Binocular Astronomy

Binocular Astronomy

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About this book

This is a comprehensive book on binocular astronomy. Stephen Tonkin clearly explains the merits of using binoculars for astronomy. Not only are they well suited to beginners who don't own a telescope yet, they also remain relevant even after you have purchased a sophisticated telescope. Binoculars never become obsolete. An increasing number of amateur astronomers are using binoculars as their main observing instrument. Steve explains how binoculars work, how to evaluate them and how to select a pair of binoculars that corresponds to your practice of astronomical observation. Essential topics like care and maintenance of binoculars as well as holding and mounting binoculars are also covered well. Intermediate and advanced amateur astronomers will find the chapter on binocular telescopes particularly interesting. Observing techniques are beautifully illustrated in chapter 9. Steve then takes the reader on a tour of the night sky through binoculars by season to finish this complete guide on stargazing with binoculars.


Table of contents

Why Binoculars? Pages 3-8
Binocular Optics and Mechanics Pages 9-41
Choosing Binoculars Pages 43-61
Evaluating Binoculars Pages 63-76
Care and Maintenance of Binoculars Pages 77-94
Holding and Mounting Binoculars Pages 95-118
Binocular Telescopes Pages 119-127
Observing Accessories Pages 129-139
Observing Techniques Pages 141-145
Overview Pages 149-192
December Solstice to March Equinox (RA 04:00 h to 10:00 h) Pages 193-235
March Equinox to June Solstice (RA 10:00 h to 16:00 h) Pages 237-281
June Solstice to September Equinox (RA 16:00 h to 22:00 h) Pages 283-346
September Equinox to December Solstice (RA 22:00 h to 04:00 h) Pages 347-389



About the author

Stephen Tonkin, BSc (Hons), F.R.A.S. has been a keen amateur astronomer since childhood and now spends most of his time doing astronomical education and outreach, both as a Lecturer in Astronomy for an adult education college, and independently with his own organization, The Astronomical Unit. He organizes and leads astronomy courses and talks, public observing, and astronomy-related storytelling for children and adults. In 2000, he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.

He has been using binoculars for astronomy for over forty years, initially under the pristine African skies under which he grew up, and as his main observing instrument for the last decade. He actively promotes and encourages the use of binoculars within the amateur astronomy community and publishes a monthly e-zine, The Binocular Sky Newsletter, for binocular astronomers. He also writes the monthly Binocular Tour in Sky at Night magazine.

He now lives on the edge of the New Forest, which has some of the darkest skies in southern England. On clear moonless nights when he's not working, he can usually be found at one of these dark sites, exploring the night sky with his binoculars.


Complementary information

  • ISBN : 978-1-4614-7466-1
  • Edition number : 2
  • Copyright : 2014
  • Number of pages : 435
  • Publisher : Springer-Verlag New York