iiObserving Equipment

The ancients observed the heavens with no equipment at all. You could do the same, but you’ll get much more enjoyment from the hobby if you equip yourself properly. In this chapter, we’ll tell you what you need.


Many beginners think of a binocular as something you use for observing only if you don’t yet have a telescope. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you watch experienced amateur astronomers at a star party, you’ll find that most of them keep a binocular close at hand, and often use it when locating objects. (Our usual progression is chart→naked eye→binocular→Telrad→optical finder→eyepiece.)

Having even an inexpensive binocular is immensely better than having no binocular at all. A $35 Wal-Mart ...

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