Binocular Highlights by Gary Seronik, 2nd Ed.

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pakarinen
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Binocular Highlights by Gary Seronik, 2nd Ed.

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Post by pakarinen »

Burned part of a B&N gift card and ordered this online. It arrived yesterday.

I'm not really much of a bino observer, but since I'm in heavy LP and my scopes are small, I've found that bino books give more realistic expectations of what I can see from home. No 12th mag faint fuzzies here - I keep an FF list for trips to darker skies.

I like the book. 109 open and globular clusters, galaxies, double stars, and nebulae with lovely Sky and Tel style charts - dark blue with colored stars. I wish S&T would publish an atlas in that format, but an S&T contributor said the magazine charts are custom prepared and apparently not translatable to something as large as an atlas.

Format is spiral bound and about 9 inches by 6 inches - seems convenient for one-handed field use. Price was $24.99, which might be a little high IMO, but a custom mojito in a "trendy" restaurant can set you back a good portion of that. Priorities!

Bottom line: good book for bino and small telescope users, worth the cost, and definitely a keeper.
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Re: Binocular Highlights by Gary Seronik, 2nd Ed.

#2

Post by Doug James »

Thanks for posting your feed back on Binocular Highlights. I don't think the cost is out of line for a guide book such as this one.
Enjoy the book.
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Re: Binocular Highlights by Gary Seronik, 2nd Ed.

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Post by mikemarotta »

Book Review [A version also appears on the Sidereal Times website of the Austin Astronomical Society for August 2019.]
Binocular Highlights: 109 Celestial Sights for Binocular Users, 2nd Edition, by Gary Seronik, Sky & Telescope, 2017, 112 pages +4 fold-out maps, $24.99.

Binoculars are easy to carry. The images in the very wide field of view are correct vertically and horizontally. Without a tripod (or monopod), you will steady them as best you can, seated with your elbows on your knees. And, even so, some of your targets will be overhead, so those solutions remain inoperative. Nonetheless, the advantages outweigh the difficulties.
Binoc Highs ed 2 cover.jpeg
As with telescopes bigger is better, up to a limit of convenience. The author warns that the impressive views of larger instruments require a heavy-duty mount and tripod. That said, even a small set will reveal celestial sights unavailable to the naked eye – which is the point of viewing with any instrument. Binoculars deliver broad and wide vistas of deep sky clusters and nebulae.

Seronik explains the optics. He also clarifies the parameters of the instruments. A pair of 10x35 are 10 power with a 35-mm objective lens. On the frame, you will likely find another measure. My 12x45 Bushnell (purchased from the close-out aisle at Walmart for $39.95) say 225 FOV at 1000 yards. However, my little Vivitars ($29.95 retail), which I measured as 30mm, keep all of their secrets. Seronik does discuss the latest computer-driven image-stabilizing options, but only briefly. His heart is with “The Allure of Cheap Binoculars.” The reason why is that the optics are usually a given. It is a known technology. Better, more expensive products have sturdier mechanics: they take travel well and stay tight over time.

If you have the first edition, and have been active with it you probably do not need the new printing. As far as I can tell, comparing page by page, the only differences are the ten new objects. If you have been out often with your “binos” since 2010, then you may well have penciled them in on your own.

Among the new targets is Albireo, which should be on everyone’s list. Others, such as NGC 2243 and NGC 2345 in Monoceros and M56 in Cygnus are going to be a challenge even with 50 mm objectives, except under ideal conditions. Also among the additions are the open clusters Cr 132 and Cr 140 in Canis Major. They may stand out for you because of their relative brightness, +3.6, but it may be hard to resolve them better than points of light. Even so, the thrill of the hunt is one of the strongest motivators that we astronomers enjoy.
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Michael E. Marotta
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Editor AAS History of Astronomy Division
Also member: ASP, BAA, SPA, ALPO, AL
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Re: Binocular Highlights by Gary Seronik, 2nd Ed.

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Post by alder1 »

This is the book I started with, so it’s special to me. I saw all the objects listed with a pair of 10x50’s and it was a thrilling night for me when I checked off the last DSO. The text is interesting and informative and an excellent foundation for further stargazing. I still like to grab it and my binos when I want to go out for a quick and easy session....
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