Binoculars for Astronomical Outreach

by Steve Tonkin in Fordingbridge, Hampshire, England

Binoculars for Astronomical Outreach

Twelve binoculars to be used for astronomical outreach.

by Steve Tonkin in Fordingbridge, Hampshire, England

We did it
On 13th March 2018 we successfully raised £1,060 with 43 supporters in 42 days

New stretch target

Large aperture mounted binoculars to use for astronomical outreach.


Get More Binoculars into More Kids' Hands


Introduction

I do a lot of astronomical outreach, including workshops on Stargazing with  Binoculars.  An increasing amount of it seems to be with youngsters (aka the astronomers of tomorrow).  It is becoming increasingly clear that the ideal instrument to give people their first binocular view of the skies is the 8x42 class - no issues about holding it steady, nice wide field of view, and also suitable for small heads.  

Although I have a few binoculars that can be shared around, these outreach events would be far more "efficient", and enjoyable for the participants,  if individuals could each use one binocular without having to  share.  


Initial Aim

Twelve robust 8x42 Porro prism binoculars. The ideal binocular for this is the Opticron Adventurer T WP 8x42  - the quality is excellent, it meets the above criteria, and is water- (i.e. dew-) proof. This will meet the basic need. Opticron UK has generously offered to match the number of funded binoculars on a one-to-one basis by donating up to ten binoculars.

Extension

If the funding exceeds what is required for the Initial Aim, surplus money will go towards a secondary aim of one or two mounted 80mm binoculars. 

Notes

  • I do not charge a fee for outreach work that I do with youngsters (although organisers/venues sometimes do), so I will not benefit financially from this initiative (although I will get increased satisfaction!).
  • In the event of my being unable to continue this outreach work due to ill health or any other reason, I undertake to donate the binoculars to an organisation, or organisations, that work with youngsters.

Observing sunspots with filtered binoculars


Update (2018 Feb 07):
Very grateful thanks to all those who have donated so far: nearly half way to the target in the first week!

A few people have asked why I don't do the rounds of my local suppliers and ask for donations of binoculars. I did consider this, but there are things that make Opticron's  "BOGOF" offer remarkably attractive for a project like this:

  • It a binocular of a quality I'd really like to get
  • I know that I can get tetherable replacements for the eyepiece caps (reduces likelihood of loss)
  • There are distinct advantages to having  a "matching set"
    • I know exactly what each person can see
    • The binoculars  need the same maintenance routine
    • Should one get irreparably damaged, it can serve as a source of spares for the others
  • I know from experience that the after-sales service, should I need it, is excellent


Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£20 or more

eBook: "Two Eyes on the Sky"

"Two Eyes on the Sky" is the working title for my new binocular astronomy book, expected to be published in late 2018.

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