect you as a valued customer of Astronomy Alive.


If you seek guidance from astronomy webpage forums to find out more about a product – may we recommend you consider “Cloudy Nights” for your research. We are unfortunately unable to recommend a particular Australian webpage as you may find biased information – as they may be financially linked to a competitor. Caution always.