Using binoculars for astronomy is a great way to begin your stargazing adventure. Their wide field of view, low magnification and ease of use combine to make for a very easy start to observing the heavens.

The truth is: once you have bought good quality binoculars for stargazing, you’ll probably never stop using them – even if you later buy a telescope. They are such a wonderful tool in the astronomer’s toolbox, that they never stop being useful!

In the table below, find our four best binoculars for astronomy. Detailed reviews are immediately below the table. After that, we’ve shared everything you need to know about buying and using astro binoculars.

BEST OVERALL
Best for Big Budgets
Best for Beginners
Best for Smartphones
Celestron SkyMaster Giant 15x70 Astronomy Binoculars
Orion Mini Giant 15x63 Astronomy Binoculars
Orion 10x50 E-Series Beginner Binoculars
Gosky 20x80 Skyview Astronomy Binoculars
Celestron - SkyMaster Giant 15x70 Binoculars...
Orion Mini Giant 15x63 Astronomy Binoculars for...
Orion 10x50 E-Series Waterproof Binoculars for...
Gosky Skyview Astronomy Binoculars, Giant...
BEST OVERALL
Celestron SkyMaster Giant 15x70 Astronomy Binoculars
Celestron - SkyMaster Giant 15x70 Binoculars...
Best for Big Budgets
Orion Mini Giant 15x63 Astronomy Binoculars
Orion Mini Giant 15x63 Astronomy Binoculars for...
Best for Beginners
Orion 10x50 E-Series Beginner Binoculars
Orion 10x50 E-Series Waterproof Binoculars for...
Best for Smartphones
Gosky 20x80 Skyview Astronomy Binoculars
Gosky Skyview Astronomy Binoculars, Giant...

Individual Binoculars Reviews

We’ve reviewed each of the binoculars in the table above in much more detail below. Each review explains key features along with the main pros and cons of each binocular.

Celestron SkyMaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars

These SkyMaster Giants from Celestron offer 15x magnification in the body of 70mm objective lenses and for an attractive price, which is why they are perhaps the most popular astronomy binoculars available today and why they’re our top pick.

Reduced
Celestron SkyMaster Giant 15×70 Binoculars
  • POWERFUL 15X MAGNIFICATION: With these giant astronomy binoculars, you get massive 70mm objective lenses and powerful 15x magnification. It’s the most…
  • INCLUDES TRIPOD ADAPTER: Stabilize your binocular for added comfort and shake-free views. Mount your 70mm SkyMaster binoculars on any traditional…
  • BRIGHT, SHARP VIEWS WITH BaK-4 PRISMS: The SkyMaster is a favorite among those who view in dim conditions near dawn and dusk or at night for…

They have multi-coated lenses, although they are not ‘fully’ multi-coated, so some of the internal glasswork is uncoated – although this will not unduly diminish their light sensitivity.

They have an eye relief of 13mm, so they are just about suitable for astronomers who wear glasses. These SkyMaster Giant bins also come with a tripod adapter, making it easier to attach them to a tripod like this one for steadier stellar observing.

When you look through them, you are presented with a 4.4° field of view, which is represented by the blue circle around Orion’s Belt in the picture below, which you can click to enlarge.

4.4° Field of view for the Celestron SkyMaster Giant binoculars. Click for a larger version.

There used to be a few criticisms that these binoculars would arrive out of collimation. In binoculars, collimation means that the two eyepieces show you (almost) the same view, which your brain interprets as a single picture. In reality, Celestron has got their quality control in order and this rarely happens now.

Badly collimated binoculars show two views that are not quite the same, so you see double, which is not good at all for astronomy! Knocks and bumps can cause collimation to be lost but, fortunately, there are hidden adjuster screws on these SkyMaster binoculars so alignment can be remade. The video below shows you how to do this.

These binoculars are a fabulous option if you have a budget of about $100. They’ll happily reveal Jupiter’s moons, expose looser double stars, and give you unrivaled views of large objects like the Pleiades star cluster.

