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 Post subject: Astronomy Binoculars
PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 6:59 pm 
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


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 Post subject: Re: Astronomy Binoculars
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:11 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:47 pm
Posts: 1263
Location: Bolton
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: http://www.boltonastro.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=23 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:
http://www.swindonstargazers.com/noticeboard/noticeboard03.htm
http://www.craigcolvin.com/astronomy/binocularmirror.html
and one example of a supplier of front-surface mirrors (found by putting "front surface mirror uk" into a search-engine):
http://www.scientificmirrors.co.uk/Autocue%20and%20FS%20Mirrors.html


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