Like many other people, you may well have developed a burgeoning interest in astronomy after watching Professor Brian Cox and Dara O’Brien’s excellent ‘Stargazing Live’ programme on BBC2. Indeed, this wonderful show may well have made you go out into your garden and look up at the Heavens and examine the night sky in a way that you’ve never done before.
And like millions (if not trillions) of people before you, you will likely have thought to yourself: ‘If only I could see more’
Well, what would you think if we here at Sherwoods told you that, within limits, you can see galaxies, star clusters, and nebulae without having to invest your hard-earned cash in an astronomical telescope?
Chances are you would think that we were pulling your leg.
However, you’d be wrong because the truth is you can see all of this and more simply by taking nothing more convoluted than a pair of birdwatching binoculars out with you on a clear evening.
Strengths and Benefits
Fledgling stargazers often believe that binoculars (or astronomical glasses) are simply not powerful enough to reveal anything of importance in the night sky. This is not true. In fact, many experienced observers keep a pair of glasses close to hand to make sure they have every angle covered.
Although glasses are smaller and give lower magnification, they have a number of benefits when it comes to stargazing. For example, they’re not only lighter and less expensive than your average telescope, they’re also much easier to take outside, use, and put away. Moreover, they also give you a much wider view than a telescope, thereby making celestial objects easier to find (which is very handy when you’re first starting out). In addition, they let you use both eyes so you can see more integral, natural views.
What Can I See?
On a clear, dark night out in the countryside, you can see around 3,000 stars with the naked eye. But, whipping out even a modest pair of astronomical looking glasses will immediately increase that number to around 100,000 stars!
Pretty impressive, huh?
And of course, there’s much more to see in the night sky than just random stars. Double stars, Milky Way star clouds, star clusters of various sizes and types, and stars varying in brightness from month to month (or even hour to hour), as well as a smattering of nebulae and dim, distant galaxies can all be seen in this way and be easily identified with a detailed sky map and/or some guidebooks.
Which Ones to Buy?
Because astronomy is done in the dark, you really need to concentrate on getting hold of some astronomical glasses that have big aperture i.e. big front lenses. Glasses with big aperture collect lots of light, thereby enabling you to see fainter objects. Indeed, astronomers the world over agree that the bigger the aperture, the better.
Want to find out more? If so, simply browse our pages further or call 01527 857500.
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