What you should be most aware of is their weight. If you don’t have a mount or a good place to rest your elbows while using them, you’ll find it hard to keep the 3.3 lbs (1.5 kg) steady as your arm muscles fatigue. This is especially so if you’re planning to use binoculars to foster a child’s interest in astronomy.

Otherwise, with the Celestron’s clear optics, you’ll be using them to find your way around the constellations with or without a telescope. If you already have a telescope, these binoculars make for a great aid in finding objects just a little too faint for the naked eye, meaning you can point your telescope in their direction with few problems.

Pros (4)

  • Good price for their size
  • Can be used by glasses wearers
  • Tripod adaptor
  • Can be collimated

Cons (3)

  • Prone to lose collimation
  • Not fully multi-coated glass
  • On the heavy side without a mount or armrest/support

Orion MiniGiant 15×63 Astronomy Binoculars

The MiniGiants from Orion Telescopes are the most expensive astronomy binoculars on our list and, with their purple-hued objective lenses, the funkiest looking too!

They have 15x magnification and a wide 63mm aperture in each of the two objective lenses.

Orion MiniGiant – 15×63 Astronomy Binoculars
  • Big 63mm diameter objective binoculars grab a ton of light and excel for both astronomical and daytime viewing
  • Mini Giant binocular lenses and BAK-4 prisms are fully multi-coated for exceptional light transmission and bright images
  • Binocular barrels are internally glare-threaded to eliminate ghosting and ensure rich contrast

There are reasons you won’t get much change from $250 for these astro-bins. The first is that all of the glass surfaces within the binoculars are multi-coated with anti-reflective chemicals. This results in binoculars with superb light transmission from objective to pupil.

Secondly, the barrels themselves are anti-glare treated internally, which minimizes ghosting effects and improves levels of contrast across the field of view. Thirdly, they have a huge 19mm of eye relief, making them ideal for glasses wearers.

And, to cap it all off, they weigh in at only 2.6 lbs (1.2kg), making them less tiring for your arm muscles than the Celestron that we just looked at.

They deliver a 3.7° field of view, which takes in all of Orion’s Belt, as you can see in the picture below.

A 3.7° field of view from the Orion MiniGiant astronomy binoculars. Click for a larger image.

These binoculars are a ‘keep forever’ set. They have wonderful eye relief and optics that will expose more details than your bog standard astronomy binoculars.

There are no reported collimation issues (quite the opposite) and feedback from users across the web is positive.

These are not cheap, however, and you’ll still need to buy a tripod and adaptor once you own them to get the best outcomes. Expect to spend over $300 in total, for which price you might prefer a cheap telescope instead.

Pros (4)

  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • Long eye-relief
  • Great contrast levels
  • Lighter weight than some

Cons (2)

  • More expensive than a cheap scope
  • Smaller field of view than some models

Orion 10×50 E-Series Beginner Binoculars

These E-series binoculars from Orion are a great mix of price if you’re ready to sharpen your astronomy skills but don’t want to spend too much on having a clearer view of the stars.

Orion 10×50 E-Series Beginner Binoculars
  • A great 10×50 binocular for both beginning and experienced amateur astronomers alike
  • Big, 50mm lenses and 10-power magnification work together to provide wonderful views – day or night
  • Waterproof construction and nitrogen purged for worry-free use in almost any weather
  • Multi-coated optics and BAK-4 porro prisms deliver a bright, clear 5.8-degree field-of-view
  • 20mm eye relief for comfortable views

With their large field of view – of almost six degrees – and 10x magnification, these make a perfect binocular for astronomy beginners.

These are plastic-bodied binoculars with multi-coated optics (but not fully multi-coated, which is normal for this price point) for better light transmission. They are quite heavy, which is also not a surprise at this budget price, coming in at 2.8 lbs (1.3 kg), but they’re far from being the heaviest astro bins.

Their field of view, as you can see in the picture below from SkySafari 6, makes it easy for new astronomers to wander around the stars and explore the beauty of the night sky.

The 5.8° field of view of the E-series. Click for full-screen.

