Binoculars for Astronomy

I did a Google search, and these looked like reasonable links, although I haven't looked at them in detail. They cover what to look for in binoculars, and how to choose what's right for you (For example: bigger has some advantages, but you tend to lose stability, which can be a problem). For more specific suggestions (I'm not endorsing anything in particular here): Not everyone will have exactly the same criteria when shopping, so I hesitate to endorse anything in particular, but I (Shauna) have the Bausch and Lomb Legacy 7x50 binoculars recommended by SkyNews. A few years ago, I found them in Canada far more inexpensively than here, which was one reason for my choice... I'll see if I can get Eric to tell us what he has...

Telescopes for Astronomy

I don't have a telescope, so my knowledge of these is somewhat limited.

If after reading the following links you REALLY don't know what you want, go to the Friday/Saturday night observing sessions at Chabot Space and Science Center, or the alternating Saturday sessions at Lawrence Hall of Science, and ask the amateur astronomers about their "toys". Most will be happy to discuss the various pros and cons, and help you decide on the style of telescope that will be right for you.

In addition to the first two links above, which have some information on choosing telescopes, here's a few online links on choosing a telescope (I have just done a Google search). In a quick look, these looked good. These tell you what questions to ask yourself for choosing the right scope. More Googling might yield a few more suggestions, but these should be helpful.

Eric (2004 coteacher) suggests that for ease of use, you want an 8-10" reflector on a Dobsonian mount (larger aperture means you can see fainter stuff, but it'll be heavier to carry around). For these he suggests trying Coulter Optics or Orion. If you want a "Go-To" type of telescope (computer controlled, finds objects for you), you may have to go with Meade or Celestron, which can be expensive.