# Why not big astronomy binoculars?

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#### Frank Binder

##### New Member
I am a star gazers. I want to suggest all my star gazers friend that they should do star gazing with big astronomy binoculars instead of a telescope because telescopes are complicated.

#### greenrocketfish

##### Active Member
In a way you are right. If you are a novice stargazer or like to walk out in the yard for a few minutes and look, binoculars are great. The only problem is that you will need a tripod for any power over 10 or 12 or you will have a hard time looking because of shaking. If you have a place to set up and plan to watch alot get in touch with a local club and go to one of there meetings. Like rocketeers they will be happy to show you whats available and if it's easy or complicated to use.
Lee

#### WillMarchant

##### Well-Known Member
FYI, I moved this to "the watering hole" since it is not rocketry related.

Yes, I agree, that a good pair of binoculars is essential for maintaining interest in amateur astronomy. Frankly, I don't drag my 8" SCT out very often because setup is a drag.

Having said that, there are often good reasons to use a telescope over binoculars. Some targets require the light collection area that is uncommon in "plain vanilla" binoculars. Another issue is where a lot of magnification is necessary you'll need the aperture and mount steadiness that comes from a regular telescope. And binoculars are not very friendly for imaging and spectroscopy devices.

Still, I really like the Canon image-stabilizer 15x45 that I got for half price off of the Internet...

#### MarkII

##### Well-Known Member
Frank Binder is right, though. Astronomical binoculars give you a much wider field of view, allowing you to take in much more of the night sky. To get superior light collection, though, you will probably want some with larger objectives than you would normally use for daytime field glasses. But all that big glass will get quite heavy, so they need to be mounted on a sturdy tripod to hold them steady enough for quality observing. Sad to say, but I even have trouble holding simple field glasses steady enough! But speaking from personal experience, when the ISS comes streaking across the sky straight through the zenith, binoculars are what you will want to have to track it and keep it in view as it goes from horizon to horizon.

MarkII

Jonathan

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#### MarkII

##### Well-Known Member
My equipment is even more old school...

MarkII

#### o1d_dude

##### 'I battle gravity'
Nice Unitron you've got there, Jonathan. I'm assuming you've had that one for a while.

#### JonathanDunbar

##### Well-Known Member
Nice Unitron you've got there, Jonathan. I'm assuming you've had that one for a while.
Old Dude,

Interesting story behind this Unitron:

The latitude screw on it is for higher latitudes, like for Seattle, Minn, Chicago, New York. I will get around to replacing it for Arizona one of these days. The scope ended up at a Goodwill in midland California. The previous owner had moved to California after retiring. I was told that the owner had died, and the family was cleaning out his items... well I got a good deal on this unit and was very happy. Everything works, and it came with all the wood boxes.

I since added a couple UniHex prisms, a Unitron Barrow Lens, and a few more oculars. It is a beast to setup, but once the Polaris and Mizar have been found, its drive keeps amazing time and tracking. There is a guy on the yahoo unitron groups who sells battery powered drives for Unitrons... I may buy one and save the power outlet drive for nostalgia.

Here is a photo:

The unit dates back to the late 1950s.

Very nice instruments!!!

Jonathan

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#### JonathanDunbar

##### Well-Known Member
Mark,

AMAZING pics! I need a CCD camera and a Cassegrain!!!

Jonathan

#### o1d_dude

##### 'I battle gravity'
Sadly, that's the way most of these older telescopes come on the market.

In this case, the scope went to someone who appreciates the mystique of this classic.

BTW, on the Cloudy Nights Forums there is forum dedicated to classic telescopes. You should pay a visit and see what other collectors have found.