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Hi all!

I’m new here, but have been dabbling in astrophotography for several years now. I’m here looking for information on a laser pointer for astronomy. I remember a few years back, I went out with a group of fine gentleman and one had this so called “atmospheric reflector” laser pointer as he called it. He used it to point out various stars, planets, and constellations. I’ve been trying to find something similar but haven’t had the best of luck. There’s just so many laser pointer out there and they’re all different and you never know if what you’re getting is legit quality or not.

Has anyone had any personal experience with such a laser pointer and would anyone be willing to refer me to the best brand to purchase/where to purchase?

Thanks for your time!!!

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First off, are you outside the US?  If so, laser laws can be pretty draconian depending on where you live.  Australia requires membership in a registered astronomy organization to use one as you describe.  The UK limits power to 1mW versus 5mW in the US.  Even in the US, be very careful not to shine a laser at passing aircraft.  Law enforcement takes a very dim view of this and will find you and put you away.

Pretty much any green laser pointer will work for the purpose of pointing out constellations and such.  The cheap ones at 532nm are sensitive to cold temperatures and often lack the proper IR filters on them.  As a result, they often pump out way more than the rated power in the IR which is where retina's can get seriously burned.  The newer green laser pointers at 520nm or so are not affected by cold and don't have the IR issue, but are much more expensive.

I use a cheap green laser sight mounted on a picatinny/weaver rail on my scopes.  They come with a momentary switch on a flexible cord which comes in handy.  It's way easier to put a scope on a target with a laser than with any unitary power finder I've tried.  I just can't crank my head around any more to look up through them.

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