Since the emergence of telescopes in the 16th century, scientists have been researching ways to improve upon the technology within them. Nowadays, telescopes come in a huge range of shapes and sizes, at differing costs. There are three main types of telescopes; refractor telescopes, reflector telescopes and compound telescopes.
• Refractor Telescopes
Refractor telescopes use a lens to bend the light entering it, and reflect it off a flat mirror into the eyepiece. This image is then magnified into the eye. Although the aperture on entry level refractor telescopes tends to be relatively small, they are excellent telescopes for viewing the moon and planets. They are generally more affordable then reflector telescopes.
• Reflector Telescopes
Reflector telescopes use a large curved mirror to collect the light, which is then reflected to a point of focus on a secondary mirror. The light is then deflected to the eyepiece and magnified. Reflector telescopes are generally considered to be better all-round than refractors, and are seen as being superior for viewing deep space. They generally have larger apertures than refractor telescopes, providing a better image quality.
• Compound Telescopes
Compound telescopes are often discounted by more advanced astronomers, but they can be a great starting point for people looking to take up the hobby. They combine the qualities of refractor and reflector telescopes to provide a better magnification and view, but can sometimes compromise on quality. Compound telescopes are very convenient to use because they can often be folded to a portable size.
Night vision is normally associated with police and spies in films. However, night vision has many practical applications. Basically, night vision refers to a device that allows an image to be to be seen in situations where it would be otherwise too dark to see it. Night vision can be achieved either via binoculars or goggles, and you may be surprised by how useful they can be.
Night vision devices work by gathering ambient light that is normally not visible to the naked eye. This can be infrared light, moonlight or starlight. The light is then transferred to a part of the ‘Image Intensifier Tube’ (IIT). Usually, light is made up of protons, but when it enters the IIT, it is transformed in electrons. These electrons are then combined with a phosphorus screen which changes the electrons into light that can be seen by the human eye. The user of the night vision goggles or binoculars then sees a green tinted image of the scene in front of them.
Although the police regularly use night vision, it has many other regular uses too. Night vision can aid a variety of hobbies, including fishing and bird watching. It can enable them to enjoy their hobbies at times when they wouldn’t otherwise have been able to. Night vision is also great for campers. When you are camping, there are often situations where you need to move around at night. While a torch can help with this, night vision makes it as simple as moving around during the day.
There’s no better way of studying the night sky than with a good quality telescope. But telescopes are usually large and bulky instruments that, once assembled in your home and garden, are rarely moved. To study the night sky when you’re travelling or on the move, most telescopes are not suitable. For those who are interested in continuing their astronomy hobby away from the home, a pair of binoculars is the ideal choice. Although you are unlikely to achieve the same image quality as telescopes, there are various benefits that binoculars have.
Binoculars can be much more affordable than telescopes. Generally, a pair of binoculars can cost about half of what a telescope with similar optical quality would cost. Binoculars can be an excellent choice for people starting out in astronomy because they provide an easy to use and affordable way of seeing if you enjoy the hobby.
In astronomy, the best results are usually found in remote locations where there is little disruption from building and street lights. Transporting a telescope to these locations can be very difficult and time consuming. With a pair of binoculars, astronomers can travel to the best locations with ease, moving to different locations as and when they need to.
Telescopes are specifically designed for astronomy. However, binoculars can be used for a variety of applications, like bird watching, animal spotting, or for simply taking in a beautiful view. While telescopes are excellent for astronomers, binoculars can open you up to a variety of different hobbies.
Bird watching is an interesting and relaxing hobby whose popularity has never waned. Going bird watching is an excellent opportunity to acquaint yourself with nature and get some exercise, as well giving you the chance to see some beautiful birds. In order to get the most of your bird watching hobby, you should invest in a good pair of binoculars. Bird watching binoculars will enable you to observe birds in their natural habitat without having to get too close.
When you are shopping for bird watching binoculars, you should always look for ones that have good quality lenses. The lenses are the most important parts of a pair of binoculars. Always try out some binoculars before you buy them, taking them outside if possible. When you look through your binoculars, you should be able to see clearly with no distortions, and colours should be true. They should also have good magnification, so you can observe birds without disturbing them, as well as a large lens to enable you to see as much as possible.
Bird watching binoculars should also feel comfortable when you’re holding them and when they’re against your face. They should dig in around the eyes, and there should be a degree of flex to allow them to mould to your face. When you go bird watching, there’s a good chance that you will be walking many miles. Therefore, your binoculars should also be light enough for you to carry for long periods of time.
The night sky is fascinating. Spending some time studying the stars and planets can be extremely rewarding. However, for an absolute beginner, choosing a telescope can be extremely difficult. There’s a huge range, all at dramatically varying in price. It can be a good idea to research telescopes before you make a purchase so you don’t end up with an expensive toy that you don’t know how to use!
There are two main types of astronomical telescopes – refractor telescopes and reflector telescopes. Refractor telescopes use lenses to magnify space, bringing the image to your eye with an eye piece at the end of the telescope. They are extremely effective at viewing planetary bodies. Reflector telescopes are used more for viewing deep space. They use a mirror to reflect images to a focus point that is then reflected to your eye via an eyepiece.
For astronomy beginners, it’s best to start with a refractor telescopes. They are comparatively low maintenance and more affordable than reflector telescopes. Also, they are generally smaller, meaning that you could take your telescope with you if you go travelling. Although refractor telescopes are fine for beginners, refractor telescopes generally offer superior quality and less distortion. If you find that you are enjoying your new hobby, you can then invest in a reflector telescope at a later stage.
It’s possible to get an excellent quality beginners telescope for around £100. Starting your hobby with an inexpensive telescope will help you to decide whether astronomy is right for you.
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