Agile Observing

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A basic pair of 8x40mm binoculars lets you access around 500,000 stars

Many people think astronomy is a complicated or technical activity. While it can be, it very definitely doesn’t need to be. Over 90% of my observing is done with a simple pair of binoculars, like these light and inexpensive 8x40s, which I try to carry with me wherever I go on local walks or further afield.

With these I can access stunning images of the Moon, resolve the satellites of Jupiter, sweep through over 500,000 stars (most too dim to see naked eye), resolve glittering star clusters like the Pleiades and Hyades, and (under suitably dark skies) view the dim light from galaxies many millions of light years away.

Marry the binoculars with a small tripod and a night sky app on your phone and you have everything your need for agile observing during clear skies or brief opportune breaks in the weather.

Clear skies.