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Binoculars are without a doubt the one observing instrument that are always with me. Different instruments offer different types of observing, but binoculars prove to provide some of the most satisfying. With binoculars you can see five or tens times as many stars then with the eye alone.

Bushnell 10x50
 wide-angle  binoculars

Beginners who are not familiar with the sky should not automatically rush out to buy a telescope for they may miss the overall grandeur the night sky has to offer. For the higher magnifying instruments focus on a very small piece of the sky leaving very little in the field of view. In fact many of the wonderful objects in the cosmos are several times larger then a telescopes typical field of view. I normally observe an area with binoculars first before pointing my scope in that direction. Therefore I normally use my binoculars as a welcomed companion to my telescope.

Another thing to consider is that binocular vision is superior to vision with one eye alone. Yes, when you look through a telescope your are essentially blinding one eye. Remember there is a good reason normal vision requires two eyes, this gives us that natural depth of field. At first you may find investing in a pair of good binoculars is preferable to having a small telescope. No matter how many telescopes you purchase down the road you'l always find yourself using the trusted binoculars.

Naturally binoculars offer portability and ease of use. If you are in the market for a new pair start out with 7X 50s (50 mm lens), these are the standard size for astronomy. They offer brighter views than the smaller birding binoculars (normally 40 mm and below). Many astronomer buffs buy even larger ones but they are impossible to hand hold comfortable. These monster binoculars must be mounted on a tripod much like a telescope.

 Small Refractor | Rich Field Telescope | What you can see through a small inexpensive instrument


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