Binocular Astronomy, finally enjoying the Cosmos
Posted 17 April 2004 - 02:55 PM
I have always had an interest in astronomy throughout my life. I have owned various "cheap" scopes, small refractors and Edmund rich field(?) 3" reflector. About 4 years ago I made a bigger leap, and purchased the Meade ETX 125 GoTo. Nice, but still didn't give me the observing excitement I wanted.
The big change occurred 2 years ago when I purchased a pair of Canon 15 X 50 IS binoculars. Overly priced, but great fun! Jupiter looked great, Saturn had "ears", but the most fun was working my way through the Messier objects. (I should note that my home base is light polluted suburbia in central New Jersey.) My first "two eyes are better than one" shock came one evening when I had the ETX 125 locked on M42, and the Canons around my neck. I saw almost no nebulosity through the ETX, but the Canons showed beautiful nebulosity. I was getting more hooked.
My next leap into observing fun began by reading a CN review about the Apogee 25 X 100 binocs. I would not realistically consider wasting $300 on binocs that large assuming the quality would match the low price. However, I had already developed a respect for the CN reviews, so I sent the order to Apogee. What a surprise! They are great. I know they are not Maiyuchi's(sp), etc., but at one tenth the price they excel. Examples: Double shape of M51, rings of Saturn, M42 Trapezium, all four stars and great nebulosity, M1 in light polluted suburban skies, M22 great, and in the realm of shear beauty, M45, and the double cluster.
Note: I just added an Orion EZ Finder II to the Apogees. The shoe is permanently attached with the enclosed "glue strip", then the finder slips on with ease. I am very pleased with how much the finder adds to the normal ease of the Apogees.
With all this fun, I have now been searching out dark sky sites. Favorite, Cherry springs Park in northern Pennsylvania. Truly worth the 300 mile drive.(M8 clearly visible to the naked eye.)
Enough for now,
Posted 17 April 2004 - 03:19 PM
Posted 17 April 2004 - 04:49 PM
A most enjoyable first post to read.
Looking forward to further reports from you.
Regards , Kenny.
Posted 17 April 2004 - 06:31 PM
Posted 18 April 2004 - 08:23 AM
Posted 18 April 2004 - 11:37 AM
I have to say that I have a certain amount of respect for people who observe from the crowed East Coast given the degree of light pollution that you have to contend with. I grew up in Easter Montana where my passion for Astronomy began. I currently live in the Pacific Northwest Eugene, Oregon to be precise. I honestly don't know if I would be able to stay interested in Astronomy if I lived where you do-I am just spoiled. Having to drive 300 miles for a good dark sky site would be a bit much. It says a lot about your enthusiasm doing that. I have noticed that there seems like there are a lot of people who enjoy Astronomy where you live. I have always naively it turns out thought that folks who live in the big city never looked up unless it was at a sky scrapper since the sky glow must be like living under some kind of dome. Your introductory narrative was most enjoyable to read and I for one look forward to many more in the future.