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A big Keanu “whoa!” for this 400mm binoscope (binocular telescope) being built by an enterprising Frenchman. He’s spent three years on it so far. It’s not done, but it is operational. The engineering on this is gorgeous. The carriage system is almost as cool as the scope itself! There’s only one other video on YouTube, of him grinding the 400mm mirrors.

Binoscope 400mm – [Thanks, Jon Singer!] Link

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2075878353 3763D703A6 O
Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders by Robert & Barbara Thompson
Price: $29.99
Buy: Maker store – Link.

With the advent of inexpensive, high-power telescopes priced at under $250, amateur astronomy is now within the reach of anyone, and this is the ideal book to get you started. The Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders offers you a guide to the equipment you need, and shows you how and where to find hundreds of spectacular objects in the deep sky — double and multiple stars as well as spectacular star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies.

You get a solid grounding in the fundamental concepts and terminology of astronomy, and specific advice about choosing, buying, using, and maintaining the equipment required for observing. The Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders is designed to be used in the field under the special red-colored lighting used by astronomers, and includes recommended observing targets for beginners and intermediate observers alike. You get detailed start charts and specific information about the best celestial objects.

The objects in this book were chosen to help you meet the requirements for several lists of objects compiled by The Astronomical League (http://www.astroleague.org) or the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (http://www.rasc.ca): Messier Club.

  • Binocular Messier Club
  • Urban Observing Club
  • Deep Sky Binocular Club
  • Double Star Club
  • RASC Finest NGC List

Completing the list for a particular observing club entitles anyone who is a member of the Astronomical League or RASC to an award, which includes a certificate and, in some cases, a lapel pin.

This book is perfect for amateur astronomers, students, teachers, or anyone who is ready to dive into this rewarding hobby. Who knows? You might even find a new object, like amateur astronomer Jay McNeil. On a clear cold night in January 2004, he spotted a previously undiscovered celestial object near Orion, now called McNeil’s Nebula. Discover what awaits you in the night sky with the Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders.

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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Comments

  1. howajo says:

    seems like a lot of work just to see his neighbor undress :-) It is pretty amazing. I would worry about the servo driven eyepieces jamming into my eye though.

  2. Stahl says:

    The video made me feel kind of sad… I was afraid that that in some part of it there would be a “meanwhile at the road near by”- scene where teenagers are drinking and driving… and just when the poor man has set up his binoscope the kids’ car rushes through fences and demolishes that binoscope…

  3. Confused says:

    And the point of a binocular telescope is…? Even the Moon, at hundreds of thousands of miles away will not give any distance information to your eyes with the narrow spacing of the telescopes. Wouldn’t it be simpler to split the image into a binocular eyepiece system as many microscopes do? Beautifully done, though.

  4. Mtngoat says:

    The point of the binoscope is this…two eyes see better than one. Splitting the image cuts the light reaching each eye in half, when one has the will and resources a separate light bucket for each eye is superior.

    I’ve used both large true binoculars and the “splitter” method, and both provide the same false, but amazing, 3D feel. The sky becomes three dimensional. Yes, I know it’s an artifact…but it is a spectacular one, and observing with both eyes at once is far, far more relaxing…once you’ve got the focus and alignment dialed in.

  5. Mtngoat says:

    The point of the binoscope is this…two eyes see better than one. Splitting the image cuts the light reaching each eye in half, when one has the will and resources a separate light bucket for each eye is superior.

    I’ve used both large true binoculars and the “splitter” method, and both provide the same false, but amazing, 3D feel. The sky becomes three dimensional. Yes, I know it’s an artifact…but it is a spectacular one, and observing with both eyes at once is far, far more relaxing…once you’ve got the focus and alignment dialed in.

  6. Doug l says:

    This is a fantastic creation and underscores the advancements taking place in optics. I’m very interested in a system like this for myself with which to conduct long term environmental observational studies over a big habitat where applicable (suitable viewing conditions of clear air and, of course, enough light). I’ll keep an eye peeled for future developement and encourage this developer and others in their work. Cheers.

  7. Rick says:

    Binoviewers do trick the mind into perceiving 3-D but they still use the same optical axis subject to various currents and turbulence. This latter effect is minimized by having a second, independent image. The image integrated in the brain is much sharper. Also binoviewers have smaller fields and produce images not half as bright but about 30-40% as without and have an exasperating back focus requirement most people solve with barlows (multipliers) which reduce brightness by another factor of four or more. One can only compensate with long focus low power eyepieces that are very expensive and yet the binoviewer cannot return with a wider field. A really good binoviewer runs more than a $1000. The eyepieces will add another $500 more and still won’t perform as well in a scope twice the size used with the binoviewer. Normally I use the scope twice the size with a 3″ diameter eyepiece and custom diagonal and focuser. But nothing compares to the relaxed experience of deepspace binoculars with 8mm exit pupils.