Hello {!firstname},

Just to be clear, when I say "Lazy man", that applies to both genders, so no one is being excluded. :)

     Suburban astronomy, as I mentioned yesterday is sometimes overlooked, and folks only wait till
they get out of the city, to the cottage or a dark sky to stargaze.

One minor benefit to being in the city or surburbia is that the main constellations, (or asterisms)are a tad bit
easier to observe .

Take the big dipper for example.  Just north of Toronto, in Richmond Hill, it's easy to spot that particular constellation.

In the city, I can look up right now and see the asterism of  Summer triangle, which consists of Deneb, Altair and Vega.

     An asterism is a grouping of stars, that might be easily recognizable to the amateur observer, but are not
actually a constellation.

Some nights, if I want to take a quick look up, and don't really want to set up or pull out one of my telescopes,
then the next best tool is a good quality pair of binoculars.

I stress good quality, because optics can make a huge difference in terms of what you can see or what you might not see.

What makes a good quality binocular?

For starters, the types of Glass used.  Also the quality of coatings applied. The quality and size of the internal prisms
also determine performance.

From a manufacturing standpoint, there are many astronomy binoculars made in China today.  Some are good, and many
are very poor in quality.

One of the better manufacturers today, is Celestron. 

Not only do they make some really excellent quality binoculars, they also pay attention to small details:

Here are a couple of examples:

Celestron 10 x 50 Granite

http://www.khanscope.com/productdetails.cfm?productID=4329

Celestron 8 x 56 Skymaster

http://www.khanscope.com/productdetails.cfm?productID=4263

Now recently, Celestron actually went to Japan, to build the finest astronomical binoculars they
could, resourcing high quality glass, and top of the line proprietary coatings, and they have come
up with a really top line called the Echelon series.

Actually, the parts are manufactured in Japan, and the binoculars are assembled in the USA
by Celestron technicians to ensure build quality second to none!

You really are getting the best of both worlds.

You can check these out here, in 3 different sizes:

Now the Echelon series, are more costly, but a perfect example of getting what you pay for in premium optics.

The benefit to you, is a lifetime of joyful observing experiences, since you will only be buying these once.

So here is the bottom line: If you want to observe, and you want to do it the easy way, or the lazy mans way
then the tool to use is binoculars.

Even if you are using a telescope of any kind, a pair of binoculars is an excellent tool, to stargaze with at any time
especially when it comes to learning constellations.

Clear Skies,

 

Ray  Khan

PS Here is another tip: When using binoculars, rest your arms on either a table, railing or a bench to steady out the
      image.  I've even used my car hood, when  a tripod was not handy. You will see more this way.