There are always payoffs with astronomy equipment and the price of a wide field of view is lower magnification. So, whilst these will help you spot brighter galaxies and nebulae, they won’t reveal loads of detail.

For lunar astronomy, you’ll find Orion’s E-series binoculars reveal a wealth of detail. If you’ve never seen a magnified moon before, you are in for a real treat.

Eye relief is 20mm, which is great with or without glasses.

Pros (4)

  • Great for astro beginners
  • Multi-coated objectives
  • Big field of view
  • Low cost

Cons (2)

  • Lower magnification
  • Heavy for long periods of use

Gosky Skyview 20×80 Astronomy Binoculars

These are a big binocular. Their 80mm objective means they let in a lot of light and they make good use of it with their 20x magnification.

However, these Skyviews come at a price, both literally – they are not cheap – and metaphorically, because they weigh in at 3.0 lbs (1.4 kg).

Gosky Skyview 20×80 Astronomy Binoculars
  • OUTSTANDING OPTICS — Large Bak-4 Roof Prisms and Fully Multi-coated Optics – guarentee the key elements of an optical device, make your view brighter, clearer and deliver crisp images
  • EXTREMELY LARGE APERTURE VIEW — 80mm large objective lens maximizes light transmission for superior brightness and vivid images even in low-light conditions and also provides large view range
  • COMFORTABLE TO USE — Not like spotting scopes or telescopes, just look through the binoculars with your two eagle eyes open. Specially designed for Bird Watching, Sightseeing, Shooting and Stargazing

These binoculars offer a 3.7° field of view, which is smaller than the other models we’ve reviewed, but large enough to contain all three of the central belt stars of Orion, as shown in the SkySafari 6 image below.

3.7° field of view, as seen in the Gosky Skyview 20×80 binoculars. Click for a larger version.

As with all heavier bins, but especially these with their higher magnification, we recommend that you also invest in a sturdy tripod to mount these on for the best results. You’ll be stunned to see that they bring the Andromeda Galaxy into view in a dark sky, but their best work is reserved for star clusters and double stars.

They also deliver an exemplary performance on the moon’s craters and, when Venus is a large disc as it approaches Earth, they reveal that you’re not actually seeing a complete disc but a crescent.

The optional cell phone adapter comes in for much praise and, if you want to share your binocular astronomy with friends and loved ones, this is a great idea.

Pros (4)

  • Large magnification
  • Fully multi-coated objectives
  • Smartphone adapter included
  • Huge 80mm light-gathering lenses

Cons (3)

  • Work best when combined with a mount for stability
  • Relatively expensive
  • Smaller field of view might not work for beginners

Binocular Astronomy Guide

As tempting as it is to jump into astronomy with a telescope, there are many good reasons for considering binoculars as your first ‘telescope’ instead.

Yes, they have lower magnification and a wider field than a telescope, but this is the advantage of binocular astronomy.  A decent pair of binoculars lets you enjoy discovering the stars from your observing site before graduating to your first telescope.

A pair of binoculars can be an enjoyable, calm route into astronomy.

You’ll be amazed how many people give up on astronomy because they go straight in for a large telescope but haven’t learned to navigate the dark sky. It’s not as easy as you think to find objects with a high magnification and small field of view scope!

Binoculars have the added advantage of being much cheaper than a telescope (although these models cut it close).

As you learn to enjoy stargazing and progress to a telescope, you’ll probably find that you – like many serious astronomers before you – keep your binoculars forever handy for your stellar viewing.

The Advantages of using Astro Bins

There are many advantages to beginning your stargazing adventures with a pair of binoculars instead of a beginner telescope, such as:

