22″ Binocular Telescope


This is the worlds largest known visual binocular. Why binocular and not just a regular telescope? Well, it all has to do with clarity. Apparently when you can use both eyes, you can see much more detail and pick up light better. The author states in one story that he was able to see a spiral galaxy clearly with a binocular telescope, but couldn’t see it at all with a monocular telescope of the same power.

There is information on several models on the site. Look in the right hand column as well for useful links to parts distributors.

[via Hacked Gadgets]

16 thoughts on “22″ Binocular Telescope

  1. Those are cool. I got a chance to use a binocular telescope at a star party last summer. They were made with 10 inch meade lightbridge telescopes, so not quite as big as this one.

  2. Binocular telescopes are a bit cool, but also kind of silly, at least when they are constructed by this design. It is certainly true that using both eyes results in higher visual acuity. But the acuity is just as great if the resulting light beam is split and fed equally to both eyes by a beam splitter than if two separate mirrors are fed to your eyes. Yes, there is a 50% (actually slightly more, due to losses) decrease in light intensity, but that’s only a difference of about 0.75 magnitude. You could gain that back by building a 30″ telescope instead of a 22″ scope, and you’d get better resolving power and a simpler optical path as a result.

    Binocular telescopes, while cool, are kind of a stunt.

  3. In response to fartface, I highly doubt that to be true. Both eyes are receiving pretty much the same image. The distance to planets etc is so so large compared to the separation of your eyes or the two telescopes that the distance can only ever appear to be two dimensional. When you’re looking at a sheep on a hill several miles away, you would be unable to tell the difference between a 3d sheep and a high quality 2d model of a sheep.

  4. The reason that binocular telescopes are useful is that they allow for more precise error correction than a monocular telescope does.

    When light passes through Earth’s atmosphere it is altered (atmospheric distortion). A binocular telescope is better at removing this distortion because it uses two separate parallel sources of light. Computer algorithms adjust the shapes of the mirrors and use the images produced by both to obtain a clearer image (with less distortion).

    Obviously, the Hubble space telescope was designed to avoid the problem altogether – it does not have Earth’s atmosphere to contend with.

    One can only assume that the producer of the telescope pictured in this article gains some of the benefits of the reduction of atmospheric distortion that these kinds of telescopes provide. It has nothing to do with our eyes.

    Here’s a BBC article on large binocular telescopes: http://tinyurl.com/639g2b

  5. I believe when using a splitter, you don’t necessarily get a 50% decrease in brightness since if I remember correctly (don’t have a source) you can resolve dimmer objects if you’re using both eyes. I want to say it made the image effectively 75% of the original brightness, but that may be wildly wrong.

  6. a 30″ mirror would be good too, but the cost of mirrors ramps up quickly with size. Not just the cost of the mirror itself but the cost of the heavier duty components required to mount it and so forth. Two smaller mirrors probably makes for easier setup and breakdown too, though you’d have to collimate both mirrors… That should only take a few minutes each though.

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