There are many reasons why in stargazing binoculars are useful. Here are eleven.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure for further information.
How Do Binoculars Help You See Better Celestial Views?
For amateur astronomers, here are 11 ways binoculars can help your stargazing experience.
1. Accessory to Telescope
It’s not a matter of binoculars vs telescope, but rather a case of binoculars being a great accessory to that home telescope. First, they will help you find stars and planets to point to in the night sky (more so than the naked eye).
2. Above Horizon Viewing
Binoculars are best for viewing stars and planets just above the horizon as they are rising.
3. Viewing Comets
4. Find Outer Planets
With binoculars, you can search out Uranus and Neptune with the help of finder charts.
5. Planet Viewing
Quality binoculars are useful for planet viewing. You can see the red color of Mars, Aldebaran, Betelgeuse, and Antares clearly through a good set of binoculars. Alpha Centauri can be seen as yellow and Beta Centauri as blue.
6. Lunar Occultations
Small binoculars are ideal for lunar occultations (when the Moon passes in front) of a star of magnitude 4 or less (brighter).
7. Moon Features
They are great for viewing the large craters and maria (seas) on the Moon. It’s a good idea to have a sturdy tripod for this or at least a way of keeping the image stable. You can try placing your elbows on a fence, one the roof of your vehicle, or on a table while holding the binoculars to view the moon.
8. Finding Fainter Stars
Binoculars are best for finding the fainter stars shown in star atlases and finder charts.
9. Dim Stars
They help with finding stars that appear dim due to the position of the Moon in the night sky.
10. Moons of Jupiter
They are useful for observing the moons of Jupiter as they move around the planet.
11. Great for Kids
Binoculars can be more lightweight and compact than portable telescopes. They are also easy to use and are a great way to get children interested in astronomy.