  • You get to use both eyes at the same time. This makes astronomy much more natural and comfortable for your eyes than the single eyepiece of a telescope
  • … and there’s good evidence that your brain forms a better image when it gets data from two eyes instead of one, making your tour of the stars more rewarding right from the start
  • Binoculars have a wider field of view than a telescope, which means you can see more of the sky with them. And, because the view through your bins looks similar to what your naked eye view (see the next point for detail), it’s much easier to identify parts of the sky
  • Telescopes can show upside-down and mirror-image views of the sky, making it tricky to navigate. Binoculars have a corrected field of view though, so everything has the same orientation as you see it with the naked eye
  • The larger and corrected field of view makes learning the essential skill of star hopping so much easier to learn than with a scope.
  • Unlike (most) telescopes, binoculars can be used in the daytime too, giving better value for money
  • Talking of money: binoculars are generally a lot cheaper to buy than a telescope!
  • Binoculars are a standalone piece of equipment that delivers rewarding astronomy. Telescopes though… well, they need eyepieces, a mount, filters, weights, etc, etc, 
  • On that same theme, binoculars have a very shallow learning curve. They are much easier to use than a telescope and simple enough for young children to discover the joys of stargazing with little to no help from adults

We’ve looked at some of the best objects to see with binoculars, check it out – the link opens in a new tab so you won’t lose this page.

There are some disadvantages to binocular astronomy, which is why you’ll probably want to progress to a telescope, eventually:

  • To give that wide field of view, binoculars have relatively low magnification,  so they don’t reveal as much detail as a telescope will
  • Unless you get a tripod (see below) holding bigger binoculars for any length of time will tire your arms, leading to vibrations

Guide to Buying Astronomy Binoculars 

If you already know what you’re looking for, click here to read our reviews at the bottom of this page. Otherwise, keep reading to discover how to choose the best astronomy binoculars for your needs.

The image below (source) is a handy reference to the parts of a binocular. Feel free to refer back to it as you need.

The parts of a binocular, labled
Anatomy of a Binocular (source)

We’ll begin with the basics by looking at how different sets of binoculars are graded, i.e. what does 7×50 or 8×42 actually mean?

Next, with that knowledge, we’ll consider which are the best binocular sizes for astronomy, looking at the pros and cons of bigger versus smaller.

After that, we’ll spend some time looking at image stabilization, both using technology and with a tripod.

We’ll wrap this section up by considering the impact of anti-reflective coatings on your astronomy and answering the question of whether you can use binoculars to do astronomy if you wear glasses (spoiler: yes).

Note: you might find other articles talking about the ‘exit pupil’ size of binoculars. This is a complex calculation and, for us, almost totally irrelevant to choosing the right binoculars for your backyard astronomy, which is why we haven’t discussed it in this guide.

What do the Numbers on Binoculars Mean?

Binoculars come with two numbers to describe them. You’ll see in the models we’ve reviewed below that they are either 7 x 50 (say ‘seven by fifty’), 15 x 70, etc.

Let’s use 7 x 50 as an example to understand what those numbers mean and why they are vital in helping you choose the right binoculars for your needs.

The first number is the amount of magnification the binoculars provide. So, our 7 x 50 bins provide 7x magnification, i.e. they make objects appear seven times larger than your naked eye does.

The second of the two numbers, i.e. the ’50’ in 7 x 50 is the diameter, in millimeters, of each objective lens, which is where light comes into the binoculars.

Contrary to what most beginners believe, light collection is much more important for good astronomy than magnification. The bigger your aperture (the opening you point towards the stars), the more light you will let in.

Two 50mm lenses on a binocular is a good light-gathering area which is why this size is particularly popular for astro bins.

To think of a 50mm aperture in astronomy terms, this lets in significantly more light than your puny 6mm of pupil in each eye. The difference is so stark that, where your eyes will see stars as dim as magnitude 6, 7 x 50 binoculars will show stars fainter than magnitude 9.

It doesn’t sound like a huge difference until you look at the number of stars visible at each magnitude. There are 4,800 visible to your naked eye, there are over 121,000 visible to our 7 x 50 binoculars!

That is a whole world of new stars to see, and it is perhaps the first and most amazing thing you’ll notice when you first look at the dark sky through a pair of binoculars; dozens of stars appear that you couldn’t see before.

Excitingly, it’s not just the countless new stars you’ll discover. You’ll notice regular bright stars you see with the naked eye that actually have small, previously invisible companion stars at their side. When you look at the moon, you’ll see crater details that you never have before.

