Binoculars: Halfway to the telescope – Part 1

When I was 14 years old, I was playing around on a December evening with a big magnifying glass and held it by chance in the direction of the lights of the Christmas tree at the other end of our house. The lens was filled with a blinding glow. “How can such a weak little light so shine cause?”, I wondered. Would that work at even weaker light sources, such as a distant street lamp or a star? I ran out into the cold night to try it out. The result was disappointing. But my father followed me out and saw how I held out the magnifying glass the stars. He advised me instead but to take our family binoculars. I did it, and the sight of Jupiter, the Pleiades and the Orion belt that night sparked my interest in astronomy – which has not abated to this day.


It was so easy! I would have never imagined that an ordinary binoculars could be an astronomical tool. Like most kids, I read in books a bit about astronomy. But I thought that only scientists can observe celestial objects themselves. However, in the weeks that followed, I found out that as a pair of binoculars offers countless opportunities for serious sky observations.


The observation methodology that one learns in dealing with the binoculars and the use of sky maps, is the same as those applied also for the effective use of a telescope. But binoculars are the first to purchase much cheaper – quite apart from the fact that they can be carried around much easier and keep. In fact, the improvement between the naked eye and a good pair of binoculars is the size of the between binoculars and a good amateur telescope. In other words, you have already done with binoculars halfway with much less than half the cost.


Although binoculars are so useful and convenient, they are often not taken by beginners into consideration. Therefore, we want to show you here what and how you can watch with binoculars.


One look through the binoculars to recognize the far-flung, dark areas on the surface of the moon. There are layers of lava rock, which according to ancient intuition Seas (Latin: maria, the majority for mare) are called. After you have spent a few nights out with the identification of lunar structures are the geography of the moon will be as common as the Earth.



When the moon appears as increasing crescent a few days after the new moon on the western evening sky, only the Mare Crisium is visible. The terminator, the boundary between light and shadow on the moon moves across the lunar disk when the moon over the crescent shape on at the first quarter (Crescent) and the full moon increases. Night after night more lunar seas are visible: Sea of Tranquility, Mare Serenitatis, Mare Imbrium, and finally Oceanus Procellarum. Near the Terminator raises the sunlight, the longest shadow, so that the latter shows the mountains and valleys particularly clear. They can be observed best when supporting oneself with the binoculars to stabilize the image somewhere.

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