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Is this a good pair of binoculars for stargazing?


neurostar
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Sorry for the ignorance in advance :)

I'm looking into buying a cheap pair of binoculars or telescope to start amateur stargazing.

I looked around in my closet for a pair and found a hardly used pair of bushnell binoculars.

To my surprise, they looked pretty nice and had a camera built in them (i'm guessing the camera would not be adequate for astrophotography). The specs are: 10 X 25, FOV 300 @ 1000 yards.

I'm pretty sure these are made for viewing things much closer than stars like sporting events or sight seeing. Could they be used adequately for star gazing?

Thanks!

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Any binocular will improve what you can see, so the bins you have are certainly better than nothing, and there is no reason not to give them a go and see how you can do. The Moon would be a good target for these.

However, astronomy is all about seeing things that are faint, and therefore, we like bins with larger lenses - what we refer to as aperture. Your 10x25's refer to 10x magnification, and a 25mm aperture on each front lens. Good astronomy binoculars are usually at least 35mm, and today, 50mm and up are much more common.

When teaching astronomy, I start most everyone off with 7x50's because they are incredibly bright, and offer a wide field of view (makes it easier to find things in the sky). 10x50 are another popular size. If you go above 10x magnification, the bins become almost impossible to hand hold (they magnify the natural movement of your hands as well as the sky...). Similarly, bins above 70mm aperture are difficult to hold because of their weight; so above 10x50 (in either mag or aperture), you generally need a tripod of some sort. Often a good camera tripod will do fine.

I'm not local to you, so I won't recommend brands or models, check around the forums - others will likely recommend their favorites. Lots of good advice to be had here.

Dan

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10x25 gives an exit pupil of 2.5mm which is fine for seeing in the dark. However you will only be able to pick up larger objects with a magnification of only 10x. Go out and try! Pleides, Hyades will look fine and many other star clusters will visible. Few nebulae will bewithin reach, but you should get to see the Orion Nebula. You should be able to see Andromeda, but other galaxies may escape you.

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Thank you both for the informative replies!

I did test out my pair of binoculars tonight and they didn't seem to have much power. Though, it was exciting to stargaze what I could :)

I'm hoping to purchase at least a 7x 50 bins or some kind of telescope. Just gotta do some more research on what to buy... I'm pretty hooked on stargazing though, I'd love to see celestial objects with more definition though!

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You can't go wrong with a pair of 10x50's. Porro prisms and fully coated lenses are order of the day. This type is what Sir Patrick has recommended for years. 15x70's don't offer a whole lot more viewing wise for the money and do require a tripod in most cases.

You can get a pair of 10x50 binocs at a branch of Liddl for around £15 - they are surprisingly suitable for astronomy so long as you find a well collimated set. They are actually Bressers rebadged Rocktrail and come with a no quibble one month money back guarantee - can't go wrong. (I have all the gear mentioned) :)

Edited by brantuk
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