Deeper into space, your binoculars reveal more details still, showing you Jupiter’s Galilean moons, the brighter deep space objects, like Andromeda, and the Orion Nebula. They’ll also tease out for you the beauty of our brightest globular clusters.

What Does the Field of View Measurement Tell Me?

There is one final, important measurement that is not part of the 7 x 50 numbering, but which you should know: their field of view.

The field of view measures how much of the sky your binoculars will show you when you look through them. Although the rule of thumb is higher magnification = smaller field of view, different optics mean that two different pairs of 7 x 50 binoculars can have two different fields of view.

The field-of-view measurement is given either as an angle in degrees or as a width in feet of the image at 1000 yards. To convert between the two, multiply the angle by 52.5 (or divide the width in feet by 52.5 to get the angle).

For astronomy binoculars, which spend most of their time pointed at objects many hundreds or thousands of light years away, a measure in degrees is most helpful.  For example, binoculars with an 8.6° field of view tell you that the amount of sky you can see through them is a circle with a diameter of 8.6°.

The bigger the number in degrees, the more sky you can see. As a practical guide to what this measurement tells you, the full moon is about 0.5° wide, and your fist held at arm’s length is about 10° wide.

In each of the detailed astro-bin reviews at the bottom of the page, we’ve taken away the guesswork by including an image to show you exactly how much sky you can see through each binocular.

What Sizes are The Best Binoculars for Astronomy?

There are so many varieties of binoculars that you may well be wondering what is the best size binocular to use for astronomy?

The most important quality to look out for is one that you might not expect: size.

Larger binoculars weigh more and tire your muscles quickly as you use them. As your muscles fatigue, they begin to shake and the stars will dance and vibrate before your eyes. This does not lead to rewarding astronomy!

The best size binoculars for your astronomy – those that strike a balance between performance and size – are 7 x 50, 8 x 42 and 10 x 50. Bigger than that and you’ll need some stabilisation. At the other end, if you go smaller than 8 x 42, you’ll find the amount of light coming in is too little for quality stargazing.

You’d be forgiven for wanting bigger binoculars. More light gathering means you can handle more magnification and see fainter objects. If that’s something that interests you, you’ll need to combat those vibrating views, which we’ll consider next.

However, if you are brand new to astronomy and want to try it out with minimal investment, opt for 8 x 42, 7 x 50 or 10 x 50. If you’ve got a decent budget for your binoculars, put it towards fully multi-coated optics (explained below) instead of a bigger magnification, it will enhance your star viewing much more.

What is Image-Stabilization? Is a Steady Star Worth the Cost?

There are a couple of ways to reduce the amount of vibration in your binoculars, especially if you want to invest in a larger pair that gathers more light and tolerates higher magnification.

The first of these is a binocular stand or mount, which we’ll look at next, but the more expensive and technologically advanced option is to buy a set with image-stabilization technology included.

These are significantly more expensive than standard binoculars but they will reduce the vibration from your arms considerably and make your observations more rewarding.

However, they do not reduce the weight of the binoculars and you may still find that your arms tire more quickly than smaller binoculars that don’t need stabilization.

A more comprehensive and cheaper solution to vibration and muscle fatigue is to use a tripod. 

How to Mount Bins on a Tripod

If you want to use larger binoculars for your astronomy, you are best advised to mount them on a tripod.

Most binoculars come with an attachment and will screw fix to a standard camera tripod. The problem with this setup is that you can’t angle the binoculars to point higher than about 30° above the horizon.

The solution is a binocular tripod adapter or an integrated adapter which some larger models come equipped with, like this one on Amazon – you can see the metal rod in between the two lenses, this is the built-in tripod adapter.

Once your binoculars are attached to a tripod, the tripod itself will take the strain instead of your muscles. You’ll enjoy a steadier, clearer view of the sky and have much more time to enjoy it. You’ll be pleased with the new level of detail you can see in your view now that it’s not shaking about all over the place!

Your last consideration about binocular specifications, especially as they relate to astronomy, is the anti-reflective coatings their lenses come with.

What are Anti-reflective Coatings?

