Although the winter astronomy season is nearly coming to an end, there is still time to observe plenty of amazing deep sky splendours that are visible in the night sky. These objects include the Orion nebula, Pleiades and the Double Cluster in Perseus, all of which are easily (and often best) viewed with binoculars, such as those from the Celestron SkyMaster or SkyMaser Pro range. Binocular astronomy is a very popular activity amongst amateur astronomers of all ages and abilities. Being able to scan the night sky with binoculars is a great way to learn your way around the sky. Its also not an expensive way to do astronomy and….there’s no big heavy or long winded set up of equipment to perform either.
Although binoculars are mainly used hand-held, quite often having them mounted on a tripod is best, especially if you are going to be using them for a prolonged period of time, or if they are a little on the heavy side. For mounting binoculars on a tripod you need a tripod adaptor, of which there are many available. However Celestron have gone “one step further” with their unique RSR Binocular Tripod mount.
What does RSR stand for? It stands for Reflex Sight Rail. Celestron have taken a heavy duty binocular tripod mount and “added” a secure, removable, mounting platform rail that allows a red dot finder scope, such as their Star Pointer or Star Pointer Pro models, to be easily attached. The RSR tripod adaptor weighs only ~225g so only adds very little weight to the overall “bundle”.
The Reflex Sight Rail simply and easily clamps to the top section of the binocular tripod mounting bracket, and then you slide on your red dot finder onto the rail. Using a red dot finder makes the task of locating objects quicker and easier.
Celestron offer two red dot finders that can be used with their RSR: Their StarPointer and StarPointer Pro. The StarPointer has a single red-dot with the StarPointer Pro having a dual-circle reticle and a larger 40mm optical window allowing you to acquire targets easily. Both have x-y adjustments for finderscope alignment purposes, and variable brightness LED to suit lighting conditions.