Sky at Night Magazine - - THE GUIDE -

If your pas­sion is plan­e­tary de­tail, close dou­ble stars, globular clus­ters or plan­e­tary neb­u­lae, then you should con­sider buy­ing a tele­scope. But for the rest of the vis­i­ble Uni­verse, binoc­u­lars are the bet­ter op­tion. Set­ting up hand­held binoc­u­lars takes a few sec­onds, and even mounted ones can be set up in a few min­utes, so you’ll be ob­serv­ing long be­fore your Go-To tele­scope-us­ing bud­dies are ready to start. You can also use them for im­promptu ses­sions where it would be too much trou­ble to set up a tele­scope.

Many ob­jects are ideally framed in the wider field of hand­held binoc­u­lars: as­ter­isms like Kem­ble’s Cas­cade or the Leap­ing Min­now over­flow most tele­scope fields, as do large open clus­ters such as the Pleiades and the Bee­hive Clus­ter. Even large faint ob­jects like the Tri­an­gu­lum Galaxy and the North Amer­ica Neb­ula can be eas­ier to see in bud­get 10x50 binoc­u­lars than in am­a­teur tele­scopes of sev­eral times the price.

The big­ger your binoc­u­lars get, the harder they be­come to hold steady. A mount will pro­vide a sta­ble view­ing plat­form for

larger binoc­u­lars


The in­cred­i­bly wide field avail­able with binoc­u­lars re­ally helps when ob­serv­ing clus­ters of stars, such as the Pleaides (left) and M44, the Bee­hive Clus­ter (right)

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