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Get the sturdiest tripod that you can! My 20x80 binoculars are sitting on a ball and socket mount on a very heavy tripod. I use the Benro BH1 ball mount, which is an absolute joy to aim. This mount is rated for 6 KG, almost three times the actual weight of the binoculars. With high-powered binoculars the aim must be adjusted every minute or so, therefore ...


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For anyone else who might be asking a similiar question, I found a great resource for this. The PDFs found at the URL below contain a good list of binocular, naked-eye and telescope targets for each month of the year in both hemispheres. http://www.skymaps.com/downloads.html


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Plaiedes - a jewel box Coal Sack - in Crucis, there's a globular cluster I recall there somewhere. Hours of fascination. Messier objects Jupiter moons Saturn's rings and moons, ? Lycrae Large and Small Magellanic Clouds - extra-galactic remnants on the southern pole of the Milky Way Just for starters. By the time you work through all these, you'll start ...


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Kaufman & Freedman's Universe is a very basic astronomy book aimed at non-astronomy science students or astronomy 1st year students, although for the latter it is perhaps a bit too basic. It covers introductions to all the topics you mention, except perhaps exoplanets (but my edition is from the late 90's; my guess is they have it covered too by now). It ...


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I have the exact same binocular, and in fact I also have a very similar tripod and head. I'll take a photograph this evening to demonstrate my setup. I am very happy with the setup, and I find it very stable. I usually sit the tripod on grass, but I do not recall ever having a problem with it on concrete or stone. I do try to keep the neck as short as ...


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Depending on the season you can try different objects. Try large star clusters and nebulae: The Pleiades Orion nebula Andromeda galaxy M13 globular cluster Also double stars like epsilon Lyrae. It helps to have a foto tripod and an adaptor for the binoculars. Gives much better view when the binoculars are resting on the tripod.


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Try galaxies like Andromeda, and clouds like Orion's sword, as a start.


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Zeilik's Introductory Astronomy and Astrophysics is worth investigating. It's more in depth than Kaufman & Freedman's Universe, mentioned in another answer, but requires a little more mathematical background such as basic calculus and trigonometry. I'd also recommend looking at online courses from providers such as Coursera, Khan Academy and edx (and ...


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Some years ago I did an astronomy course for non astronomers at our university where they used Koupelis' In Quest Of The Universe. Although it changed a bit from my edition (fourth) to the current (seventh), it still seems to cover the same subjects. It talks about the history, modern astronomy, measurement, the planets, stars, galaxies, etc. The book also ...


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Light pollution does not matter for the Moon. Even transparency doesn't matter that much. What does matter is seeing, a.k.a. air turbulence. It is very rare that an exit pupil smaller than 0.5 mm is useful for anything - perhaps for some tight double stars, but that's about it. So take that as a hard lower limit. In terms of a "soft" limit, it depends. If ...


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I need to upgrade my tripod legs. Yes, this seems to be the case I don't need to upgrade the head, since it's rated to twice the capacity of the legs, and to twice the weight of the biggest binoculars I'll use. Seems right to me. However, if you have some money to spare, I think you should consider investing in a Parallelogram Mount (P-mount). ...


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The main point is that it all depends on the optics quality. Nikon is a good brand, but $300 for a 50mm binocular is way too much. Remember the golden rule while buying any kind of telescope or binocular: Aperture matters, not the Magnification. In a binocular, say "7x50" models, you get 7x magnification with 50mm aperture, which restricts how far you can ...


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For higher magnifications, you are going to get into the territory where a tripod becomes a must. I mention this because you didn't say anything about a tripod, so the implication may not have crossed your mind. Unfortunately, the cost of a tripod will eat into your budget. I am inclined to think that your best option would be a telescope. (Unless you also ...



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