Binocular Talk by Dawn Jenkins

1996 Peach State Star Gaze
Indian Springs State Park
Jackson, Georgia
April 20, 1996


Beginners may do better starting out with a pair of binoculars instead of a telescope.
Many astronomical objects can be observed with binoculars including the Moon, Star Clusters, Planets and Comets!
When buying a pair of binoculars, consider the cost of the mounting as well, especially if you plan on purchasing large binoculars that can not be easily hand held.
If possible try to build your own mount!


Exit Pupil

Aperture ÷ Magnification 10 x 50 Binoculars = 50 ÷ 10 = 5 mm exit pupil

Light Grasp!

Diameter x 1.414 (Square root of 2) *
80 mm x 1.414 = 113.12


Astronomy with Binoculars, James Muirden, Arco Publishing, Inc., New York, 1984 - THE guidebook from my library, very good information and a great observing guide

Binocular Astronomy, Crossen and Tirion, Willman-Bell, U.S.A., 1992 - A great observing guide, I was disappointed with the lack of information on binocular mechanics, I want this in my library!

The Binocular Stargazer, Leslie C. Peltier, Kalmbach Publishing, Milwauke, WI, 1995 - This book was original published as Leslie Peltier’s Guide to the Stars

Exploring the Night Sky with Binoculars, David Chandler - I must recommend this one sight unseen. The price is right and Chandler’s other astronomical guides and aids are wonderful!

How to Choose Binoculars, Alan R. Hale, Not an observing guide, this book is filled with information on binoculars to help potential buyers

Patrick Moore’s Exploring the Night Sky with Binoculars, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1986 - A nice observing guide includes Southern hemisphere constellations, some information on binoculars

Star Gazing Through Binoculars, Stephen Mensing, Tab Books, U.S.A., 1986 - A good reference for binoculars and observing, perhaps my favorite of those used for this talk

Touring the Universe though Binoculars, Philip S. Harrington, Wiley Science Editions, U.S.A., 1990 - Primarily an observing guide, well-done by constellation


A Binocular Star Hop in Orion, Sky and Telescope, Jan 1993, Philip Harrington, pg. 48
In Search of a Good Binocular Mount, Sky and Telescope, June 1993, Alan MacRobert, pg. 35
How I built a large, 20" binocular , Sky and Telescope, June 1993, pg. 89
The Power of Binoculars, Sky and Telescope, May 1995, Alan MacRobert, pg. 49
Make a Bino Mount, David Rogers, Astronomy Magazine, August 1995, pg. 71

Also see S & T’s monthly almanac for a binocular challenge from Phil Harrington!

* HA! Now there's a controversy! Do binoculars have more light grasp than monoculars? Some of us think they do. The reason being that the brain can add together the two images to get more light gathering power. I've seen arguments both ways on this and I'd really like to have a reference. If you know one, or have some pertainent arguement please mail me!

Oh yeah! This htm is copyright © 1996 Dawn Jenkins, though I'm not sure why anyone would want to steal it!

Beam to Observing!
Beam to Binocular Observing!

Beam me back, Astra!