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Using Binoculars in Amateur Astronomy (Best Options)

In addition to a telescope, you may want to invest in a good set of binoculars suited to astronomy. There are a few reasons why you would do this. I cover these and more below.

Why Astronomy Binoculars?

One reason…

…not only can you use the binoculars for astronomy, but you can also use them as bird watching binoculars or for other terrestrial pursuits.

This makes them cost-effective and a good option for kids or beginners keen on stargazing.

It’s not simply a matter of binoculars vs telescope as binoculars make a great accessory to a telescope. So, not only is a pair of astronomy binoculars great for checking out the craters on the moon, but they are also useful in quite a few other ways in astronomy (my list of 10).

 

12x40 Binoculars for astronomy, view of moon,
The moon viewed through binoculars 12 x 40

 

Astronomy Binoculars Buying Guide

Which binoculars for astronomy are the best? You’ll get some ideas of what to look for in this binoculars for astronomy buying guide.

Best Binoculars for Astronomy

In choosing binoculars for sale for astronomy, the size of the aperture and the power (magnification) matter. A power of 7× is a good start in a beginner astronomy binoculars. A 50 mm objective lens is also a good place to begin for comfort at least since a larger lens becomes weightier when handheld.

Binoculars provide a wider field of view than telescopes and so you will see a larger portion of the night sky through a set of binoculars than via a telescope.

A pair of 7×50 binoculars for astronomy will give you a field of view of about 7 degrees in diameter. Compare this to a typical amateur telescope (even when using low power) with a field of view of only 1 degree. This translates to 40–50 times the area being visible with this pair of binoculars compared to the telescope.

In considering which binoculars to buy for astronomy, look for at least 7 times magnification and a 50 mm diameter objective lens, which is, in binoculars for astronomy, is a fairly popular choice for amateur stargazers.

A 50 mm diameter objective lens means a high light-gathering ability and this is ideal for astronomical use.

A 7× magnification is okay. With typical 10×50 binoculars, astronomy wise, you will need to keep them steady. The larger the aperture the likely bigger and bulkier will be the binoculars.

Reviews of Best Binoculars for Stargazing

For astronomy binoculars, Amazon has a great range to choose from including some best binocular brands. Among the brand names are Nikon, Orion, and Celestron astronomy binoculars.

Check out the reviews of binoculars for astronomy from real owners on Amazon.

How to Choose Binoculars?

Look for these features.

  • A good anti-reflection coating
  • A high-grade glass like BAK-4
  • Lens shape – focus holds out to the edge of the field

How to Buy Binoculars?

Where to buy binoculars for stargazing? You can buy binoculars online. Some of the best cheap binoculars for astronomy can be found on Amazon. There are many to choose from.

  Get these best buy binoculars for stargazing on Amazon

Or…

Get a cheap 12 x 50 set of binoculars on Amazon

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How to Use Binoculars for Astronomy

You need to keep the binoculars steady for a clear view. You can try to brace yourself by placing your elbows on a table, a railing, or the roof of your car.

One option is to buy a mount to hold the binoculars steady. If you have a camera tripod you can add a bracket that is designed to attach to it. This will be a cheap option if you already have a tripod. Otherwise, you may want to consider buying a tripod for your binoculars.

One tripod mount I find useful is the SnapZoom Universal Binocular Tripod Mount because it suits binoculars that don’t have a threaded tripod socket. You can click on the image below to find out more details and features of this mount on Amazon.

 

Skywatching with Good Astronomy Binoculars

People tend to look lower than the object they wish to focus on when using their binoculars or telescope for astronomy. Practice helps with this. Try tipping the binoculars up.

Sometimes it’s easier to first find an object that stands out and then star hop across to where you want to go. I find using a tree or some other landmark as a pointer to the object and then moving your binoculars up to the object also helps.

It’s a good idea to practice on bright objects first until you get the hang of it.

It’s also best to plan your timing as it is difficult to look directly up with binoculars especially with a tripod. You might want to get comfy and lay back in a reclined seat or on a rug on the ground while hand-holding the binoculars if you are wanting to study the center of the sky.

Related:

Hi, I’m Jeff Madden. I’m an enthusiast of the wide open spaces. I’ve had over 15 years experience in presenting spatial data and I find it valuable to research and compare the latest technology available. I hope you find my comparisons on the performance of technology useful for exploring and capturing visuals of the outdoors.

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