We are now past the summer solstice, the nights start drawing in and becoming longer, and road to the autumn observing season has begun. Some amazing deep sky splendours will be visible in our night sky such as the Andromeda galaxy and the magnificent double cluster in Perseus, and these will lead the way to objects such as the Orion nebula and the Pleiades star cluster later in the year. All of these celestial targets 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 with both having x-y adjustments for finderscope alignment purposes, and variable brightness LED to suit lighting conditions. Starpointers that are already supplied with telescopes such as the SLT or NexStar SE/Evolution (or other brands of red dot finder with a clamp on their base) can be used with the RSR.
This useful accessory is currently on offer at £22.99 (down from £35 SRP).