As we all know it is human nature to be curious...It is also our nature to want more <G> so if binoculars are good and a telescope is better...well then telescope binoculars have got to be super way better!
I imagine most people know what a telescope is and how it works. Technically a telescope is a monocular. Meaning that it is an ocular (seeing) device with a mono (single) view. That would make a binocular a seeing device with a dual view. Both the monocular and binocular are made to magnify the view they provide. (Now we start to get a feel of why any one would want a telescope binocular)
Those are obvious differences between telescopes and binoculars (the single and the double view thing). Another difference between telescopes and binoculars that the average person may not realize is the 'field of view' or FOV. The range of FOV from telescope to binocular is very large indeed. The average telescope has a FOV of 3 to 23 degrees and the average binocular has a FOV of 50 to 60 degrees.
Binoculars fix an image upright for the human eye. Binoculars have a much wider FOV than telescopes, they allow you to see much more of an object be it in the heavens or on the ground. Great explanation of FOV here
A telescope is much better than binoculars at magnifying an object, they are more versatile at changing the magnification power of the scope and they are capable of much more aperture because telescopes can be built with mirrors. You can get more information on telescopes in general and for the beginner at My First Scope here
So now here it comes....Hmmmm What if I put two telescopes together and made some really huge Telescope Binoculars!
Lets see ....telescope binoculars made with a couple 3 inch refractors would be cool ...I could put them together on an alt az mount pretty easy.
Okay then, If we can make telescope binoculars from a couple of 3" telescopes. Why couldn't we make a telescope binocular from some larger telescopes...Say like some 5 inch takahashi's! Yeah Now were talking!!! The Borg makes a great little refractor that would make
a super telescope binocular. Check out the ones made by Astro joe from New York. I will give you the link to all his great work here.
These telescope binoculars are fantastic. But, (always a but<G>) I bet we could make one that is even bigger!
You see the problem with making telescope binoculars with refractors is that refractors are limited to the amount of aperture you can put together within a decent budget.
NOT REFLECTORS!!!! I bet we could make some bodacious telescope binoculars with some newtonian reflectors!
13 inch Telescope Binoculars
huge telescope binoculars. That sounds sooooo easy doesn't it <G> Well I hate to be the one to burst any bubbles around here but...If you are thinking of building a pair of this type of telescope binoculars then you should be prepared to do a boat load of research! They are not as simple as you might think. I wont get into the math and the mechanics...but you can start here at Dave's site. He offers a bunch of information and shows you how he built these and other telescope binoculars.
Wow, telescope binoculars made from thirteen inch mirrors! That has got to be some of the biggest telescope binoculars made right?
What you say? There are bigger ones? LOL Oh Yeah, he answered with a smile.
Bruce Sayres of Northern California really shows us what can be done with some metal and mirrors.
click on pictures for a larger image
These 22 inch telescope binoculars are amongst the largest visual telescope binoculars to date. There are larger telescope binoculars but they are not set up for humans to look through.
One is a telescope binocular in Colorado called the Mt. Evans Meyer-Womble Observatory it has a 28.5 inch telescope binocular with Richey-Chretien mirrors. If your not familiar with the Richey-Chretien grind of a mirror, it is arguably the best type of mirror for photography and instrument work you can put in your telescope binoculars. Any telescope for that matter. I can't seem to find any pictures of the Meyer Telescope Binocular, but I do have a picture of the observatory.
Speaking of larger telescope binoculars <G>Do you want to see something really scary? I knew you would LOL...
That is to say the Large Binocular Telescope
I wonder If I should play the theme to 2001 here...This telescope binocular is so big it is in the realm of gynormus! This "Large Binocular Telescope" has 8.4 meter mirrors..and weighs in at 600 tons.It has the aperture equivalent to a 75 foot telescope...W0W! That is really big boys and girls!
The only downer about this state of the art telescope binocular is that it is not set up for visual astronomy...We cant look through it! Damn I say! You can find everything you want to know and way more than I could tell you here at The Large BInocular Telescope
I took these pictures of the Large Binocular Telescope whilst on vacation in June in 2008. We were going through Saford AZ. I would guess we were around 10 miles or so from the LBT at the time. The 1st pic on the left is a magnified shot from the car the last is about as high as the Kodak can go.
This bad boy is only a little bit smaller than the Keck on Mauna Kea in Hawaii. That system has 10 meter mirrors compared to the LBT having 8.4 meter mirrors..but the LBT is a true telescope binocular and the Keck is not...the Keck will be hooked up with other scopes eventually when the system gets rolling I believe it will have 4 or 5 10 meter scopes that will all point at the same object at the same time. The Keck is almost a telescope binocular of astronomical size.
You can see some of these telescope binoculars for your self at different places ...I have seen some of these myself at RTMC. Those of you that can get to Stellafane would have a great opportunity to look through a telescope binocular. Almost all astronomy clubs or associations will have a telescope building nut that will have a telescope binocular of some sort you could look through and examine.
There are many more examples of telescope binoculars around I just picked a few to showcase here because I have looked through a couple of these, and a few not shown here...it is definitely an experience not to be missed by an avid astronomer...
There is something about looking through a telescope binocular that is just better.
Of course you see more, because telescope binoculars by their very nature offer more aperture which equates to more light, which lets us see further and wider.
Beyond that, I think getting to see that much of the night sky with both eyes really just seems to make your brain happy <G>
Want to talk about binoculars?