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I want to order an LASER Pointer in order to point out star objects.  And I prefer the green version.

What power laser should I get?

I currently have one,  which happens to be green but I can't point to anything in the skies.  The only way I can see what I am pointing at is if there is fog or clouds around.  Otherwise the beam is lost.

I know I need something that is more powerful but what do people use?   I see them at night shows and they look so great.  Sure nice to raise your arm and out comes a beam that goes out and touches a star.

So - what is the power I need to order and is green the ONLY one to consider.

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You need to be very careful with lasers obviously. I'm sure it goes without saying to never point them at aircraft. It's illegal in the UK not sure about the states.

5mW ought to do it. There are different classes of laser based on power and overall danger. There will be a limit to what you can obtain. My friend once had a 50mW and that was very bright!

Green is best as it's near the peak response of the eye.

They are frowned upon at star parties I believe.

Paul

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I have a 5mW green laser which I believe is the legal limit to operate in public here in the US.  It has more that enough power.  I can't remember the price, but I bought it on Ebay for under $10 brand new.   The lasers are useless in the cold, however.  Amazon.com is another place get green lasers at decent prices.

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Just remember, the safe limit for eye exposure has been set at 2.5mW per square centimeter (beam cross section area) for a reason.

Just try and avoid having an accident with one at any cost. Because they can (and do) happen to the best of us at any time.

I'm not saying don't have one, because they are useful, I have several 5mW lasers from IR upwards (but for other reasons), just a reminder to be careful with them is all.

Edited by Cath

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5mW will also be called class 3. I use a class 3 green laser but to be honest I find that too bright and would prefer a class 2 (1 mW). They are temperamental in the cold but I never found that a problem as I just keep it in a pocket until I need to point to something.

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I find the Class II products perfectly satisfactory. < 1mW and they can be purchased on that well known auction site for about £5. As said though, keep them warm when you are not using them and do no point them at people or aircraft.

I've also found that using lithium AAA batteries makes them less prone to the dreaded temperature problems as these batteries will work down to -40°.

Alan

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I got my lasers from a well known auction site and while on the site they were advertised as 1mW when they turned up they were class III 5mW. The sort of error which is slightly annoying and not worth returning the hassle of returning the thing.

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I have a 5mW green laser which I believe is the legal limit to operate in public here in the US.  It has more that enough power.  I can't remember the price, but I bought it on Ebay for under $10 brand new.   The lasers are useless in the cold, however.  Amazon.com is another place get green lasers at decent prices.

That is what I needed to know.  5mw's works for you.  So I will give that a try.

Thanks for your input.

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When I bought my laser pen (1mw) I was sorely disappointed about how dim it was. Just a green dot with no beam. Instead of using it for the stars I used it as a cat toy. However, when the batteries eventually died I replaced them and lo and behold - a startling beam of green. So - if your laser pointer is dim out of the box, try new batteries!

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I have a 5mm from 365 and I find it to be a really handy bit of kit.   I like squirting it through my finderscope to get me into the right area of the sky. Keep in your pocket, though, like everyone else says; they really really don't like the cold. Also, along with the good advice to be careful with it, remember not to use it within 10 miles of an airport otherwise triangulation will bring the rozzers to your door. 

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