Astronomy Victoria

Astronomy Victoria - AstroVic is a Victorian based website for amateur Australian astronomy, covering news and events around the globe like astronomy news, articles, and information sources and much more as the site evolves for Astronomy Australia and AstroVic.



AstroVic FAQ:

What is a Refractor Telescope:
A refracting or refractor telescope is a type of optical telescope which refracts light at each end using lenses. This refraction causes parallel light rays to converge at a focal point; while those which were not parallel converge upon a focal plane. This can enable a user to view a distant object as if it were brighter, clearer, and/or larger. These are similar to microscopes. The monocular is a type of refractor. A typical refractor has two lenses, an objective lens and an eyepiece lens.

What is a Reflector Telescope:
A reflecting telescope (reflector) is an optical telescope which uses mirrors, rather than lenses, to reflect light. The British scientist Sir Isaac Newton designed the first reflector circa 1670. He designed the reflector in order to solve the problem of chromatic aberration, a serious degradation in all refracting telescopes before the perfection of achromatic lenses.The traditional two-mirrored reflector is known as a Newtonian reflector.

Why Astronomical Binoculars Are Becoming Popular Over Telescopes

Astronomy is taught in universities, colleges, and selected high schools today. While observing the stars is considered a scholarly challenge, amateur gazers find it enjoyable entertainment. The opportunity to view the stars in an appreciable way requires a telescope. The need for using sophisticated equipment for viewing the stars has limited the number of participants. More recently binoculars have been used for astronomical viewing. The result is appreciable for many people considering the easier mobility and simpler operation of the binocular equipment. There is a great difference in price, comparing a telescope and binoculars. Transporting a telescope has always been a difficult assignment because the instrument is cumbersome and setup is an involved process. The best binoculars for astronomy use are (7 x 50) or larger. Any size binocular can be used for viewing stars and sky objects, but choosing quality equipment promises better results.

The binocular rating has two basic parameters: magnification and aperture. The first number tells the magnification factor. A second number is the aperture, the diameter of the lenses. A (7 x 50) binocular shows a view magnified 7 times and it has objective lenses 50 mm wide. Objects will appear brighter with wider lenses. The area of land or sky that is presented to your eyes by using binoculars is referred to as the field of view. Astronomers have expressed these fields in degrees. In order to define the quality performance of their products, binocular makers present the field of view in mathematical conversions that show a variance of fields. Binoculars with larger fields of view may work better, but the cost is considerably more.

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When choosing binoculars for astronomical use, both technical quality and optical quality are important aspects. Many astronomers are professionals, but amateur observers have embraced the romance of stargazing also. Each group enjoys the beauty of the sky and they appreciate the gentle relaxation gained by watching the stars. Adaptation of binoculars for a telescope offered change along with creating new opportunities. One group of star gazers aims to enjoy their astronomical pursuits while using as little amount of equipment as possible while the another group requires a sophisticated telescope for their endeavors. Each group will choose equipment for viewing/observing the stars after consideration of all available information. Nevertheless, the capabilities of binoculars appeal to both groups as they choose equipment that best fits their needs.

Regardless of whether you choose to use telescopes or astronomical binoculars stargazing ans planet watching is a rewarding and educational pastime that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. This is a super activity for bringing the whole family together.

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