Astronomy Cast Ep. 396: Family Astronomy for the Holidays

Article Updated: 28 Dec , 2015


Every year, it’s the same dilemma: what gift should you get for the super space nerd in the family? And if someone has a budding interest in space and astronomy, what can you do to feed their hunger for knowledge? Today we’ll talk telescopes, books and planispheres. Everything you need to avoid a holiday gift disaster.

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December 7, 2015 6:48 PM

You mentioned the difficulty holding heavier binoculars. Try using a painter’s sanding pole? Get one that is lightweight/alum. and extensible/height adjustable. The head will pivot 360* and 120* on a clamped sphere. Use large rubber bands, velcro straps or small bungee’s to attach the binocs to the flat. Adjust the height to either sitting or standing position and balance/rest the binocs on your new monopod!

P.S. If it’s recycled, be sure to blow the dust off first.
P.P.S. LEGO binoculars – Or telescope

Adrian Morgan
December 10, 2015 7:49 AM
I have some binoculars that I rarely use because they’re frankly terrible (at least for astronomy purposes) and I would give them away (or trade) in the right circumstances. They are general-purpose binoculars with adjustable zoom 10-30×50, independent focus on one eyepiece, and the brand is Barska. The main reason they’re terrible is that not only is it a pain to get them into focus, but simply the pressure of holding them against your face is enough to squeeze them OUT of focus again. I don’t really understand what’s going on there (you can’t squeeze them all the way), but it’s so frustrating. My guess is this is somehow a side-effect of the adjustable zoom and that the… Read more »