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Comet Binoculars

January 21, 2015


Seronik-Two binoculars

Comet Lovejoy is currently putting on a fine, if unspectacular, display in the evening sky. And like many comets, it’s well seen in binoculars. But are some binos better for the job than others? Yes, but much depends on the comet.

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The Inner Workings of CATs and Maks

January 17, 2015



It’s funny how things tend to go in cycles. Having a reputation as an equipment guy, I’m asked about scopes quite often. As it happens, last week I received two e-mails asking essentially the same thing.

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Tips For Buying Used Binoculars

December 11, 2014


Seronik-Used binos

I’m a real thrift-store junkie. I can’t resist a good deal on something useful — and for me, few things are more useful than a nice pair of stargazing binoculars. I’ve purchased a number of excellent binos at bargain prices, but I’ll be the first to tell you it’s easy to get burned if you’re not careful. So, here are a few tips to help you sort the good from the bad and the ugly.

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Spotting Scopes for Astronomy

November 25, 2014



Are spotting scopes useful for stargazing? It’s a frequently asked question. That’s not surprising when you consider how widely available they are — any store that stocks binoculars, probably has a few spotters as well.

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A Remarkable Device for Observers

November 13, 2014



My copy of the 2015 edition arrived in the mail today, and leafing through it, I was again reminded of how astonishingly complete it is. It really is a wonderful resource for the active observer.

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Binoculars and the Art of Compromise

September 2, 2014


Both these binoculars feature 50mm objective lenses. But which is best,

depends on what you value more — magnification, or field of view.

All other things being equal, as the magnification goes up, the field of view goes down. And if you want to increase the field of view, you have decrease the magnification. The “best” binoculars are the ones that balance these two factors in the way that works for the kind of observing you want to do. It’s a compromise.

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For the Love of Focusers

August 26, 2014


This commercial Dobsonian telescope comes equipped with a very nice 2-

inch focuser that features a dual-speed, fine-focus adjustment.

In the many years I’ve spent using telescopes, I’ve probably handled several hundred different models. Some were a joy to use, others were a frustrating nightmare. Often, the difference came down to how easy or difficult it was to achieve sharp focus.

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Choosing Eyepieces: Four Big Numbers

August 18, 2014


Like munching on potato chips, it's hard to stop buying eyepieces after just one or two. The trick is to choose the ones that are the most useful.

If you assess eyepieces using the four numbers described below, you’ll at least have a fighting chance at making good choices.

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Your First Telescope Won’t be Perfect

July 24, 2014

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Seronik-3-inch Tasco

If you do your homework, you might end up with a scope that’ll keep you happy for years. And if you do, you’re one up on me.

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