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skrap1r0n
2004-Mar-23, 03:20 PM
ok so I am several months out from having the cash for my telescope. Fortunately, I plan to use this time to familierize my self with the sky because I am a complete n00blet when it comes to astronomy.

My father has a pair of Bushnell 10x25 binoculars (with build in 8x digital camera!) That I plan on borrowing. Will these be sufficient for some casual stargazing or will I need to invest in something a bit more powerful?

Maksutov
2004-Mar-23, 04:11 PM
ok so I am several months out from having the cash for my telescope. Fortunately, I plan to use this time to familierize my self with the sky because I am a complete n00blet when it comes to astronomy.

My father has a pair of Bushnell 10x25 binoculars (with build in 8x digital camera!) That I plan on borrowing. Will these be sufficient for some casual stargazing or will I need to invest in something a bit more powerful?

Binoculars are a great start!

Try these links:

Binocs1 (http://www.stargazing.net/david/binoculars/)

Binocs2 (http://www.lightandmatter.com/binosky/binosky.html)

When you finally get your first astronomical telescope you will discover that finding your way around the sky is no problem, since it's now familiar territory thanks to your binoculars.

skrap1r0n
2004-Mar-23, 04:33 PM
thanks the links. I am figuring it'll take me about 8 months to save for the scope I want (lol 1 month/inch) As I have mentioned before, I am fortunate enough to live in an area where there is a gathering every friday nght weather permitting. I have immediate access to Binoculars and a tripod, so I will learn during next few months about the sky.

I need to anyway, I want to learn how to navigate by using the stars. Ties in with my life dream of circumnavigating the globe in a sailboat. No I have never even been on a sailboat, but thats a whole different story.

Brady Yoon
2004-Mar-23, 08:39 PM
7 by 50 or 10 by 50 binoculars are usually recommended for stargazing because they give you a reasonable aperture plus they are easy to cary around. However, yours should be fine. :D

aurora
2004-Mar-23, 09:41 PM
A human pupil dilates to around 5 to 7 mm in the dark.

So the binos, with a 25mm, will gather more light than than not using them.

As has been already pointed out, people that buy binos usually go for 40mm or larger. But if you are getting them for no cost, what the heck. 8)

BTW, over 50mm has the downside of needing a tripod because they weigh too much to hold comfortably.

skrap1r0n
2004-Mar-23, 10:57 PM
well, I am actually borrowing them from my dad. He has several sets of Bino's and a few spotting scopes. He's going to bring the whole shebang over and let me look.

The particular ones I was referring to have an 8x digital camera built in, so I was hoping to get a few snapshots as well.

/edit I am going for the Money free route for as long sa possible. I am figuring my scope will cost between 800 and 900. I am going to use the time while saving to get intimate with the sky and attend as many gatherings as I can.

so far I think I am working towards an Orion 8" Dob, the computer, a barlow and a telrad for my first scope. this is subject to change of course.

Hale_Bopp
2004-Mar-24, 12:56 AM
Well, 10x25s are better than nothing. However, that is a lot of magnification for that diameter and a lot of people find it hard to hold these things steady enough. 8x25 are better.

Usually, 7x50 are considered ideal starters and you can get a decent pair under $100. With that said, I have used my 10x25s in a pinch when absolutley, positively nothing else was available.

Rob

skrap1r0n
2004-Mar-24, 01:01 AM
Well, 10x25s are better than nothing. However, that is a lot of magnification for that diameter and a lot of people find it hard to hold these things steady enough. 8x25 are better.

Usually, 7x50 are considered ideal starters and you can get a decent pair under $100. With that said, I have used my 10x25s in a pinch when absolutley, positively nothing else was available.

Rob

interesting you mention it being tough to hold steady. this particular pair, the ones with the 8x digital cam hasa a tripod mount. and I happen to have a camera tripod. thats one of the big reasons I am not spending any money right now.

Krevel
2004-Mar-24, 02:21 AM
You mention that your dad has a few spotting scopes. A spotting scope on a tripod may be your best choice. Bigger lenses let in more light, that's the key. I have a 20-45x80 spotting scope that I use all the time (on low power usually). The only real problem is getting your neck in the right position! Have fun!

RMallon
2004-Mar-24, 02:52 AM
http://www.fvas.net/bino.html



The above link has a great, simple home project for making a table top holder for star gazing with binoculars. I built one a couple years ago. Works great, gives a rock-steady image of a starry night sky.
Give it a try.
I've taken mine out on campouts in the country for great viewing.

http://www.fvas.net/0088a.jpg

skrap1r0n
2004-Mar-24, 03:00 AM
I plan to have a blast. Dad is bringing out his full arsenal of optics. Working on on oil rigs along with other vessels and being a firearm/hunting enthusiast, he has quite a collection of binoculars and spotting scopes.

I picked up "The Year Round Messier Marathon Field Guide" by Harvard Pennington. Its a fantastic book and I hope to be able to familiarize myself with the sky as soon as the clouds blow over. It starts off with teaching about signpost constellations, and then breaking down the constellations into their base stars.

My 8 year old knows more constellations and stars than I do..hehe. He is looking at the book with me, and he is really excited about going out friday night.

I started a Telescope fund that the whole family is pitching into. he collected a TON of cans for recycle and even gave his tooth fairy money this week.

I don't have a scope yet but the bonding and common interest with my kids is making this endeavor priceless.

aurora
2004-Mar-24, 06:34 PM
I don't have a scope yet but the bonding and common interest with my kids is making this endeavor priceless.

That is really cool. 8)

Our local club does a lot of evening events for school groups. Not only are they excited, but many of them ask the hardest questions!

skrap1r0n
2004-Mar-24, 06:56 PM
well my son is determined to be a mad scientist. Emphasis on MAD. Any science related topic sucks him in and he tries to figure out a way to turn it into Mad Science. It's really kinda funny.

Krevel
2004-Mar-24, 11:53 PM
When I was first learning the constellations I used a book called simply The Stars, by H.A. Rey. The nice thing about this book is that, instead of the geometric shapes that most books use, this one connects the stars into meaningful shapes related to the constellation. Ursa Major, for example, looks like a bear. Hercules looks like a guy with a club. If you can find a copy, you might want to check it out!

Have fun!