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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Telescopes and Binoculars, Oh my!

This week we realized dh's telescope that he has had in a box for five years does not work. What a surprise, but thankfully it's just an old Walmart model. 'What a surprise', meaning this box has not been stored properly and I gave up this fight about 4 years ago.

So, since we're studying astronomy in 2nd grade I felt it was necessary to research how much tax money we might end up spending on a telescope or pair of binoculars. I didn't know I had so many decisions to make! After looking at telescopes and discussing it at a message board, the SkyQuest 6" Dobsonian Telescope was the telescope choice. The price anywhere from $229-259. This is pretty steep but it would be it for buying a telescope. And really that isn't steep in comparison to other telescopes. The problem with this is that this telescope is a beginner's telescope. I don't think that would be the problem until someone expressed interest in doing more.

Next up was looking at binoculars. There is nothing else that will make you feel dumb as a brick as tech-talk. If you don't understand the specifications and what they mean, you don't have a clue as to what you are truly looking at. Therefore, I had to read 3 or 4 articles to understand what in the world 10x50 means and why I might want it.

I am not the only person on the web pricing binoculars thankfully! Also, when in doubt ask a friend or if online, a message board. Chances are SOMEONE has experience with these types of things. I had the help of two experienced buyers. Yay!!! For binoculars, the choices can be cheaper than the telescope but it depends on a few things. One-your selection of binoculars, Two- if your selection needs a tripod and Three- if you have a tripod already that would work! Here's the choice of binoculars for us. These are the Celestron SkyMaster 15x70 Center Focus, these weigh 4 pounds and tripod adaptable. The price is $84.00, although reg. retail price is $128.95. I'm still doing a little research to see if the Celestron SkyMaster 12x60 Center Focus would be just as sufficient for us or not. The 12x60 are $65.00. We don't think we have to buy a tripod because we have two that might work.

I have a little more research to do, in comparing the 12x60 to the 15x70 and possibly even smaller ones. Click on the links and see how big these are, there's a picture of a girl/woman holding them. I think I'll be sticking with the Celestron name because other brands charge more for the same thing.


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