When you look at a piece of regular, untreated glass, you see a reflection; it naturally reflects light, which means not all the light hitting it makes it through to the other side.

Inside a regular pair of binoculars, there are many glass surfaces from the objective lens to the eyepiece. If these are untreated, a small amount of light is lost at every surface. By the time the light reaches your pupil, there is much less of it that started down at the objective lens, which dims the image you see and lowers the quality of your astronomy.

To improve that situation, binocular manufacturers apply anti-reflective coatings to some or all of the glass surfaces within the binoculars. The higher quality and more layers of coating applied, the higher the cost of the binoculars and the brighter the image they produce in your eye.

You can clearly see the effect of the anti-reflective coating on these Orion Scenix binoculars – it gives the lenses their purple color – which won the highest score in our best astronomy binoculars review.

As explained in the longer video from Orion, below, look out for these terms explaining anti-reflective coatings on your binoculars. From highest to lowest quality, they are:

  • Fully Multicoated – All lenses have multiple anti-reflective coatings
  • Multicoated – Air-facing lenses are multicoated, and
  • Fully Coated – Each lens has a single anti-reflective coating

Once you get to 7 x 50, improving lens quality and light transmission is arguably a better use of your dollars than bigger apertures and higher magnification.

Can I use Binocs if I Wear Glasses?

The short answer is Yes, absolutely!

Modern binoculars all come with adjustable eyecups around both eyepieces. This is either a foldable rubber cup or one that adjusts in and out using screwing motion. The simple rule of thumb is that if you wear glasses make the eyecup as small as possible, i.e. you need to get your glasses as close to the eyepiece in your binoculars as you can.

If you don’t wear glasses, adjust the eyecups to leave space between your eye and the eyepiece.

To make scientific sense of these broad directions, the specification to look for is called eye relief. This measurement in mm tells you of the ideal distance your pupil needs to be from the eyepieces to see the full binocular image.

For example, an eye relief of 15 mm means that your pupils should be 15mm away from the eyepiece for the perfect focus, full-view image.

If you wear glasses, you shouldn’t go for binoculars with an eye relief of less than about 12mm, because the gap between your glasses and your eyes will physically prevent you from getting close enough to enjoy the full view.

Use the eyecups around the eyepieces to adjust the distance between your pupil and the binocular’s eyepieces to be as close to the eye relief distance as possible.

How to Use Binoculars for Astronomy

You now know what to look for when you’re buying a pair of astro binoculars. Now we’re turning our attention to how you should use them when you’ve bought them.

If you’re ready to buy right now, click here to see our reviews of the best binoculars for astronomy, or keep reading to learn how to use them once you own a pair.

We’ll begin this section by setting up your new binoculars. What are the steps you should follow when you first open the box to make sure you get great views with them?

We talked a lot about image stabilization earlier but, below, we’ll look at techniques for using your binoculars that keep images stable and your arms relaxed – without needing image-stabilization technology or a tripod.

Finally, for this section, we’ll consider how to take care of your binoculars by looking at how to keep them clean.

Setting Yourself Up for Stargazing

When you first get your binoculars, there are some simple steps you should take before using them for your stargazing. Following these easy directions will make sure you get the best enjoyment from binocular astronomy right from the get-go.

  • Be Outdoors – When you first use your new binoculars, make sure you are outdoors. outdoors when you first get them. Don’t use them to look through a window at things outside, as you won’t get a true view of what they’re capable of. Outside is also reflective of where you’ll do your astronomy, so it makes sense to set them up in the same place.
  • Connect the Neck Strap – Your binoculars will come with a neck strap. Binoculars are not cheap and are very sensitive to being bumped, so your best first step is to get that neck strap attached as quickly as possible. with that done, always make sure the binoculars are around your neck whenever you use them.
  • Get Used to Feeling Them – The best method for using your binoculars when looking for objects overhead is to do so without looking at the binoculars themselves Instead, learn to bring them up to your eyes without looking away from the object you want to magnify, this pretty much guarantees you’ll see the object straight away and won’t have to sweep around the sky trying to find it again.
  • Set the Eyepiece Width – The eyepieces on your binoculars need to be the same distance apart as your own eyes to get the best views through them.  To do that, simply ‘bend’ the binoculars so that the centers of the two eyepieces are the same distance apart as your pupils.
  • Adjust the Binoculars for Your Eyes – This final adjustment is the most important because it will deliver the sharpest image. Your eyes are different from each other, so each of your binoculars’ eyepieces can be focussed separately to be perfect for both of your eyes. They do this with a diopter setting. The eyepiece which can rotate independently of the binocular body is the one with the diopter setting. See how to do this in the section below.

