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Telescopes and Binoculars

  Binoculars have the advantage of being less expensive, lighter, and more portable than telescopes. A common type of binoculars used for astronomy is called 7 x 50. The 7 means that it magnifies 7 times, and the 50 means that its front lenses are 50mm across. A 50mm lens funneling light into an 8mm pupil (the human eye pupil is 8mm across) is about 40 times more light enters the eye.
  One draw back with binoculars is that using only your hands to view the stars, makes a very unsteady platform. Thus having a tripod improves the visibility greatly.

  Binoculars mounted on a Tripod.

There are two basic types of telescopes reflector telescope reflecting
and refractor telescope refracting.

  A reflecting telescope uses a mirror to collect and focus light, while a refracting telescope uses a lens to gather light. Both of these telescopes must use a mount to hold the telescope for viewing the night skies.
  There are also many different telescope mounts ranging in style, cost and functionality. The three most popular are equatorial mount, azimuth mount and the Dobsonian mount. A mount not only supports the telescope but also may track astronomical objects across the sky as the earth rotates.