Binoculars-stargazing-light polluted skies

Wurkkos

P_A_S_1

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What do you use? Lower or higher magnification? Curious what others have had good results with.
 

sledhead

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Amazing you posted this question now. I just purchased and received a pair of Steiner ShadowQuest 8x56 binoculars. Check out " Best Binocular Reviews " They were rated best Hunting binoculars of 2020, however he rated them excellent for Astronomy, general wildlife and even birding. I had clear skies last night and was amazed at what I saw.
Take the time to read the review...the low light performance is something else. They do have the Sport Focus so the close focus is 66'. Got mine from B&H, you might be able to check them out after the store re-opens.
I'm in South Jersey, skies are pretty dark.
 

troutpool

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8 power is the perfect all-around magnification. Any 8 power bins will serve quite nicely to gaze at the stars or the moon and enjoy them.
 

P_A_S_1

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My issue is too much light pollution. I've read many threads on line at Cloudy Nights and Star Gazers Lounge and some suggest higher magnification lower aperture. I'm using a 7x35 now and while I love the size it's just not cutting it. It's an inexpensive pair so maybe better glass would make the difference, idk. I tend to favor smaller binoculars for all around use and convince but I'm thinking about going big too. Orion makes a15x63 that looks interesting.
 
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troutpool

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Best solution would be to get outside of NYC, preferably to a designated Dark Sky Area. In NYC, I don't know what to suggest. I don't know if changing optics will make much difference. You might put the question to someone in a local astronomy club or store. Fifteen power magnification sounds attractive, but you will never be able to hold them steady with your hands; you will need some sort of tripod or other support.
 

P_A_S_1

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Getting away from the light pollution here isn't easy, the entire region is so populated you'd have to go pretty far then it's not practical or enjoyable. There are little clusters of spots here and there where I can manage but far from ideal. When traveling somewhere with dark skies it's amazing, something city living takes from you.
 

troutpool

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Well, you might just want to turn away from the stars for awhile and focus instead on the beauties of the earth. Central Park is one of the best bird watching spots in the US, especially during spring migration.
 

P_A_S_1

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I use top f the line Zeiss Victory 10 X 56. They are just breathtaking. I take them almost everywhere I go, and on all trips.

Got two on my short list. Nikon 8x30e2 (discontinued but highly recommended) and a Nikon 10x42 hg.
 

troutpool

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Never used those particular models, but my main bins for many years were Nikon 8x42s, and I also had and liked a pair of Nikon 8x32s.
 

P_A_S_1

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Nikon made a 8x32 porro, the se, also discontinued. They were suppose to be excellent.
 

troutpool

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Mine were roof prisms, but I have known a number of birders who swore by Nikon porros. You really can't go wrong. Just decide what your personal preferences are and shop around for the best deal.
 

sledhead

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B&H has a used pair of Nikon 10x42 HG's ....
Check out Vortex if you get a chance ....
 

5S8Zh5

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I use my Mark 1 Mod 0 eyeballs. Looking to the east southeast, Jupiter just overtook Mars with Saturn following (Mars is just below & left of Jupiter and in front of Saturn). A 3 hour projection from the time of this post.

A useful graphic, timeanddate night sky shows you the current night sky for your location, and you can project by changing the date and / or time, forward or backward. _^ Link is for my location - and I'm sure you can change it to yours. I like to ID stars or constellations with it also.

A8J5mh3.jpg
 
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