Bolton Astronomical Society

Astronomy Binoculars
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Author:  CHughes [ Tue Mar 10, 2015 6:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Astronomy Binoculars

Can any advise me on which are good pair of Binoculars to view the sky at night. Also understand that the best way is to view it is through a mirror to prevent neck ache. What type of mirror do I need and size... where can I buy one from ... do you fix it to the tripod? ... Thanks

Author:  rwilkinson [ Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Astronomy Binoculars

I usually have an old pair of 7x50s around my neck: these are very convenient for hand-held use and their wide field-of-view is good for locating faint targets prior to aiming larger instruments at them.
I also use a pair of 15x70s for observing clusters and comets, but these need to be supported on a tripod somehow.
They are the smaller pair in the background in this picture: whereas the pair in the foreground are 25x100s which give great views but need a very substantial mount!

Probably the best binoculars for hand-held use are the image-stabilised types, but these are very expensive.

Regarding the "sky-mirror", BAS member Peter Miskw made himself a DIY one (there is a picture of it somewhere in the Forum but I can't find it at the moment) using a pair of ordinary glass-fronted mirrors, but it's better to use a single front-surface mirror. This method of observing is very comfortable, but as the mirror faces up to the sky it will cool quickly, so you'll need a strategy to stop it dewing up - either an electrical heater under it or a fan blowing across it.
Here are a couple of links showing home-built mirror-mounts:
and one example of a supplier of front-surface mirrors (found by putting "front surface mirror uk" into a search-engine):

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