Binoculars - The Sky's The Limit (Part Two)
Coated lenses are important. Multi-coated is good, and fully multi-coated, meaning all lenses are coated on both sides, is best. Ruby-coated is not desirable, and gives objects a green cast.
For the prisms, or blocks of glass that reflect the light inside the binoculars, BK-7 are fine and BAK4 are the best.
Choose from reliable brand names of astro binoculars such as:
- Celestron – many styles with wide fields that produce a sharp, bright image
- Giant – offers large binoculars for extra wide sky viewing
- Stabilized - popular for viewing from a moving vehicle or boat because they reduce or eliminate the effects of vibration:
- gyro-stabilized use a motor to drive a gyroscope that controls the prism platform
- vary-angle prismatic use a microprocessor to control the prisms
- cardanic suspension uses a mechanically suspended prism system
Don't Forget Accessories for Your Astronomy Binoculars
- Use a camera tripod with a binocular adapter or purchase a binocular mount to keep your binoculars steady. An ordinary camera tripod by itself won't do because the angle won't be quite right for sky viewing.
- Don't clean your binoculars unless you must, and keep your fingers off the lenses. When necessary, use a microfibre cloth and liquid cleaner designed for binoculars.
- A portable chair is great for those special nights when you are waiting for a satellite to pass.
- Star maps and guides will help you find your way around the sky.
- Buy a red light flashlight for map viewing, or shield the glow with red cellophane.
Invest in a good pair of astronomy binoculars and a sky map and begin your exploration of the universe.
Author: Astronomy Today Staff