If I bought binoculars, would I be able to see the Milky Way?

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solidsnake

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I can't see the Milky Way where I live (NJ). If I bought 7x50 binoculars, would I be able to see it?
 
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SpeedFreek

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I may be wrong here, but I think you need less light pollution to see the milky way, not more magnification?<br /><br />Unfortunately I live in London UK and the light pollution is so bad I have only seen the Milky Way once here. I have seen it many times in more rural areas.<br /><br />Hopefully a real, practical astronomer can confirm (or deny!) this. I am just an armchair astronomer until I move out of London!<br /><br />When in less light polluted areas, the Milky Way can look like the picture below...<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#ff0000">_______________________________________________<br /></font><font size="2"><em>SpeedFreek</em></font> </p> </div>
 
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telfrow

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Absolutely. The view of the Milky Way from Bright Angel Point on the North Rim of The Grand Canyon was an awe inspiring experience. No light pollution. An incredible sight.<br /><br />Here in the Midwestern United States, it's difficult to make out. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <strong><font color="#3366ff">Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will to strive, to seek, to find and not to yeild.</font> - <font color="#3366ff"><em>Tennyson</em></font></strong> </div>
 
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Saiph

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Binoculars won't help see the milky way at all. However, you could use them to see the Andromeda Galaxy.<br /><br />In either case, the darker the skies the better. I saw the milky way for my first time (other than just a faint hint) on the summit of Mauna Kea <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /><br /><br />Then I was asked how it looked when I went to the Nebraska Star Party in the nebraska panhandle (one of the few truly dark regions in the midwest)...and it looked great there too (though my friends threw things at me when I mentioned where I'd been only days before). <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p align="center"><font color="#c0c0c0"><br /></font></p><p align="center"><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">--------</font></em></font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">--------</font></em></font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">----</font></em></font><font color="#666699">SaiphMOD@gmail.com </font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">-------------------</font></em></font></p><p><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">"This is my Timey Wimey Detector.  Goes "bing" when there's stuff.  It also fries eggs at 30 paces, wether you want it to or not actually.  I've learned to stay away from hens: It's not pretty when they blow" -- </font></em></font><font size="1" color="#999999">The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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solidsnake

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Thanks for the information, I appreciate it. How come it's easier to see a galaxy that's 2 million light years away than a galaxy that you're inside?
 
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SpeedFreek

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The galaxy we are inside looks like a faint diffuse smudge spread across the sky. We can't see the full galaxy from our position and the total of the light we see from it is spread thinly all the way across our field of view.<br /><br />Whereas with something like Andromeda, all that light is concentrated into a small spot in the sky. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#ff0000">_______________________________________________<br /></font><font size="2"><em>SpeedFreek</em></font> </p> </div>
 
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Saiph

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exactly what he said! <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p align="center"><font color="#c0c0c0"><br /></font></p><p align="center"><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">--------</font></em></font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">--------</font></em></font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">----</font></em></font><font color="#666699">SaiphMOD@gmail.com </font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">-------------------</font></em></font></p><p><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">"This is my Timey Wimey Detector.  Goes "bing" when there's stuff.  It also fries eggs at 30 paces, wether you want it to or not actually.  I've learned to stay away from hens: It's not pretty when they blow" -- </font></em></font><font size="1" color="#999999">The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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I have to disagree here.<br />I often spend quite a while perusing the MIlky Way with binoculars. In fact, in light polluted skies, one way to find the Milky Way is to just sweep back and forth across the area, and when you see thousands of stars together, that's it! Of course it helps to narrow down the area to look a bit, but you can get lost just gawking at all the stars, the concentrations and dust lanes.<br /><br />The Andromeda galaxy is easier to find since the light is concentrated, but is really just a smudge of light in binocs. WHereas, from the inside, you can see tens of thousands of individual stars in the Milky Way. Dozens of globular clusters as well.<br /><br />I love the MW in binoculars or a wide field scope (like my 25 year old Astrosacn 2001)<br /><br /><img src="/images/icons/cool.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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SpeedFreek

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Thank you for that MeteorWayne <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /> My answer was purely theoretical and needed input from someone who had tried it! <br /><br />Whatever the answer, for someone in a light polluted area, binoculars seem to be a good cheap way to start observing the night sky (and pretty useful during the day too!). <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#ff0000">_______________________________________________<br /></font><font size="2"><em>SpeedFreek</em></font> </p> </div>
 
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green_meklar

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>How come it's easier to see a galaxy that's 2 million light years away than a galaxy that you're inside?<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />Because it's all in the same direction, rather than spread out.<br /><br />Imagine you're in a darkened room where on one side there's a candle and on the other side there's a wall which shines with the same amount of light released by the candle. Which is going to be easier to pick out? The candle, of course. The same sort of basic principle applies here. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>________________</p><p>Repent! Repent! The technological singularity is coming!</p> </div>
 
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