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I want to start off stargazing but cannot spend loads of money initially. I have a pair of 15x70 binoculars, with a very sturdy tripod are they good enough to start off?

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Yep binos are a great way to start out. Learning your way around the sky will make things a lot easier when you do get a scope.

A good sky guide will also help.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I couldn't get on with binoculars - I spent half my time with one eye closed to stop myself from going cross-eyed!!  Looking on eBay for second hand telescopes is a good idea if you decide you want to get something with more power, but as D4N says, it's more about learning your way around the sky at first.

If you have an iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad, the app "SkyView Free" is worth a look (as the name suggests, it doesn't cost anything).  It shows you what everything is in the sky which I have found to be useful when sitting in the garden with my wife looking up at the stars.  I note you are in Kent (I take it that's England).  The Kent Library have an online eBook lending facility which includes a couple of astronomy books, plus your nearest physical library is always a good source of free material to help.

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I'll second that. It's hard to find things when you don't know where to look. Binos and a good book like 'Turn Left at Orion' will help learn the signposts that point you to where you want to be. The low power and wide field of view make star hopping a simple task. Plus the book entertains when the weather isn't being your friend.

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This link http://binocularsky.com/ is dedicated to binocular astronomy,

download the monthly newsletter it gives you lot's of targets to find and

shows you how to find them, you already have the kit to start.

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Hi and welcome to SGL - The binocularsky link above is an excellent place to start. Should keep you busy, and you certainly will benefit from learning the sky with bins in the long run I'm sure.

Look forward to seeing you around :smiley:

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Reasonable enough start, you will need to pick your targets and globular and open clusters are the obvious ones.

You can get lists of double stars and observe/split them, Mizer/Alcor in the Plough being the obvious.

Ask again if you decide to try them.

Would suggest you keep a sort of record or log of what you see.

Too easy to sort of point at something and move on without really knowing what it is or was.

It also means you have an idea of how many things you have found.

For a list of clusters try the List of Messier Objects" in Wikipedia, another is the Caldwell Catalogue and finally The Astroleague have a collection of observing programs, go find and get the Binocular Program. Again if you cannot find then ask as I have it bookmarked.

Get a book of the constellations and what in in them, useful to have some idea where to look, well usually it is.

Edited by ronin

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Hi Harley, welcome to SGL, binos are a great way to start in your new hobby, as mentioned above.

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Binos are a really good way to get into astronomy. To some extent I'm the opposite of Oscar', I have a telescope(s) but found I get as much if not more enjoyment from binos. I would also point to Steve Tonkins binocularsky site and recommend his book Binocular Astronomy too which is very good, although if you are looking to equipment that purchase might come later. 

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A warm welcome to SGL i spent 15 years with binos before i got a scope so they are defiantly worth it like other people have said a good star guide is invaluable and Binocular sky is a great dedicated site for binocular objects to see.

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I went straight for a telescope as I thought bins wouldn't be enough. Later I was given just a small pair of old Tasco's and couldn't believe how much I use them. They're great for wide field viewing, and I use them to search for stuff before going closer with my scope. They're well worth getting.

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The first time you look at an area of the night sky and see a lot more stars than you can with the naked is a bit of a eureka moment. As stated already, binos are great to start out and they can help you learn the night sky. Things that can help you are; a planisphere (old school, but old school is sometimes best ) ;) a mobile phone app like Google Sky and Stellarium.

You have the main accessory - a good tripod. Go for it !

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