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Dumb question about laser pointers and binocs


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Hello all,

First-time poster! This seems like a wonderful resource.

I'm doing my first large-group (50 campers) astronomy lesson tonight, although I've done many smaller groups of friends, family, etc. before. I have packed my four pair of binocs, my 8" SCT, several star wheels, red lights, green laser, etc. Greatly looking forward to it. Hoping to show M13, Saturn, Alcor/Mizar and whatever else I can get 50 people to see through a scope in under 1.5 hours. :)

Question, though...if I am using the green laser to point out things, is it safe to have the guests use their binoculars while the laser is up? Obviously, I'd never shine it into the lens of a binocular, nor have any reason to, but if they are all "eyes up" with their binocs, can I use the laser to point things out? Or is it safer to point it out, and then they go find it with binocs after I turn the laser off?

Really dumb question, I know, but wanted to ask. Thank you!

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No expert, but I would guess that there will not be a problem. IIUC, the light in a laser is only enforced within the line of the beam, so you would need to be looking directly along that axis to cause a problem (if indeed then - I don't know). So if you are pointing it in a direction other than directly at someone it should be ok. Enjoy the evening. Hope it stays clear for you.

Welcome to SGL, BTW

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Yeah they can view along the beam without any probs as long as not staring into the laser. A warning about laser pointers as part of your talk would be prudent as lots of people (ME INCLUDED) tend to want one when they see them :)

Clear Skies


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