Sunday, 17 August 2014

A swift view of the Milky Way

This evening’s sky was a delight , even with the nearby streetlights shining, the Milky Way stretched far and wide overhead.

At about 11.00pm I grabbed my “new/secondhand” Swift 8x40 binoculars and planted myself in the front garden.

Thanks to an earlier collimation my new binoculars were spilling out sharp pin-point stars in all directions.

My Swift Auburon 8x40’s cost £15 at a local bootsale, and I can highly recommend that particular model.

 One thing is to always make sure that any prospective binoculars have collimation grub screws.  These four tiny screws are easy to find (with a magnifying glass!) and are necessary to properly align the two objective lenses.

Without the ability to adjust the objective lenses you will quickly go cross-eyed and relegate the binos to the dustbin!

For all astronomy purposes I would never buy binoculars unless they have the four adjustment grub screws.

When I first tested the 8x40’s, I mounted them on a tripod and placed Arcturus in the field of view. I was rewarded with a lovely view of Arcturus and what appeared to be its identical twin! 

After a slight adjustment of all four grub screws, the double image of Arcturus merged back into one sharp starlight point.

Do they work?

Most definitely Yes….. so far I’ve had good views of M13, M33, M31, M81/82,  Kembles Cascade, the Sword Handle and The Coat Hanger.

Plus, ambling through the river of the Milky Way is a joy with those little 8x40’s.

Clear Skies





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