How to Use the Diopter Setting

To set your stargazing binoculars up perfectly for your eyes, point them at an object in the middle distance (ideally, in the daytime) and put the lens cap over the lens with the diopter adjuster.

Now, with both eyes open, adjust the focus setting of your binoculars until you have perfect focus through the open lens of the binoculars.

With that done, swap the lens cap over to cover the lens you’ve already adjusted, leaving the diopter lens uncovered. Again, keep both eyes open and, without touching the main focus adjuster, rotate the diopter eyepiece until the view through this lens is in focus.

When you’ve done that, remove the lens cap altogether and check that you have high-quality focus in both eyepieces. If not, run through this process again until you’re happy with your bin’s focus.

You are now ready to use your binoculars for astronomy and shouldn’t need to adjust the diopter setting again unless you lend your binoculars to someone else. They will need to adjust the diopter settings for their eyes, so it’s a good idea to mark your own settings on the binoculars for faster adjustment next time.

How to Hold Yourself Steady Enough

Earlier, we looked at image stabilization and tripods for reducing vibrations. The truth is, you will always get better astronomical viewing if you can hold your binoculars steady when you use them.

If you don’t want to use a tripod and can’t justify the budget for image stabilization technology, then follow these simple steps instead to enjoy looking at the planets with your binoculars.

  • Lean Against Something – If you like to do your astronomy standing, then leaning against a wall, tree or fence will take some of the strain from your arms and give steadier images
  • Sit in a Recliner – Lay the seat back as far as it will go (relative to the object you’re looking at) and rest your arms on your chest
  • DIY – If those don’t work for you, and you don’t want to buy a tripod, try a DIY tripod, like this one on the Cloudy Nights forum.

How to Clean Your Binocs

There’s a full article here that details how to clean the lenses on a telescope and the same principles apply to cleaning the lenses on your astronomy binoculars.

The most important piece of advice you should listen to is this: clean your lenses only sparingly! Even a gentle clean can damage the coatings or the lenses themselves, so only do it if you really need to.

Stargazing Ideas for Your New Bins

Once you’ve selected, purchased and set up your binoculars, it’s time to take them outside and find some interesting objects to look at.

It’s beyond the scope of this article to look at those, but here are some resources you can use to get inspiration:

  • Sky & Telescope Magazine has a ‘Binocular World’ feature each month
  • Binocular Sky Newsletter – Binocular Sky is a website dedicated to astronomy with binoculars. This link will take you to their detailed monthly newsletter
  • Binocular Astronomy Books – This Amazon link lists a good selection of books to help find objects to hunt for with your new binoculars

Now you know everything you need to select, set up and use binoculars for astronomy, let’s turn to our best astronomy binocular reviews, so you can pick the best one for you.

Summary

So there you have it. 

Everything you need to know to help you choose a pair of binoculars to help you enjoy astronomy.

We’ve looked at how to choose them, set them up and care for them, and we’ve shared links with you to great resources for using your binoculars.

Finally, we reviewed five of the best on the market today. For us, the absolute best pair, which balances cost and capability, is the 7 x 50 Orion Scenix

If you have a bit more money to spare and are happy to bolster your investment with a tripod for your new binoculars, then opt instead for the Orion MiniGiant 15 x 63. They gather more light, subject it to more magnification, and all without a huge sacrifice on the field of view.

Whichever pair you choose, welcome to astronomy! At Love the Night Sky, we’re here to help you every step of the way.

Last update on 2024-07-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API