How to Choose Astronomy Binoculars

Astronomy binoculars are the absolute best way to get started as an amaetur astronomer and acquaint yourself with the night sky. (Of course, at, we may be a little biased!) But don't just take our word for it. Some of history's most prominent astronomers--amateur and professional--got their start with no more gear than a solid pair of astronomy binoculars.

Even seasoned stargazers find that a pair of large aperture binoculars are a must-have part of their equipment arsenal. Whether you're a newbie or a veteran, the biggest advantage that binoculars have over telescopes is ease of use and setup. On nights when you just want a quick glimpse of craters on the Moon or a few minutes of relaxation under the stars, nothing beats the grab-and-go convenience of astronomy binoculars. 

So how do you go about choosing the perfect pair to be your window to the cosmos? As with any binocular, it depends on how you'll be using it. 

The larger a binocular's aperture (size of the objective lenses), the brighter the views. And while low light performance is a factor in choosing binoculars for any application, it's paramount to a good pair of astrobinoculars. So you want to choose the largest binoculars you can--while keeping size and weight in mind. If you plan on hand holding your binoculars, you'll want to keep the aperture below 70mm. If you're using a tripod, you can go as large as you like, assuming the tripod is durable enough to withstand the weight.

A second consideration is magnification. You might think you need as much magnification as possible to bring distant celestial targest up close. But actually, you can see tons of detail in binoculars with as little as 7x. If you choose a binocular with too much magnification, holding them steady can be a challenge. And, since they're "zoomed in" on such a tiny portion of the night sky, it will be more difficult to locate and view your target. Some tripod-mounted binoculars include a special rail that allows you to attach a finderscope or red dot sight, making it easier to center targets.

In general, the most popular sizes for astronomy binoculars are 10x50 for handheld and 20x80 for tripod-mounted.

As you browse our site, you'll see other features listed like BaK-4 prisms, fully multi-coated optics, and even ED glass for high end models. All of these features boost light transmission. If you're willing to spend a little more on your optics, you'll immediately notice the benefits. Deep sky objects like nebulae will show more detail in their swirling gas clouds, and your views of the Moon will be a sharper and crisper.

As with any outdoor hobby, stargazing can sometimes be spoiled by wet weather. Since you'll be out there late into the night, you can accumulate dew on your lenses even when skies are clear. Check the binocular's specifications for find out if it's fully waterproof and nitrogen purged, or at least water resistant.

Still have questions? Give our team a call at the phone number listed below. Clear skies and happy stargazing!

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Have questions about an item or need advice on selecting the right optic? Our team of experts is here to help! Avid outdoor enthusiasts themselves, they've tested gear in the field and can provide personalized product recommendations for just about any activity, from birding and hunting to sports and travel.

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